What is the difference between Gluten Sensitivity and Celiac Disease?
Gluten sensitivity is not an actual “disease”, it is a state of genetics, which when ignored, can trigger Celiac disease.
You can have gluten sensitivity without Celiac Disease, but you cannot have Celiac Disease without a gluten sensitivity.
Gluten sensitivity can be considered as a reaction to gluten-containing foods, that if handled early enough, never has to develop into a state of disease. Gluten sensitivity is actually a combination of gluten allergy and gluten intolerance, either of which will create inflammation, then tissue damage of the intestinal lining:
- A gluten allergy produces both acute and delayed reactions through the immune system, which creates a chemically induced inflammatory process, which then creates tissue damage and intestinal lining breakdown (“Leaky Gut”).
- Gluten intolerance is simply the inability to digest gluten. When the gluten intolerant person repeatedly eats gluten-containing foods, they begin to disrupt their gut biome (A healthy balance of intestinal bacteria and yeasts), leading to a state of dysbiosis (An unhealthy balance of bacteria and yeasts), which then leads to an intestinal lining breakdown (“Leaky Gut”), perpetuating tissue breakdown and damage.
Celiac disease is essentially an autoimmune disease of the small intestine caused by repeated gluten induced damage. It is important to note that not all patients with Celiac Disease experience intestinal symptoms! They can actually manifest other conditions like; Rheumatoid, Psoriasis, Multiple Sclerosis, and Hashimotot’s!
True Celiac Disease is rare, but is dependent upon a gluten sensitivity to manifest. All patients with any autoimmune disease should be screened for gluten sensitivity. The best way to see if you are genetically predisposed to gluten sensitivity is through specific DNA testing. The Old standard of testing Immunoglobulins from the blood, has yielded far too many false negatives and is no longer an acceptable diagnostic test.
Specific Allele (Genetic) testing is cutting edge science and is now available at WNC and if you are interested, please call 847-426-2121 to find out how you could get tested.
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