Gluten Intolerance, Wheat Intolerance, Wheat Allergy, Celiac Disease

Gluten Intolerance

Some people have diarrhea after ingesting gluten-containing food (wheat, rye, barley) but they have no intestinal changes and no characteristic antibodies tTG IgA, EMA igA found in the blood. This condition is called gluten intolerance and it is not an immune disorder (1). The term is often mistakenly used for celiac disease.

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Prevention is by gluten-free diet.

Wheat Intolerance

Some people have diarrhea after ingesting wheat but they can eat rye and barley without problems. They have no tTG or EMA igA antibodies in the blood and no small intestinal changes characteristic for celiac disease.

Prevention is by wheat-free diet.

Wheat Allergy

Persons with wheat allergy, commonly children, get allergic reaction with eczema, hives, astma-like difficulty breathing, allergic rhinitis with sneezing and runny nose, occuring few minutes (or several hours in delayed response) after ingesting wheat (2). Diagnosis is confirmed by skin prick test. IgE antibodies and eosinophils are usually elevated in the blood. Wheat allergy often (but not always) disappears until adulthood.

Prevention is by wheat-free diet. If this doesn’t help, other food allergies have to be considered.

Celiac Disease

Some persons experience diarrhea, bloating, tiredness, skin rash and several other symptoms after ingesting wheat, rye or barley, which all contain gluten. If tTG and EMA igA antibodies are found in the blood, and duodenal biopsy shows characteristic intestinal changes, this confirms celiac disease. In doubtful cases, DNA test can be done that, if negative, 100% exclude celiac disease.

Prevention is by gluten-free diet.

References:

  1. Gluten intolerance  (celiacdisease.net)
  2. Wheat allergy  (aafa.org)
About Jan Modric (249 Articles)
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