No popular authors found.
Ads by Google:

Categories

No categories found.


Get Celiac.com's E-Newsletter




Ads by Google:



Follow / Share


  FOLLOW US:
Twitter Facebook Google Plus Pinterest RSS Podcast Email  Get Email Alerts

SHARE:

Popular Articles

No popular articles found.
Celiac.com Sponsors:

Celiac Disease—Gluten Sensitivity: What's the Difference? By Ron Hoggan

This article appeared in the Spring 2005 edition of Celiac.coms Scott-Free Newsletter.

Celiac.com 04/10/2005 - Celiac disease is, by definition, a condition in which the intestinal wall is damaged as a result of eating gluten. It is a chronic illness in which the symptoms wax and wane1 for reasons that are not yet understood. Celiac disease is the result of genetic and environmental factors. We now know two HLA markers (DQ2 and DQ8) for the predisposition for celiac disease2. One environmental factor is, of course, the consumption of gluten, but there may be other environmental contributors. Recent research reveals that about 1% of the population suffers from this condition3 although most remain undiagnosed.

On the other hand, gluten sensitivity is characterized by antigliadin antibodies. This condition afflicts at least 12% of the general population4 and is found in patients with a wide variety of autoimmune diseases. In some studies of neurological diseases of unknown origin, a majority of patients show signs of gluten sensitivity4. These patients are mounting an immune response to the most common food in the western diet, yet many practitioners consider gluten sensitivity to be a non-specific finding, frequently counseling patients to ignore these test results. This is particularly unfortunate since a strict gluten-free diet has repeatedly proven helpful to patients who are fortunate enough to consult a practitioner who is versed in gluten sensitivity and its connection with autoimmunity.

Untreated celiac disease carries an added risk for a wide variety of additional autoimmune diseases. The most likely cause of this predisposition to additional autoimmune disease is a condition sometimes referred to as leaky gut syndrome. We know that gluten causes intestinal damage. We also know that this damage allows large undigested and partly digested proteins to leak into the bloodstream through the damaged intestinal wall. This leakage results in immune system production of antibodies to attack these foreign proteins as if they were invading microbes. The result is the production of a huge variety of selective antibodies, and each type recognizes a particular short chain of amino acids located somewhere in the proteins structure. Unfortunately, our own tissues can contain very similar or identical sequences of amino acids. Hence, by a process called molecular mimicry, we are producing antibodies that attack both the foreign food proteins that are leaked into our blood through the damaged intestinal wall, and similar amino acid sequences in our own tissues, often resulting in an autoimmune disease5.

Ads by Google:

The supposedly non-specific antigliadin antibodies in gluten sensitivity provide two important pieces of information: 1) That the intestinal wall has been damaged and is permitting leakage of food proteins into the bloodstream, and; 2) That the dynamic contributing to increased autoimmunity in celiac disease may well be an important contributing factor in gluten sensitivity5. The currently common view that celiac disease is a serious illness, while disregarding gluten sensitivity, is dangerous to gluten sensitive patients.

This bias is also a divisive element in the gluten-sensitive/celiac community. Whether a person has "biopsy proven" damage to the intestinal wall, if this person gets sick from eating gluten, or mounts an immune response to gluten, we are all in the same leaky boat (please pardon the pun). We need to work together to get a better understanding of gluten sensitivity in all its forms (including celiac disease). As a community, we need to discourage any kind of dismissal of illnesses that are partly or wholly mediated by gluten.

If we can stand together in our quest for widespread recognition of the damaging impact of gluten consumption, we can all enjoy a healthier life. Our descendants will also inherit a more gluten-savvy world.

Ron Hoggan is an author, teacher and diagnosed celiac who lives in Canada. His book "Dangerous Grains" can be ordered at Celiac.com. Rons Web page is: www.DangerousGrains.com

Sources:

  • Cooke W, Holmes G. Coeliac Disease. Churchill Livingstone, New York, N.Y. 1984.
  • Fasano A. Celiac disease--how to handle a clinical chameleon.
    N Engl J Med. 2003 Jun 19;348(25):2568-70.
  • Fasano A, Berti I, Gerarduzzi T, Not T, Colletti RB, Drago S, Elitsur Y, Green PH, Guandalini S, Hill ID, Pietzak M, Ventura A, Thorpe M, Kryszak D, Fornaroli F, Wasserman SS, Murray JA, Horvath K. Prevalence of celiac disease in at-risk and not-at-risk groups in the United States: a large multicenter study. Arch Intern Med. 2003 Feb 10;163(3):286-92.
  • Hadjivassiliou M, Grunewald RA, Davies-Jones GA. Gluten sensitivity as a neurological illness. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2002 May;72(5):560-3.
  • Braly J, Hoggan R.. Dangerous Grains, Penguin-Putnam-Avery, New York, N.Y., 2002.

