Gluten intolerance and celiac disease get plenty of press, but, what are these maladies and what are their symptoms?
Celiac disease (which is also called celiac sprue) and gluten intolerance are not the same. They are successfully treated with the same diet, and both are caused by gluten intake, which can lead to confusion.
With celiac disease, the body is unable to tolerate certain proteins present in wheat, barley, rye, and to a much lesser degree, oats. These proteins cause a sufferer’s body to have an autoimmune response, triggering the immune system to attack healthy tissue in the intestines. These reactions cause inflammation and degradation of the villi, which are small projections in the intestines that help absorb nutrition.
Celiac disease causes the villi to flatten, and the body to become challenged at absorbing enough nutrition from foods. Symptoms of Celiac include anemia, short stature and lactose intolerance.
Often, people suffering from one autoimmune disorder, will unfortunately be found to have more than one disorder. As a result, prudent doctors will frequently choose to test people having diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia, for Celiac.
By contrast, gluten intolerance symptoms vary quite a great deal from individual to individual. There is not an autoimmune response, like what occurs in the case of Celiac disease. Many doctors, when they fail to find the signs of Celiac disease, tell their patients that nothing is wrong with them. However, many people often experience gluten intolerance symptoms disappearance, once they remove gluten from their diets.
The most common symptoms are various intestinal tract discomforts, not mentionable here. While other individuals are plagued with headaches, depression, digestive problems or other symptoms. Over 100 different symptoms of gluten intolerance have been documented.
According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, which is on gluten intolerance symptoms, as many as 1 in 20 people suffer from some sort of gluten sensitivity symptoms. Researchers say that studies about symptoms of gluten intolerance are currently quite preliminary because so few doctors are well informed about gluten intolerance. And, since the symptoms are so different, many people go out on their own to find relief.
For those who are sensitive to gluten but do not suffer from Celiac disease, completely removing gluten from the diet can cause symptoms to disappear completely. Gluten can be found in a number of unsuspected places, such as some types of candy and beer.
Careful research and assiduous reading of labels, is necessary to ensure that those sensitive, do not consume any food products containing gluten.
The longer the label is and the greater the processing, then the greater the chance that some form of gluten, or even involuntary gluten contamination, will be found in the product.
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