Allergy to gluten

Although allergy to gluten and gluten intolerance (or celiac disease for the latter) both involve the immune system, they are two distinct conditions.

Yet they generally have the same symptoms in the eyes of patients. This results in people who self-label gluten sensitive without knowing the severity of their pathology. It is essential to learn to recognize an allergic state.

Allergy or intolerance?

Allergy is a reaction of the immune system, which considers when a substance is foreign to it, that it must get rid of it, which leads to massive production of histamine.

Intolerance as for it, takes various forms. This may be a deficiency of enzymes or the intake of food additives, or even foods rich in histamine or downright histamino-liberators. These further complicate the understanding of the subtlety between allergy and intolerance. Indeed some foods can cause a release of histamine, resulting in symptoms almost identical to those of allergy, but without the extreme gravity.

One then evokes a form of intolerance, with symptoms such as:

  • stomach pain,
  • gases,
  • a heaviness in the abdominal part,
  • transit troubles.

But it also concerns people who have irritable bowel syndrome and in this case we speak of hypersensitivity to gluten.

Unfortunately, there is no test yet to measure it and the only way to get to know it is to exclude gluten from its diet.

Finally, we can not mention allergy and intolerance to gluten without mentioning celiac disease which is a very serious autoimmune disease also known as gluten intolerance. Upon absorption of a gluten component, this triggers an autoimmune reaction, in the form of antibodies. These will specifically attack the cells forming the villi of the small intestine, and will erode them, resulting in an intestine that is often subject to inflammation and can no longer absorb nutrients properly.

To see: Celiac disease in pictures

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Read also :

Hypersensitivity to gluten
Gluten intolerance
An allergy: what is it?
Food allergy in children

Author: Ladane Azernour-Bonnefoy

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