Nutrition and DietCeliac disease, gluten intolerance and allergy: main differences

Celiac disease, gluten intolerance and allergy: main differences

Discover the main differences between celiac disease, gluten intolerance and the gluten allergy itself, as well as the symptoms that each one causes.

Statistics say that more and more people are suffering from celiac disease, or in short, from some type of allergy or intolerance to gluten. Gluten consists of a set of proteins that we find mainly in the flour of rained cereals, especially wheat, barley, rye and oats. In the particular case of gluten and the different intolerances that may arise, we find that gluten is actually made up of two different proteins, gliadin and glutenin.

The truth is that life without gluten may be possible, since we must bear in mind that gluten is not actually an essential protein for our body, so that if a person suffers from celiac disease, intolerance or allergy to gluten, they can actually replace this protein with others, such as plant and animal proteins.

What is celiac disease?

The celiac disease becomes an intestinal disease that affects genetically predisposed individuals when eat foods containing gluten, a protein that is part of the cereal flour, such as barley, wheat, oats and rye.

In these cases, the contact of gluten with the intestinal mucosa produces a series of immune-based inflammatory reactions, which can even cause serious damage to the small intestine, by damaging and destroying the walls of the intestine.

The symptoms of celiac disease are both digestive and non-digestive:

  • Digestive symptoms: loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, bloated abdomen, weight loss and abdominal pain.
  • Non-digestive symptoms: delayed growth and / or development, anemia, fatigue and mouth ulcers.

What is gluten intolerance?

The intolerance to gluten is caused by a reaction feed containing gluten. It generally tends to cause gastrointestinal symptoms, but it does not affect a person’s immune system or cause tissue damage.

Symptoms of gluten intolerance are: headache, irritability, tingling in the legs and arms, bloating, and diarrhea. These symptoms always tend to appear after eating.

Unlike a gluten allergy, gluten intolerance does not improve over time.

What is a gluten allergy?

The allergy gluten is a response of the immune system (ie, is an immune response of the organism) to the considered food gluten as harmful to the body, when obviously the reality is that it is not.

Symptoms of a gluten allergy are: nausea, stuffy nose and eyes, cramps, swollen mouth, trouble breathing, and an itchy rash.

Unlike celiac disease or gluten intolerance, allergy improves over time, so that after the years the person can return to consuming foods with gluten.


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