Difference Between Celiac and Gluten Intolerance

Celiac and gluten intolerance may appear foreign for many people as they may not be aware of them but for those who suffer from gluten intolerance or celiac disease, these are big problems. Before moving ahead and finding the difference between celiac and gluten intolerance, it is better to start with the basics.

Gluten is a protein that is found in our daily diet, especially in foods prepared from rye, barley and wheat. Hence, gluten is found in almost all the cereals and the bread we eat on a daily basis. It is a starch like substance that can be removed from wheat in the form of wheat starch. It is this gluten that makes bread elastic. Some people, and this percentage is around 15, suffer from gluten intolerance or celiac disease. When these people eat food containing gluten, they feel a negative physical reaction inside their stomachs. Celiac disease is actually an inflammation in the small intestine, which is a result of this gluten intolerance.

Out of these 15% people who suffer from gluten intolerance, only about 1% actually suffer from celiac disease. But in reality this percentage could be much higher as many are unaware that they have this disease. Whether one has gluten intolerance or celiac disease, the treatment procedure is the same as both are similar and inter related. The only treatment for those suffering from either is a gluten free diet. Those who keep eating diet containing gluten despite having an intolerance to gluten start to develop various ailments such as anemia, damage of intestine, leakage from gut, osteoporosis, infertility, depression and even some cancerous formations. If developed at an early stage, gluten intolerance or celiac disease can cause many behavioral problems in kids and can even lead to imbalanced development.

There are many symptoms of gluten intolerance but in countries where there facilities for a thorough check up are not available, parents force children to eat a diet full of gluten despite children showing clear symptoms. Vomiting, pale stools, constipation, anemia, fatigue, irregular periods, joint pain, anxiety etc are some of the common symptoms of celiac disease but people misunderstand them and think of these symptoms as the real disease and thus keep suffering as the real cause is not diagnosed. These symptoms are common to both gluten intolerance and celiac disease as gluten intolerance eventually leads to celiac disease.

If a person who has gluten intolerance eats a diet full of gluten, his body cannot properly digest the food as a result he experiences some of the symptoms mentioned above. Once such a person passes stool, the gluten inside is removed from the body and the symptoms subside. Thus there is no damage to the intestine but the person again feels these symptoms when he eats gluten rich diet. If this continues for a long time, there are strong chances that the inflammation in the upper part of his intestine may take place in future leading to other ailments described above.

As such it is necessary to get treatment after proper diagnosis by a doctor. The best treatment of course is a gluten free diet and as soon as a person with gluten intolerance starts on a gluten free diet, he starts to feel relieved and is not troubled by any of the symptoms.