Celiac disease (CD), sensitivity to non-celiac gluten (SGNC) and wheat allergy are conditions where the basic treatment is to avoid specific food components. EC and SGNC have many symptoms in common. In contrast, the symptoms of wheat allergy are usually different.
Gluten is a protein found naturally in wheat, rye and barley as well as in hybrids and products made from these grains. The treatment for a person with wheat allergy is the elimination of all forms of wheat from the diet. People with CD, SGNC or wheat allergy do not need complicated medical treatments to improve, but they must avoid food or foods that are problematic. The treatment of these conditions is to eliminate gluten from the diet.
The CD is a genetic disorder, autoimmune that occurs as a reaction to the intake of gluten in genetically susceptible individuals. It was described clinically for the first time in the year 1888, by Samuel Gee in Great Britain. The reaction to gluten caused in this disease causes atrophy of the villi or flattening of the lining of the small intestine, which can lead to malabsorption of the nutrients with wide-ranging symptoms. There are more than 200 identified symptoms of CD, including anemia, changes in behavior, growth retardation or infertility.
The SGNC, also called gluten sensitivity (SG), is not well defined. It is not an immunoglobulin E reaction (as is wheat allergy), nor is it an autoimmune reaction (like EC). There is no evidence to identify the SG. The reactions can start up to 48 hours after eating gluten and last much longer. To diagnose OS, it is first necessary to rule out CD, allergy to wheat or other possible causes of symptoms. Then, if you notice improvement when you follow a gluten-free diet, you can diagnose gluten sensitivity.
Wheat allergy is an autoimmune reaction mediated by the production of immunoglobulin E (IgE) against any of the proteins present in wheat. This reaction is rapid and includes symptoms such as nausea, abdominal pain, itching, swelling of the lips and tongue, even trouble breathing and even anaphylaxis. These people should avoid eating any form of wheat, but they do not have gluten tolerance problems that come from other sources. (It is possible for a person to be both allergic to wheat and have EC or SGNC).
Do I have celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or wheat allergy?
The diagnosis of CD involves blood tests such as anti-gliadin antibodies, anti-endomysial antibodies, anti-tissue transglutaminase type 2 antibodies, and anti-Gliadin anti-peptide antibodies, followed by a small bowel biopsy and reduction or elimination of the symptoms when you are on a gluten-free diet. It should be noted that the patient should be consuming their regular diet with gluten for an accurate initial diagnosis.
For the SGNC the diagnosis is different, which implies tests and the ruling out the CD, wheat allergy and other disorders that may be associated with their symptoms. After testing, if eliminating gluten improves symptoms, this may be the diagnosis for OS.
As for diagnosing food allergies, such as wheat allergy, they are usually done through RAST or skin prick tests and a double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
The EC, SGNC, and wheat allergy are medical conditions and types of food hypersensitivities that can be treated with the proper diet, either by eliminating gluten or wheat.
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