Many people confuse Celiac Disease with a gluten insensitivity. While the two have many of the same symptoms, they are distinctly different in key ways. Continue reading below to find out what these are.
What is Gluten Sensitivity?
A gluten sensitivity means your body can not break down the proteins found in gluten. Gluten is found in most although not all grains. The primary carriers of gluten proteins are wheat, rye, and barely. Oats, although not a carrier itself, is almost exclusively contaminated and so may not be suitable for those with gluten sensitivity symptoms.
What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac Disease is an immune reaction to the proteins found in gluten. Instead of the body simply being unable to break down the proteins, the immune system reacts and attacks them. When this occurs, it is different than a primary allergic reaction because the entire body is affected.
How They Are the Same
The two share many of the same symptoms. They can cause indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, vomiting, headaches, stomach aches, migraines, sleep disruption, and many other problems.
In both Celiac and gluten intolerance, individuals will also see their symptoms going away or getting better when they avoid gluten entirely. When a person with either ingests gluten, they will become ill although those with Celiac tend to have more extreme reactions.
The key differences include the way the body reacts, and the long-term issues associated with going undiagnosed. For example, a person with a gluten intolerance should not have any lasting complications once they give up dairy. They may feel equally as sick as an individual with Celiac while consuming gluten, but when it is taken from the diet they immediately feel better.
A person with Celiac, on the other hand, can have lasting effects because temporary or permanent damage can be caused when the body attacks the gluten proteins. This damage primarily affects the gastrointestinal system but can also affect the joints.
When a person with Celiac gives up gluten, they should begin to feel considerably better within three months. It can take, in some instances, up to two years to reverse the internal damage done, however.