What’s the Difference? Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance, and Wheat Allergy

Wondering what Celiac, Gluten Intolerant and Wheat Allergy mean? Here's the answers.

Wondering what the difference is between celiac disease, gluten intolerance, non-celiac gluten sensitivity and a wheat allergy? You’re not alone.

We use “gluten intolerance” when referring to the entire category of gluten issues: celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity and wheat allergy.

Celiac Disease:

Celiac Disease is an inherited autoimmune disorder that affects the digestive process of the small intestine. The gluten protein causes damage to the lining of the intestines, and can cause many symptoms.

Gluten Intolerance:

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity” (what many call “gluten intolerance”) causes the body to mount a stress response (often GI symptoms) different from the immunological response that occurs in those who have celiac disease (which most often causes intestinal tissue damage).

Wheat Allergy:

As with most allergies, a wheat allergy causes the immune system to respond to a food protein because it considers it dangerous to the body when it actually isn’t. This immune response is often time-limited and does not cause lasting harm to body tissues.

Credit: The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center

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