Food Allergy Or Celiac Disease – Do You Know the Difference?
Celiac disease (Coeliac disease) is often misdiagnosed for many other diseases owing to its similarities in symptoms with many not one disease. Among these diseases, food allergy to gluten or wheat is one disease, which is often, mistook for when it is actually a celiac patient. Celiac disease often specifies to an autoimmune disorder triggered when gluten is consumed by the individual.
So everyone is talking about gluten. But what is it? Gluten is a protein that is specifically found in rye, barley and wheat. This is responsible for causing the symptoms in celiac patients and patients with wheat allergy. How can you identify between the symptoms and diagnose if it is gluten sensitivity or wheat allergy?
Individuals can possess celiac disease for their entire lifetime, though in dormancy, with its symptoms only showing up when triggered. Some of the common triggers comprise of stress, surgery, trauma, pregnancy or severe infection. The symptoms differ greatly among individuals. Most common symptoms are
· Stomach pain
· Bone and joint pains
· Chronic diarrhea
There are very few primary symptoms. If any of those persists for longer time, it must be given immediate attention. Consult a physician as soon as possible.
Similar to celiac disease, the symptoms are many and vary among individuals. The common ones are
· Swollen tongue or throat
Differences to be noted
While both wheat allergy and celiac disease is triggered due to gluten, the way how the body responds to it differs and hence to be noted. There are three key differences to be identified, which are listed as follows.
· Antibodies – if a normal individual consumes gluten, it leads to an allergic response. The body generates immunoglobulin E, which is a type of antibody. If the celiac patient consumes gluten, their bodies would alternatively produce immunoglobulin A (another type of antibody) along with anti-tissue transglutaminase.
· Body’s response – when a patient with wheat allergy consumes wheat, their body releases chemicals causing the body to indicate the symptoms of wheat allergy. In contrast, when a celiac patient consumes wheat, the body will respond and attack itself, thus damaging the small intestine area.
· Response to drugs testing – most patients utilize histamine in some form to treat their disease. But the drug does not lower the symptoms in a celiac patient. In order to diagnose, the doctor uses a blood test to identify if there are any of the above-specified antibodies produced by the body or simply do a skin scratch test. A full examination is performed initially, after which a blood test is done for detecting the presence of antibodies immunoglobulin A or E, endomysial antibody and tissue transglutaminase antibody. The final stage includes a gut biopsy, to look for the damage created by the disease.