Background: A growing number of individuals reports symptoms related to the ingestion of gluten-containing food in the absence of celiac disease. Yet the actual prevalence is not well established. Methods: Between April 2015 and March 2016, unselected adults visiting marketplaces, dental practices and a university in The Netherlands were asked to complete a modified validated questionnaire for self-reported gluten sensitivity (srGS). Results: Among the 785 adults enquired, two had celiac disease. Forty-nine (6.2%) reported symptoms related to the ingestion of gluten-containing food. These individuals were younger, predominantly female and lived more frequently in urban regions compared with the other respondents. Symptoms reported included bloating (74%), abdominal discomfort (49%) and flatulence (47%). A total of 23 (47%) srGS individuals reported having had tried a gluten-free or gluten-restricted diet. Abdominal discomfort related to fermentable oligosaccharide, disaccharide, monosaccharide and polyol (FODMAP)-containing food was more often reported in srGS individuals compared with the other respondents (73.5% vs. 21.7%, p <
0.001). Conclusion: Self-reported GS is common in The Netherlands, especially in younger individuals, females and urban regions, although the prevalence was lower than in a comparable recent UK study. It cannot be excluded that FODMAPs are in part responsible for these symptoms.
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