Knowing what’s ailing you when you get symptoms every time you eat gluten-filled foods like wheat can be hard. Gluten intolerance and celiac disease cause similar symptoms, which makes it hard to differentiate them just by using symptoms.
The gluten-free diet has gained many followers, but most people need help understanding what it means to be gluten-free and why anyone would choose to do it. Gluten is a type of protein found in some grains, including wheat, rye, and barley.
You’ll notice that gluten is binding in recipes, which gives bread its spongy nature. People with gluten intolerance, wheat allergy, and celiac disease mostly pursue a gluten-free diet. All these conditions are quite different, but they have similar symptoms and can be solved by diet changes.
What is celiac disease?
Celiac disease triggers an immune reaction to gluten consumption, a protein in some grains. People with celiac disease have an immune response in the small intestines upon ingesting gluten. If you keep consuming gluten even with this immune reaction, it damages the wall of your small intestines over time, preventing it from absorbing nutrients from the foods you’re eating.
The immune reaction that damages intestinal walls does so because the immune response to gluten causes a reaction attacking the intestines. When the intestine is attacked, it causes damage to the villi. Villi are small projections that line the intestinal walls and help absorb nutrients.
When you have celiac disease, an immune response to eating gluten means that your body’s immune system will send antibodies and inflammatory cells to attack and destroy gluten molecules. This reaction damages the lining of your intestinal walls. Immune cells triggered by celiac disease tend to erode and flatten villi in the intestinal walls, diminishing the surface area meant to increase the absorption of as many nutrients as possible.
When the villi in your digestive tract are damaged, they can’t absorb nutrients properly. Celiac disease is often hereditary. This means that people with a first-degree relative, like a child, parent, or sibling, are more likely to develop it. The onset of celiac disease can be at any age after you’ve started consuming celiac.
Having intestinal damage can cause digestive symptoms like diarrhea, weight loss, bloating, and anemia. It can also lead to serious complications. Children suffering rom celiac disease and, eventually, malabsorption can affect their growth and development.
Causes of celiac disease
Like most autoimmune diseases, celiac disease is partly caused by genetics. However, having that genetic mutation and not developing celiac disease is possible. Unfortunately, some people develop this disease even without having the genetic mutation to cause it.
Some theories state that celiac disease can result from significant physical stress that extends to your immune system. Some healthcare providers have observed the development of cell disease following a major event like surgery, pregnancy, or illness. It can also be due to an emotional event. However, more research must be conducted to prove these claims’ relevance.
Celiac disease can, however, develop at any age after you’ve started consuming gluten. There are two main age brackets where most individuals develop celiac disease. In children, it can begin between 8-12 months or mid-life between 40 and 60. When children first develop, it is when they start consuming solid foods.
Symptoms of celiac disease
Celiac disease symptoms vary widely, making it hard to recognize celiac disease. Common symptoms include:
- Stomach pain
How to know you have celiac disease
The easiest way to know whether you have celiac disease is through an Allergy Test, which checks for antibodies when tested against many food and non-food items. If the test confirms celiac disease, you must adopt a gluten-free diet. When you do so, you begin to heal, and it can eventually restore its past healthy self.
If you have trouble getting on a gluten-free diet, a dietitian can help guide you. Celiac disease means you have no option but to give up gluten. The cost you will pay for not giving up gluten is too high and not worth it. Celiac disease can increase the risk of many chronic illnesses and deficiencies. To avoid this, avoid gluten.
What is gluten intolerance?
Gluten intolerance is caused by gluten, a protein in some grains, including rye, wheat, and barley. When you consume gluten, and you’re suffering from gluten intolerance, it causes digestive symptoms. Unlike people with celiac disease, gluten intolerance or sensitivity doesn’t result from an abnormal gene.
Causes of gluten intolerance
Gluten intolerance occurs when your small intestine cannot break down the protein gluten. It then pushes it into the colon and ferments it, forming a gas and causing water retention. This ends up causing many uncomfortable symptoms.
Gluten intolerance is also commonly known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity. It’s, however, not as serious as celiac disease and doesn’t cause such severe side effects in the long run if left untreated. However, it can affect one’s quality of life, especially if you keep consuming items with gluten almost daily.
Gluten intolerance symptoms often last for a long period of time, that’s, until you’ve passed that gluten from your system through defecation.
Symptoms of gluten intolerance
Gluten intolerance symptoms vary from one individual to the next. Common symptoms include:
- Brain fog
- Joint pain
- An abdominal pain
- Skin rash
Often, gluten intolerance is accompanied by other illnesses like irritable bowel disease. It’s also important to get tested for such an illness when you notice you have gluten intolerance.
How to diagnose gluten intolerance
A gluten Intolerance Test is the best tool to diagnose gluten sensitivity. This test checks your blood against different foods from creativity. When you get your results and realize you have gluten intolerance or any other food intolerance, the best action plan is to eliminate gluten from your diet.
A gluten-free diet is very common these days, and you won’t have to struggle to find flours to replace your favorites and grains to replace the ones that cause your intolerance symptoms. Even though taking an intolerance test is a good plan of action, w recommend you take an Allergy and intolerance Test.
When you take a test that checks for food allergies and intolerances, you can determine whether you have gluten intolerance, celiac disease, or wheat allergy. Being able to test for all these conditions that have similar symptoms will be better for you.
How to treat gluten intolerance in celiac disease
The only treatment for both conditions is avoiding gluten. A gluten-free diet will offer you relief, but there’s no drug to take that will drive away celiac disease or gluten intolerance. You can, however, take some over-the-counter medications like antacids and antidiarrhoeal when these symptoms get the best of you.
While avoiding gluten in your diet, you can also consult with your healthcare provider so they can recommend probiotics that you’ll add to your diet to boost gut health. When you frequently suffer from intestinal symptoms, you tend to have less gut bacteria than healthy individuals.
Adding probiotics to your diet will help you manage it by increasing the population of your good gut bacteria. When shopping, you need to be an avid reader to avoid foods that contain gluten. You will also need to be careful when eating out or at a friend’s so you don’t consume products with gluten.
Celiac disease is less common than gluten intolerance. Many people need to learn which of the two conditions they suffer from due to similar symptoms. However, you can take an Allergy and Intolerance Test to help determine what is bothering you.