Celiac Disease, Gluten Sensitivity, Miscellaneous

Gluten Sensitivity vs. Celiac Disease

2 Comments 09 November 2012


Since we really don’t know much about gluten sensitivity, it will be interesting to see how research develops moving forward.

According to About.com’s celiac disease reporter, a Columbia University Celiac Disease Center research study on the prevalence of non celiac gluten sensitivity came up with 1 out of 200 people, or .55%.

The University of Maryland Celiac Disease Research Center’s Dr. Fasano disagrees. Dr. Fasano’s  research indicates up to 7% of the population could be gluten sensitive.

That’s a huge gap!

You can read all of the details here.

Below are the details on gluten sensitivity I got directly from Dr. Guandalini, the head of the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center back in May.

Gluten Sensitivity
Which is a problem, because we don’t even know how to define it. We know it exists with adverse reactions. Some symptoms are similar to celiac. Patients feel better when gluten is eliminated from their diet. We are only at the beginning of understanding this situation and more research is needed. There is no change in intestinal biopsies and no specific gene.

A) No definition
B) Prevalence unknown
C) No markers for diagnosis, no tests, only relying on patient reports

What do you think about this?

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2 Comments so far

  1. 1
    Robin Day says:

    Being someone who suffers from “gluten sensitivity”, I can only tell you that I DON’T GET MIGRAINES when I am G-Free. About four years ago, I was fed up wit migraines and refused to medicate myself to the point of needing to sleep and being useless. I wanted to solve the root of the problem. At that time, my mom had been going through some intestinal issues and had been tested for celiac disease. The test came back positive. She immediately became g-free and felt 100% better. However, come to find out it was a slew of other things wrong including cancer. She has since resumed a glutenous diet with no problems. But at that time, i thought well maybe that’s what’s wrong with me. I did not get tested though. I stopped eating gluten immediately and BAM my MIGRAINES were GONE! Best decision ever. I have been g-free for 4 years and never felt better. If I eat the tiniest amount of gluten, I get a a MIGRAINE! Unlike most celiac sufferers, I do not have any intestinal issues with gluten (that I am aware of). Seems I fit the description. When doctors leave us with one choice of medicate or find the “unknown” problem ourselves, we begin to self-diagnose.

  2. 2
    Kim Grams says:

    I am glad they are at least doing studies because it is frustrating for patients and confusing for people in general to understand the differences in gluten problems. And because of this confusion it causes family, friends, restaurants, etc. to NOT take the problem seriously. My teenage daughter has Celiac Disease (since 1st grade). I have tested negative twice, but clearly have a problem. If I consume gluten/wheat on a regular basis I have horrible diarrhea (sorry if that is TMI). If I eliminate it, I’m FINE. Both of us are EXTREMELY lucky in that if we accidentally ingest gluten we do not have a big reaction. But we try to be very careful in communicating that most people with Celiac, Gluten Sensivity, wheat allergy, etc. will become VERY ill if they consume gluten or sometimes even if their food touched the gluten-foods (i.e. same pan, spoon, etc.). Even a crumb can cause many to be sick. It would be helpful to have a standard of diagnosis even if they are not sure of the percentage of population that has a problem.

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Kelly Courson


Thanks for stopping by! I'm Kelly Courson and this is where I've shared my gluten-free finds since 2003. The world has been my gluten-free oyster for 14 years now and I love sharing what I've learned in order to help others adapt to a gluten-free diet. Have a look around and feel free to leave a comment. Connecting with people like you is what has kept me going this long! Seriously.

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