Symptoms of gluten sensitivity and celiac disease are also similar. They include diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal pain. Gluten sensitivity is relatively common. It’s important to see your doctor for a correct diagnosis—don’t try to self-diagnose.
Unlike gluten sensitivity, celiac is an autoimmune disease that can cause symptoms as a result of damage to the small intestine. Celiac disease is a specific immunological based sensitivity to gluten, —a protein found in rye, barley, wheat and other grains. Eat gluten, and your immune system goes on the attack: It damages your villi, the finger-like protrusions in your small intestines that help you absorb nutrients from the foods you eat.
- abdominal pain and bloating
- chronic diarrhoea
- pale, foul-smelling or fatty stool
- bone loss
In children, symptoms may include:
- abdominal pain and bloating,
- weight loss
- impaired growth
Celiac disease can be diagnosed with blood tests and tissue biopsy of the small intestine to determine the specific damage to the small intestine.
There is no cure for celiac disease but people can successfully manage it by sticking to a gluten-free diet. However, unknowingly eating a product with gluten could cause a flare-up at any time.
Yet some people may not have any symptoms. The only treatment for celiac disease is to completely avoid eating gluten. Common alternatives to gluten include brown rice, quinoa, lentils, soy flour and corn flour.