Shwetha Bhatia

HOLD THE GLUTEN

February, 2017
The Master Responds

What is the difference between Celiac Disease, Wheat Allergy and Gluten Intolerance?

We often tend to confuse these terms with one another. Let's look at their basic differences, diagnosis and management which are similar to all 3 conditions but not the same.

Celiac disease occurs when gluten spurs your immune system to attack the lining of your small intestine. The resulting intestinal damage can cause malnutrition and conditions such as osteoporosis, and in rare cases even cancer.

Wheat allergy sometimes is confused with celiac disease, but these conditions differ. It is a food allergy; an antibody is produced to proteins found in wheat (albumin, globulin, gliadin and gluten). In people with celiac disease, a particular protein in wheat — gluten — triggers an autoimmune reaction.

Exercise-induced changes in your body can trigger an allergic reaction. Sometimes people with a wheat allergy develop symptoms only if they exercise within a few hours after eating wheat.

Recently, Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) has received a lot of attention. The symptoms of this condition are similar to those seen in celiac disease; however, it is not an autoimmune disorder, nor a food allergy, and doesn’t even have a genetic component. This means that when someone with NCGS eats gluten, it will not cause damage to the small intestine but will still produce common symptoms (intolerance).

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What is the difference between Celiac Disease, Wheat Allergy and Gluten Intolerance?

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