If you have celiac disease you are by definition gluten intolerant and gluten sensitive. If you are gluten intolerant and do not have celiac disease it means that when you avoid gluten your symptoms are relieved. Food sensitivity means that when you eliminate the offending food your symptoms go away. To be more specific you may notice that a predictable recurring set of symptoms is relieved when gluten is removed from your diet. You may also find that you are able to eat gluten occasionally if you are gluten sensitive.
What is Celiac Disease? It is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the gastrointestinal system. Celiac Disease is the body attacking itself and the target is the villi of the small intestines. Villi are the little hair like structures that enable us to absorb the nutrients we need. When a genetically susceptible individual consumes gluten the villi become inflamed and flattened which over time damages the absorptive surface of the small intestine. Resulting nutrient deficiencies may include iron, calcium, folate and vitamin B12. If the damage progresses then there is malabsorption of carbohydrates, fats, fat soluble vitamins (A, E, D, K) and protein. Celiac disease can affect an individual at any age. I have often seen it diagnosed as a causative factor in osteoporosis, pancreatitis, various neurological symptoms, and miscarriages.
What is the prevalence of Celiac Disease? It affects approximately 1% (more…)