Gluten intolerant or gluten allergic? Here are the differences!

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Gluten intolerance, gluten allergy and gluten sensitivity are all related to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, but they differ in how they are expressed and treated.

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About gluten intolerance

Gluten intolerance, also known as celiac disease, is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the small intestine when you eat gluten. This can lead to damage to the intestinal villi, small protrusions found along the intestinal wall that help absorb nutrients. Gluten intolerance is a lifelong disease and can lead to serious complications if not treated properly. The treatment for gluten intolerance is a gluten-free diet, which means that you must avoid all foods containing wheat, rye and barley.

Symptoms of gluten intolerance

  • diarrhea
  • abdominal pain
  • bloating
  • chronic intractable constipation
  • nausea/vomiting
  • fatigue and exhaustion
  • headaches and migraines
  • depression and anxiety
  • arthritis and joint problems
  • skin rash and dandruff
  • anemia and blood deficiency
  • liver problems and gallstones.

About gluten allergy

Gluten allergy is an allergic reaction to gluten, where the body's immune system attacks gluten as if it were a foreign substance.

Symptoms may include:

  • rash
  • swelling
  • breathing difficulties
  • itching in the throat
  • shortness of breath
  • vomiting
  • stomach pains
  • at worst anaphylactic shock.

The treatment for gluten allergy is to avoid gluten completely.

Gluten sensitivity is a milder form of gluten intolerance that does not cause damage to the intestine. People with gluten sensitivity may experience symptoms such as stomach upset, gas, diarrhea, fatigue, and exhaustion after eating gluten. The treatment for gluten sensitivity is to avoid or reduce the intake of gluten.

It is important to note that gluten intolerance is an autoimmune disease, gluten allergy is an allergic reaction and gluten sensitivity is a milder form of gluten intolerance.

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Other health tests

Other health tests


Transglutaminase antibodies of IgA
  • Measures the level of IgA transglutaminase antibodies.
  • May indicate likelihood of celiac disease.
  • Can be used as part of celiac disease investigation.

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