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Knowing how to differentiate Gluten sensitivity from celiac disease allows the doctor to choose the appropriate treatment with saving resources and improving the quality of life of the patient.

Gluten can produce three types of diseases, which we describe below:

Celiac disease (CD) is a genetic, autoimmune disorder that occurs as a reaction to the intake of gluten in genetically susceptible individuals. The reaction to gluten causes atrophy of the villi or flattening of the lining of the small intestine, which can lead to malabsorption of the nutrients with wide-ranging symptoms. There are more than 200 identified symptoms of CD that may include those listed above, as well as anemia, changes in behavior, growth retardation, or infertility. The dermatitis herpertiforme is the celiac disease that manifests as a rash on the skin.

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (SGNC), also called gluten sensitivity (SG), is not well defined. It is not an immunoglobulin E (IgE) reaction nor is it an autoimmune reaction. At the beginning of 2012, gluten sensitivity was classified by an international group of recognized experts in celiac disease as a condition other than celiac disease (CD), however it is still not well understood. The reactions can start up to 48 hours after eating gluten and last much longer.

Wheat allergy is an autoimmune reaction to any of the hundreds of proteins in wheat. When a person is allergic to wheat, a type of white blood cell, called a B lymphocyte, sends antibodies to immunoglobulin E (IgE) to “attack” the wheat. At the same time, local tissues in the body send natural chemical messages to alert the rest of the body that a problem exists. This reaction happens very fast (from minutes to a few hours) and can include a wide range of symptoms from nausea, abdominal pain, itching, swelling of the lips and tongue, to breathing problems or anaphylaxis (a reaction that endangers the lifetime). A person with a wheat allergy should avoid eating any form of wheat, but has no problems with gluten tolerance that comes from sources other than wheat.


It is important to differentiate celiac disease from gluten sensitivity, since the treatments are different. Celiac disease, being an autoimmune disease, destroys the walls of the intestine and is currently known to damage any body organ or tissue, this condition is NOT cured, but with the elimination of gluten intake and good medical management can control their effects in change Non-celiac gluten sensitivity responds very favorably to the elimination of gluten for several months, and the patient can reintroduce it into their diet. By not being an autoimmune disease, if it is possible to cure.

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