Difference Between Gluten Free and Celiac

Gluten free and celiac are two terms that can often be utilized within the same context with regards to diets and nutrition. Because of the many similarities they share between one another it is quite common to use these terms interchangeably. However, this must not be done so since celiac and gluten free feature certain differences that do matter in most instances.

What is Gluten Free?

A gluten free diet would mean a diet devoid of gluten, which is a protein composite containing a gliadin fraction and a glutenin fraction found in wheat related grain species. Gluten is what gives elasticity to dough, helping it keep its shape. It can be found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye as well as other ingredients derived from them, whereas grains such as rice, corn or oats are known to be gluten free. A gluten free diet is often recommended for individuals suffering from gluten sensitivity, which causes adverse effect on the body, and this would consist of fresh fruits and vegetables, poultry, eggs, dairy, nuts etc.

Some of the symptoms of gluten sensitivity would be bloating, muscular disturbances, abdominal discomfort or pain, bone or joint pain, constipation and diarrhoea among many other things.

What is Celiac?

Celiac is a disease that occurs in the small intestine, affecting people of all ages and sizes who are genetically thus predisposed. Celiac is an autoimmune disorder which results in discomfort and pain in the digestive tract, failure to thrive, chronic constipation and diarrhoea, fatigue, and anaemia. In most cases, a vitamin deficiency can also be seen as a result of the reduced capacity of the small intestine to absorb nutrients properly from food. It is also known in a number of names such as endemic sprue,  c(o)eliacsprue, nontropicalsprue, as well as gluten enteropathy.

Celiac disease is triggered as a reaction to gliadin found in wheat and other crops belonging to tribe Triticeae. It is believed that cereals such as maize, teff, millet, sorghum,  rice, and wild rice, non-cereals such as amaranth, buckwheat and quinoa and other carbohydrate rich food not containing gluten such as potatoes and banana are safe to be consumed by people suffering from celiac disease.

What is the difference between Celiac and Gluten Free?

Gluten free and celiac are two different words that often go hand in hand. However, several differences exist that set them apart.

• Gluten-free is a diet. Celiac is a disease. A gluten free diet is recommended for people with celiac disease.

• Gluten intolerance is a board term that is used for all kinds of sensitivity to gluten and celiac disease is one type of gluten sensitivity that affects the small intestine. Other kinds of gluten sensitivity affect other organs of the body as well such as skin, bones and etc.

• People with celiac disease are gluten-sensitive. However, every person who suffers from gluten sensitivity do not have celiac disease.