Healthy Living

Differences Between Celiac, Gluten Sensitivity, and Wheat Allergies You Can't Afford to Miss

Differences Between Celiac, Gluten Sensitivity, and Wheat Allergies You Can't Afford to Miss

The Differences Could Surprise Some

Knowing the key differences between celiac disease, a gluten sensitivity, and a wheat allergy can lead to a healthier lifestyle and assist in developing a more beneficial diet. Each issue comes with its own unique set of complications and dietary restrictions. Although there are as many as 300 health issues associated with gluten, wheat allergies, celiac disease, and gluten sensitivity continue to be core issues. Tests for all of these conditions can be a slow, challenging process, but the overall benefits are rewarding in the long run when a healthier diet is set for the individual. Annual check-ups and proper reading of food labels are essential in maintaining a gluten-free diet to combat gluten-related problems. 

Wheat allergies are similar to other such intolerances. The ingested allergen is attacked by the white blood cells, as is the usual reaction. Very few people know, though, that if a person has a wheat allergy, or a complete intolerance to wheat, they can still consume gluten from non-wheat sources, as long as they receive proper guidance from a healthcare professional and this is the only issue they face. Wheat allergy symptoms may be analogous to asthma, runny nose, skin rash, stomach cramps, and sneezing. Wheat-based ingredients include bread and pasta. The best way to manage symptoms is by avoiding these foods.

Celiac disease is a condition that can cause serious damage to the intestines if one consumes gluten. The regimen a patient has to adopt for celiac disease is very strict, as certain health issues can arise in the long-term if it is not followed properly. Some such problems include vitamin deficiencies, gallbladder malfunction, nervous system disorders, lactose intolerance, and anemia. Because of this, it is recommended that the affected person be carefully monitored. Celiac disease can manifest in a few types:

  • Non-classical celiac disease: Without a specific indication of improper absorption, an individual may have mild issues and gastrointestinal problems.
  • Classical celiac disease: Various signs of malabsorption are found throughout the body. The signs are typical of the condition, and the issues are not limited only to growth and weight loss.
  • Silent celiac disease: This form of the disease is asymptomatic. A person may not experience the usual symptoms of celiac disease, but the small intestine may face discomfort and damage. One’s overall health can benefit if the person follows a gluten-free diet, even if no symptoms are reported. It can also help decrease bloating, reduce the problems related to the small intestine, and offer greater control of acid reflux.

Key Diagnosis

Making the right diagnosis can make all the difference in treating the symptoms for any form of celiac disease. It will also promote better health management. Proper screening of celiac disease should be done for those three years and older who are experiencing symptoms of the disease. At first, the symptoms may start out mild, but can continue for years. The same issues can be faced by one’s first-degree relatives as well, so, based on an evaluation and monitoring of the patient’s diet, family members are also recommended to get themselves tested. The only treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet, meaning an individual should avoid products such as wheat and barley. If there are any gluten triggers on appliances or other surfaces, they should be cleaned immediately. Even if, over the course of several years, the symptoms improve, it is still highly recommended that patients go for follow-up appointments periodically.

Certain Changes

It is critical to keep up with certain vitamin and dietary supplements when dealing with celiac disease. Use vitamins that are gluten-free, and do not exceed their recommended daily value. Those unable to process gluten often have bone health issues, so healthcare professionals may include calcium and vitamin D supplements as well. A properly managed diet, annual routine check-ups, and a healthier lifestyle can help minimize the damage caused by celiac disease. The symptoms and side effects will not disappear, even when following a gluten-free diet, but they can be eased.