Celiac disease: This is an autoimmune disease that causes the destruction of villi in the small intestine after eating gluten. To test for celiac, a celiac blood panel is done while gluten is still in the diet to measure antibodies in the blood, including anti-gliadin (“anti-gluten”) IgA and IgG, and anti-tissue transglutaminase IgA (tTG-IgA). Even without symptoms, 98% of people with celiac will test positive for tTG-IgA in their blood while eating gluten. Then, the physician often recommends a biopsy of the small intestine to confirm the diagnosis. Those with celiac disease must strictly avoid all gluten to live symptom free.
Wheat allergy: This is an IgE-mediated disorder that causes reactions ranging from anaphylaxis (when your throat swells up and you can’t breathe—EpiPen needed!) to asthma after eating wheat. Although gluten is in all wheat products, wheat-free foods that contain gluten such as barley, rye, malt, and some oats are tolerated by individuals with wheat allergies.
Gluten sensitivity: Even if you don’t have celiac disease or a wheat allergy, you may still feel crummy after you eat gluten or wheat because you’re sensitive to the stuff. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is a new kid on the block in the spectrum of gluten-related disorders and becoming more and more recognized by health practitioners (study). Folks all over the planet are finding relief from digestive issues and other ailments by simply avoiding gluten in their diets. Here’s how to start uncovering whether or not your health issue falls into the side effects of gluten category.