Celiac.com welcomes your comments below (registration is NOT required).





Spread The Word







Related Articles



8 Responses:

 
elaine oehman
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
15 Jan 2008 7:35:52 PM PDT
Very, very informative...thank you.

 
Judy Alva
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
15 Jan 2008 11:48:50 PM PDT
I wish I could have read this article years ago, it would have saved me from years of suffering.
Thank you.

 
Amanda
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
02 Sep 2009 10:04:11 PM PDT
I loved your article. Thank you for writing it, and for your dedication to helping the gluten-free community--whether celiac or gluten sensitive!

 
Vangie Webb
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
30 Mar 2010 7:39:18 PM PDT
I read the article because I had an EGD last week and the gut shows no evidence of celiac disease yet when I knowingly or otherwise consume even small amounts of wheat, I am uncomfortable within 20 minutes so must be gluten sensitive. I have a daughter who was diagnosed as allergic to wheat as an infant.

 
NickD
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
22 Jun 2010 2:52:14 PM PDT
Many times gluten sensitivity is so low that we accept a state of being that we believe is normal when , in fact, our health is compromised. I underwent a cleansing diet that eliminated gluten and was amazed at how well I felt after 10 days on the diet.

 
Paul H
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
21 Jan 2011 2:42:09 PM PDT
Very good article! I have spent the last 5 years suffering from this condition and have been told by many doctors its just ulcerative colitis from stress or the usual acid burns from indigestion and the good old IBS I have rehab myself to a better lifestyle vegetarian that works extremely well lettuce meats protein shakes eggs D3 vitamins, avoiding all that is wheat based. I no longer have my skin falling off my face from heavy fat clustering pimples nor am I anemic nor am I suffering major weight loss from eating wheat once oh and the unbearable crippling cramps in my abdominal area. this is a serious condition and I wish there was an easier way to enjoy life and eat whatever but hey life is full of challenges.

 
Judith
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
23 May 2012 9:02:58 AM PDT
I was recently diagnosed with celiac by a rheumatologist. My doctor prescribed antidepressants basically out of frustrastion as he continually told me there was nothing wrong. I am now learning about this disease. Your information has been crucial in both educating and helping me to heal. Thank You!

 
Sage
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
10 Dec 2012 8:45:07 PM PDT
Thank you so much for this informative article. I have been suffering from leaky gut symptoms and mood ailments for quite some time. I have recently started my journey with a gluten-free diet, and have been amazed with the results. Yes, it is challenging to stay committed, but I know I don't ever want to feel mentally and physically drained again merely because of what I'm eating. It's reassuring that there is proven hope!




Rate this article and leave a comment:
Rating: * Poor Excellent
Your Name *: Email (private) *:




In Celiac.com's Forum Now:

All Activity
Celiac.com Celiac Disease & Gluten-Free Diet Forum - All Activity

Hey guys im from the UK and this site is really helpful for me. I've been diagnosed with Coeliac disease (uk spelling) for 5 years now and I slowly became dairy intolerant, which makes sense and I live with this now... but now alcohol has turned on me. I don't drink often and I don't drink a lot (I used to in my uni years) but the reaction the next day (or same night) is horrific. I wondered if anyone else had this problem. I start with sweats and dizziness , then the stomach cramps cause chronic diarrhoea ... I then start to vomit until my body is empty .... this isn't the bad part. After my body is empty I go into a fit like state and cannot move walk talk or anything... the cold sweats start but I'm burning up. The stomach spasms are awful, I have to lie in bed flat with cold wet towels on my head and belly. I cannot speak or move for hours and feel so weak and unstable ..: this lasts all day and I can't eat or drink anything but I don't feel myself for three or four days. I avoid drinking but sometimes it's nice to go out and have some... am I alcohol intolerant??!! Does anyone else have this!? I obviously stick to gluten free drinks and have a very strict diet! Im a severe case! Thankyoy steph

I'm going to contact my primary Dr and see what his take is on this. I know I can't wait another 4 weeks to go to my gastroenterologist. Today marks day 23 of diarrhea. Since switching back to Imodium it has gotten worse. I think that the other 2 medications, even though I couldn't tolerate them and they didn't stop the diarrhea, at least slowed it down a little. If my primary has no clue, then I am definitely contacting U of C. The only thing stopping me is that they are out of network for my insurance plan so it would be more costly.

Spring is cherry blossom season, which means that actual cherries are still far enough off that we'll have to leave their deliciousness ahead, and turn to their canned cousins for this recipe. Turns out, that's not a bad thing. Canned cherries make a tasty cornerstone to this super quick, super-easy no-bake cheesecake. Topped with lovely cherries, this no-bake cheesecake is a contender. Enjoy! View the full article

Haha todays cheat day and I cant decide if i want pizza or mac and cheese lmao oh the struggle.

Ive seen that one at stop and shop I'll have to give it a try!