Gluten-Free Kathy’s Weblog

a healthy strong life on a gluten-free diet

Celiac disease, or gluten intolerance?? November 1, 2009

Filed under: Celiac Disease — glutenfreekathy @ 9:56 am

This is one of the most perplexing questions people have.  I just received my new issue of Living Without magazine (Dec/Jan 2010).  There is an interesting article about the issue of discovering whether you have celiac disease, are gluten sensitive or have a wheat allergy.

There is a sidebar on the subject which refers Alessio Fasano, MD, of the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research.  There is an explanation that “celiac disease and gluten sensitivity or subsets of gluten intolerance”.  Fasano has found that gluten sensitivity may be 6 to 7 times more common than celiac disease.  Gluten sensitivity causes no intestinal damage like celiac disease does.

I have been able to understand more clearly that there are several gluten-related issues.  Celiac disease causes damage to the villi of your intestines which leads to malnutrition symptoms and worse.  Gluten sensitivity can cause intestinal distress but not damage.  It is important to determine if you have celiac disease because you need to make sure your villi are becoming healthy and realize that any amount of gluten may cause damage to your intestines.

Check out the Living Without magazine if you don’t already subscribe.  It provides a wealth of information and recipes for people with all kinds of allergies and food sensitivities.

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3 Responses to “Celiac disease, or gluten intolerance??”

  1. That is interesting, I have heard alot of people tell me that there stomach hurts when they eat say pizza but then when they try a gluten free pizza they don’t feel pain after. It’s interesting that many more people may be gluten sensitive, not that they have celiac disease. Somthing interesting to look for!

    - Jessika : Celiac Speaks – Symptoms, Recipes, Restaurants and Daily Life

    • Redbaronesse Says:

      even when a person has gluten sensitivity damage is being done to their body. The damage to the villi may notbe as pronounced but the affect on pscyh issues or autoimmune issues are just as pronounced.

      Also while many people who are tested for CD test negative, not all tests are accurate. I have been blood tested 4 times for CD antibodies and came up with a negative, but have multiple relatives who have tested positive. PLUS on a gluten free diet many of my symptoms disappear. I did a gluten challenge on myself after going gluten free for several months and puked because my stomach was so distressed. But that was because I ate a huge muffin just to make sure. Now if I get small traces of gluten in my food it gives me a migraine or I end up with constipation for a week. The best test if you need an official diagnosis is the genetic test but who has that kind of $$?

      The simplest way to find out if gluten is a problem for you is to completely abstain from ALL gluten containing items for at least 4 weeks then eat something containing gluten. Then wait and note the changes. Even if the only noticeable change is in your mood, pay attention to this. Also it may take a few days for you to notice a problem such as constipation.

      The label “gluten sensitive” only means you’re not officially labeled as CD. WHO cares about labels as long as you know what is happening to you and how to prevent it.

      one of the bet explanations of why gluten has become such a problem can be found here
      http://www.trit.us/moderndiseases/gluten-intolerance.html

  2. Christa Says:

    I have a lot of the symptoms of CD (the red itchy bumps, severe fatigue, depression), but only after I eat gluten. Do people with CD have those symptoms all the time if they have small amounts of gluten in their diet? Does getting them only after I eat gluten (usually 1 hour later, like clockwork) mean that I likely have gluten allergy instead of CD? You really need to see a physician about this, I can’t comment medically on this. Try contacting a local chapter of a celiac group to obtain the name of a doctor who know about celiac disease. good luck.


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