Thursday, September 17, 2009

Gluten intolerance vs. Celiac

I've been asked by many people what the difference is between Celiac disease and being gluten intolerant. I and my son have many signs and symptoms of gluten intolerance. We have not been tested for celiac, as I really don't want that on his medical record. Instead, we have been transitioning into living gluten free, and I can see a huge improvement in both of our symptoms.

Gluten intolerance sufferers can have a wide variety of symptoms which may include difficulty walking, slurred speech, depression, anxiety, anger control issues, chronic fatigue, ADD/ADHD, migraines, seizures, autism, neuropathy, memory and concentration problems, pain and mobility issues similar to multiple sclerosis, exhaustion, infertility, repeated miscarriages, or even the classic symptoms of celiac. There are over 200 symptoms of celiac disease, many of which are not related to the classic form of celiac, which is mostly gastrointestinal in nature. In the absence of gastrointestinal symptoms, it may not even occur to your doctor to test for celiac or recommend a trial of the gluten-free diet. Gluten intolerance is generally discovered by chance. This usually occurs when the person who feels that he may be suffering from gluten intolerance anyway, despite negative test results, decides to go on a gluten-free diet. In some cases, the diet will produce life-changing improvement in a matter of weeks, or even days.

I've also heard many people say to me that you cannot have celiac because only thin people have it. Well, that is a huge myth. Although weight loss is one symptom of the celiac, many other disorders can show, and everyone is different.

I do have to advise for you to see your Dr. for medical advice and testing if you think you have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance.

The Celiac Shack ~ Making gluten free fun one day at a time!

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