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Gluten Intolerance vs. Gluten Sensitivity vs. Celiac

“Gluten-free” has become quite trendy in the decade or so since Celiac disease was identified as a problem digesting gluten, but what do the different gluten terms actually mean?

Dr. Peter Osborne does a great job in clearing up the differences in these definitions in this informative video on gluten and digestion. According to Dr. Osborne:

Gluten allergy is an immune-mediated response that creates IgE antibodies.

Gluten intolerance is an inability to tolerate gluten (non-immune mediated).

Gluten sensitivity is a mesh of the above terms, that is, it is immune-mediated but does not necessarily create antibodies.

Gluten sensitivity causes Celiac Disease by chronically damaging the villi in the stomach and bowels. In fact, Celiac disease is one of the rarer manifestations of gluten sensitivity as it has been linked with over 200 other chronic medical conditions, many of which do not cause distress to the intestines.

It’s a great video to watch if you’ve ever considered gluten sensitivity to be the cause of your health problems.

The only thing I would add is that you can be sensitive to gluten or to any one of a multitude of foods and chemicals you ingest, inhale, or slather on your skin as you go about your daily life. With the Mediator Release Test (MRT), you can see exactly which substances are causing your specific symptoms because it observes the chemical mediators that mark inflammatory processes. If you remove gluten from your life and are still suffering, chances are your sensitivities lie elsewhere and it would be worth getting checked.

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