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ladymiss

What's The Difference Between Gluten Intolerance And Celiac?

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Hi all,

I'm having one of those stupid question moments. Bear with me. I just keep going around and around in my mind. :rolleyes:

Do I have it correct that the only difference between gluten intolerance and celiac is: with celiac there is an autoimmune response to gluten that damages the villi? is everything else the same- all the possible symptoms (which vary widely), the possibility of feeling SO sick, issues with malabsorption (either by damaged villi or just irritated/unhealthy gut), the treatment being incredibly careful not to consume gluten and the (somewhat)long healing time on a gluten-free diet?

I guess I ask because gluten intolerant seems so vague of a diagnosis. It sounds simply like, one cannot tolerate gluten. No big deal, right? (Wrong!) How can life be so dramatically altered with fall out from gluten intolerance? When I read about celiac, I find myself under the symptom listings. And it seems that 'gluten intolerance' is just more vague. Or maybe more vogue? And therein lies a problem... When I say I am gluten intolerant some respond like it's a lifestyle choice. Someone recently said, 'Oh yeah, you can have a piece of cake once in a while." Um, no, not really.....

And at 2 mos. gluten-free there are numerous foods I am still waiting to add back to my diet, stopped because of the sensitivities. My naturopath said to me- the food sensitivities/allergies, multiple symptoms, a few vitamin deficiencies, low side of the scale on all blood results, low physical vitality and low weight all 'caused by long term gluten intolerance and malabsorption due to irritation'.

So just asking....... And thanks again for your thoughts.

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Well, I look upon celiac as just one form of gluten intolerance. It so happens that it is the one that they have been able to devise tests for (the antigliadin antibodies in the blood and the damaged/flattened villi in the small intestine). The forms of gluten intolerance which give you neurological symptoms are most often celiac negative. Many people who, as you say, have the GI symptoms also can test negative. People who have other autoimmune diseases often also test negative. It is a conundrum. It is just a case, I believe, that science does not know enough about gluten intolerance yet.

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Mushroom's answer is exactly what I would have said. There's a test for "Celiac" and everything else gets lumped into the "gluten intolerance" category 'cause the docs don't have a lab test for it.

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Yeah, I would agree that celiac is just one end result of gluten intolerance. I believe that all gluten intolerance is an immune system response, it's just that celiac also has the autoimmune component where the body attacks itself.

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Well, I look upon celiac as just one form of gluten intolerance. It so happens that it is the one that they have been able to devise tests for (the antigliadin antibodies in the blood and the damaged/flattened villi in the small intestine). The forms of gluten intolerance which give you neurological symptoms are most often celiac negative. Many people who, as you say, have the GI symptoms also can test negative. People who have other autoimmune diseases often also test negative. It is a conundrum. It is just a case, I believe, that science does not know enough about gluten intolerance yet.

Yea I agree with this. Both are autoimmune just with celiac the antibodies cause an autoimmune attack in the gut that doctors can find when it gets far enough along, sometimes, (although we do have to keep in mind that high rate of false negatives). Whereas 'gluten intolerance' can cause autoimmune impact in other organs instead of or before it attacks the villi.

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