When it comes to going gluten-free, one size doesn’t fit all. Some people are full-blown Celiac, while others don’t have the autoimmune disease but are still severely affected by gluten. A term you might hear get tossed around is “gluten sensitivity.” But what does that really mean? Better than gluten intolerance? Worse than Celiac? Here are the facts.
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1. It’s Somewhere In The Middle
There are varying degrees of reaction to gluten that can be considered not normal, but gluten sensitivity falls somewhere in the field of worse than the symptoms of a wheat allergy and less intense than actual Celiac disease.
2. It’s Present Without Celiac…
The more official name for gluten sensitivity is non-Celiac gluten insensitivity, because while it’s similar to Celiac in that it’s an immune reaction to gluten, it’s not as severe as Celiac disease.
3. …But The Symptoms Are Similar
The reason why it can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity is because they look almost the same. The main difference in symptoms between people who are sensitive to gluten but not Celiac is that there are more severe symptoms OTHER than intestinal. Gluten sensitive people tend to report symptoms like headaches, joint pain more than stomach issues.
4. It’s Actually More Accurate Than “Gluten Intolerance”
You might have heard gluten sensitivity and gluten intolerance thrown around as if they were the same thing, and while they do describe the same condition, gluten sensitivity is actually considered more accurate.
5. There’s No Surefire Medical Test
We’ve already gone over the various medical tests for Celiac disease, but unfortunately since there’s much less damage done to the intestines in gluten sensitivity, there isn’t a scientific test to be done in order to prove gluten sensitivity. The best way to figure out if you’re sensitive? Go without gluten for a while and then try it again. Not exactly clinical, but it’s effective.
Do you have gluten sensitivity? Share what it’s like to live with the condition in the comments below!