Wheat allergy and Celiac disease are two serious conditions that can affect people who are sensitive to certain proteins in wheat. They have similarities, but they also have some key differences that set them apart.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system reacts negatively to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Wheat allergy, on the other hand, is a reaction to wheat proteins and is not an autoimmune disease.
WHAT IS CELIAC DISEASE?
Celiac disease is a condition in which the immune system attacks the lining of the small intestine in response to eating gluten. Over time, this damages the small intestine and makes it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients from food.
People with celiac disease should avoid gluten completely because even small amounts of gluten can cause symptoms and even damage the small intestine.
WHAT IS WHEAT ALLERGY?
Wheat allergy is a type of food allergy that occurs when the body’s immune system overreacts to wheat proteins. This can cause a variety of symptoms, including hives, itching, swelling, and difficulty breathing.
Wheat allergies can be serious and require immediate medical attention if symptoms become severe.
DIFFERENCES IN IMMUNE SYSTEM RESPONSES:
In celiac disease, the immune system attacks the lining of the small intestine in response to gluten. This can permanently damage the small intestine and make it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients from food. In a wheat allergy, the immune system overreacts to proteins found in wheat, which can cause a variety of symptoms such as swelling, itching, and difficulty breathing.
SYMPTOMS OF EACH DISEASE:
Symptoms of celiac disease vary but include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, and nutritional deficiencies. Some people with celiac disease may also experience skin rashes, such as dermatitis herpetiformis.
Symptoms of wheat allergy include hives, itching, nasal congestion, difficulty breathing, and, in severe cases, anaphylaxis.
The diagnosis of celiac disease usually involves blood tests to look for specific antibodies that the body produces in response to eating gluten. Doctors may also do a biopsy of the small intestine to look for signs of damage or inflammation.
A wheat allergy can be diagnosed by a skin prick test or a blood test that looks for specific antibodies associated with the allergy.
Treatment and Administration:
The most effective treatment for celiac disease is a strictly gluten-free diet. This can be difficult because even small amounts of gluten can cause symptoms and further damage your small intestine.
For people with wheat allergies, avoiding all wheat-containing products is key to preventing symptoms. Severe cases may require treatment to control symptoms and prevent complications.
Both celiac disease and wheat allergy are caused by sensitivities to wheat proteins, but how the body responds to them may differ. It helps you manage and avoid potentially harmful triggers. Consult your doctor if you have symptoms of gluten intolerance or a wheat allergy for more detail