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Setting the Boundary: Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

Setting the Boundary: Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

It's a common fact that celiac disease comes with a lot of difficulty. And often, it's difficult for celiac patients to explain that their disease is different from the non-celiac gluten sensitivity conditions, which is also affecting many worldwide. Not only is gluten a nutrient commonly used in food, but it is also used in other types of products on the market. These can include medications, hair products, beauty products and even gluten-free items because of cross-contamination issues. But where should one draw the line between celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity? Especially in the midst of this growing trend of gluten-free diets.

Many who have celiac disease aren't even aware of it. Because of the multitude of symptoms, celiac patients are often misdiagnosed and go unnoticed. And, often, as they are going through their daily routine and noticing that they are having stomach pains, and even migraines, they aren't sure why.

Celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity are two different diagnoses that need to be differentiated in order to gain a better understanding. Both share the same symptoms like depression, abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, constipation, joint or bone pains, headaches, chronic fatigue and brain fog, and are often confused for one another.

Celiac disease: A Brief Overview

People who are suffering from this disease know that it affects their immune system and as a result, it directly damages their small intestine. The cause of the disease is very clear: eating foods that contain gluten. Gluten is a mixture of protein that can be found in wheat, rye, and barley. Unless specified, these grains are contained in the very familiar food and beverages people eat and drink every day, such as bread, noodles, and beer and in everyday products they use such as lipsticks and vitamins.

Though the cause of celiac disease is very clear, there is, however, no definite reason why it affects some people and not to some. Celiac disease can develop in both children and adults in any part of the world, though only 1 percent is approximately affected by it. If not treated immediately and continually, the disease might leave long-term and rare complications. The only way to prevent or at least minimize the risk is to make use of a gluten-free diet and health education.

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity: A brief overview

Those who test negative for celiac disease, but are still experiencing some symptoms of the disease are most likely to be suffering from non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is the inability to tolerate gluten. This means that people diagnosed with gluten sensitivity experiences internal body disturbances such as abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, joint pains, and headaches once they consume gluten contained in their food, drinks, or products that are used.

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity affects approximately 6 percent of the population worldwide, thus considered to be common in the population. Treating gluten sensitivity can be very easy, people who are clinically diagnosed with it only need to follow a gluten-free diet endorsed by a dietitian.