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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Celiac Disease Or Gluten Intolerance
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Are they different? :huh:

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You sometimes see posts here from people who think they are the same. My opinion is that Celiac is a medically well-defined (if not well diagnosed) condition and gluten intolerance is not well defined. The various uses of "gluten intolerance" that I've seen on this board sometimes does equal celiac but sometimes it is used as an umbrella term meaning roughly "something bad happens when I eat gluten".

It also depends why you want to know. If it is for dietary choices and feeling better, they are the same. If you are thinking that diseases occur in clusters and you want to know what else to be on the look-out for, it is important to know what is really happening in your body when you consume gluten.

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As I understand it, Celiac disease is when there is damage due to the immune response to the presents of gluten. Whereas gluten intolerance is when there are only non-damaging symptoms. If this is not correct, I'm sure someone will point to some authoritative reference. But IMO I doubt one can be gluten intolerant and never have any sort of damage in some way, even if it isn't the lining of the small intestine.

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That is a matter of controversy these days. The terminology seems to have evolved in the past several years as more has been learned about the toxic effect of gluten on the body. My impression is that the term Celiac disease is generally being used to refer to the damage that gluten does to the mucosa of the small bowel as demonstrated by biopsy and microscopic inspection, i.e., the smoothing or rounding off of the micro villi that in turn produces nutrient malabsorbtion. "Gluten intolerance", on the other hand (or so it seems to me), is being used these days in reference to a broader scope of pathologic reactions to gluten ingestion that may or may not show up in a biopsy/ micro analysis of the SB mucosa. "Gluten intolerance" has become the popular media term for all of this.

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Thanks so much for explaining this. Last November my Dr. told me I have Celiac Disease. My villi were totally flattened and I was severely anemic. Disease just sounded so much worse then a gluten intolerance. So, the way I understand this, I can recover from Celiac Disease, but will always remain Gluten intolerant. :huh: That is, IF I can EVER quit making huge errors in my diet! :angry: Eating out seems to be my hugest hurtle!

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    • 3 months gluten-free still feeling cramps
      Glad to help!   Never stop advocating for your health.  Be patient (that's the really hard part), but it is possible to feel well and recover from celiac disease.  Of course, you'll always have to avoid gluten as if it were rat poisoning, but there are worst things to worry about!    It is nice to have a resource like Celiac.com.  It is anonymous, so you don't have to be embarrassed about asking what you may think are dumb questions.   Hang in there!  
    • Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips
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    • Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips
      They seem to be good about saying things may contain wheat when their products are made on shared equipment, for example their ground chocolate which I no longer use.   This is the reply I got a year ago (March 2015) when asking about their 60% cacao chips. "Dear Consumer, There is no wheat in our 60% chips and no wheat in our chips facility, as such, no wheat is run on the same line as any of our chips. Sincerely, Consumer Affairs Response Team"  
    • 3 months gluten-free still feeling cramps
      Thank you so much for the info, I did replace all my cooking wares and I did just recently stop dairy (about 3 weeks ago). I guess I have to keep it going, thank you once again, this give me more courage to continue my quest in feeling better.
    • Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips
      Hey guys,  I emailed Ghirardelli to ask about their updated allergen information because I had heard that people stopped recommending most of their products. I was specifically asking about their chocolate chips because my understanding is that they are free of gluten and not made on the same lines as that one bar/square that contains barley. This is what I received back:
      "Thank you for contacting Ghirardelli Chocolate Company.  We appreciate your interest in finding out about the ingredients in our products and your interest in a gluten free product.

      At this time we do not offer any "gluten free" products, but appreciate your interest in seeing whether Ghirardelli offers one.  Our products are not certified as being gluten free. FDA requires products to be tested to confirm that gluten level is below 20ppm. Currently, Ghirardelli products have not been tested to this requirement and therefore, we do not make any gluten free claims for our products. Please reference the ingredient information, on our packaging for any Ghirardelli product that you are interested in, to determine if it is suitable for you.

      Please know you are a valued consumer and we do appreciate your interest in our products.

      Sincerely,

      Consumer Affairs Response Team"   I asked them to please clarify - are your products testing over 20ppm? Or you don't test them at all? I also asked about the lines that the chocolate chips are made on because the ingredients do not indicated any problems. The customer service rep sent me the exact same message back with one of the lines underlined. I emailed again, and they don't seem to want to disclose any more information.   Has anyone else had any luck talking with them lately? Insights on the chocolate chips?
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