• Sophia Kamveris, MS, RD

Gluten Sensitivity vs Celiac Disease

What’s the difference between celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) or intolerance, as it is sometimes referred to? For one, celiac disease is a genetic, autoimmune disease that left untreated, damages the small intestine’s villi. Those are the hair-like structures that line your small intestine and help to absorb the nutrients from food. Celiac disease is triggered by exposure to gluten, but only in genetically predisposed individuals. A strict, lifelong diet, free of gluten, is enforced to control further damage. It affects 1% of the population.

Non-celiac gluten constitutes a separate condition, which exists alongside celiac and wheat allergies. It is a relatively new disorder. NCGS may also present with similar physical GI (gastrointestinal) symptoms like bloating, gas, and diarrhea after gluten is ingested. Experts recommend that you first get tested for a wheat allergy and for celiac disease. There are no recommended methods to test for non-celiac gluten sensitivity and biological markers (like blood tests) don’t currently exist. The only way to make a diagnosis of gluten sensitivity is to exclude other GI diseases. There is no immune damage to the intestinal lining (or villi) in NCGS, so malabsorption of nutrients should not be a problem unless there are more severe symptoms.

People do feel better after following a gluten free diet but they may not necessarily have to be on it for life. Meeting with a registered dietitian who specializes in GI disorders is highly recommended. Keeping a food log and noting GI symptoms can help healthcare professionals evaluate one’s diet and intolerance to gluten.


19 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Sophia Kamveris, MS, RD, LDN

22 Mill Street-Suite 105

Arlington, MA 02474

  • Facebook Social Icon
Tel: 617-515-8984
 Fax: 781-274-0269 

© 2020 by Sophia Kamveris. All Rights Reserved.