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What’s the difference between wheat allergy, celiac disease, gluten intolerance, and non-celiac gluten sensitivity?
Gluten intolerance is used when referring to the entire category of gluten issues: celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity and wheat allergy.
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity ( “gluten intolerance”) causes the body to mount a stress response (not an immune response). It isn’t a food allergy – it’s a physical condition in your gut. This may be due to an imbalance in the microflora of your gut, an already damaged gut lining or, a genetic predisposition.
If you remove gluten from the diet, repopulate the microflora and, seal the damaged gut lining, the gut heals and the symptoms disappear. Depending on the level and degree of the intolerance it may be possible to eventually re-introduce properly prepared grains into the diet.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects the digestive process of the small intestine. Essentially it is an allergic reaction to gluten and is characterised by an immune response and intestinal tissue damage. It can be detected via a biopsy. Currently, the only treatment for celiac disease is lifelong adherence to a strict gluten-free diet.
Wheat allergy causes the immune system to respond to a food protein because it considers it dangerous to the body. This immune response is often time-limited and does not cause lasting harm to body tissues.