Gluten intolerance/sensitivity Q & A
What is gluten sensitivity?
Some people show many of the symptoms of celiac disease when they eat gluten, but don’t test positive for the antibodies that define celiac disease or show any signs of damage to the small intestine. These people are gluten sensitive or gluten intolerant, which is very similar to celiac disease but slightly different.
What are the symptoms of gluten sensitivity?
The symptoms of gluten sensitivity are often almost identical to those of celiac disease. You may have a gluten sensitivity if eating foods with gluten causes you to experience:
- Bloating, gas, or abdominal pain
- Diarrhea or constipation
- A headache
- Joint pain
- Fatigue, or feeling mentally foggy
If you have these symptoms, you should visit New York Gastroenterology Associates for a quick test to determine whether you have celiac disease as this is important to determine your course of treatment.
How do I know if I have a gluten intolerance or celiac disease?
When you visit New York Gastroenterology Associates for a diagnosis, you’ll receive several simple, minimally invasive tests to determine the source of your symptoms. First, a blood, stool, or saliva sample is taken to search for the antibodies produced by celiac disease. A physician may also make sure your symptoms aren’t caused by a wheat allergy with a standard skin prick test.
If the physician determine you have none of the antibodies that would indicate a wheat allergy or celiac disease, you’ll be diagnosed with gluten sensitivity.
Is a wheat allergy different from celiac disease or gluten intolerance?
Yes, a wheat allergy is based on a very specific reaction your body has to wheat, one that is not necessarily occurring just because you’re showing symptoms that your body can’t tolerate gluten.
How is gluten sensitivity or intolerance treated?
Once you’re diagnosed as gluten sensitive or intolerant, your path to feeling better is very similar as it would be with celiac disease. You’ll need to avoid eating gluten, but luckily your small intestine won’t require the time to heal that a person with celiac would need, and people often begin feeling better within a few days once they eliminate gluten from their diet.
If you’re worried you may have a gluten intolerance, wheat allergy, or celiac disease, call New York Gastroenterology Associates or schedule an appointment online today.