Difference Between Celiac Disease & Wheat Sensitivity

Bread, pasta, cakes, biscuits – why does all the yummy stuff that have gluten in it?! It’s great there are gluten free options and all that BUT they just don’t taste the same. *Sigh*

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Celiac Disease and wheat sensitivity are often confused to be the same thing as they can cause similar symptoms. But I tell you now – they’re very different.

I have wheat sensitivity which means I can eat wheat in small quantities. Every person is different though. In my case I can eat wheat a couple days a week and I’m cool. If I go on a wheat binge and have it every day my face starts to go red, itchy, I feel bloated and constipated. I’ve had quite severe reactions before where my eyes have gone puffy and itchy too.

I had an allergy test where it came up that I’m allergic to wheat. However, when I went to see a doctor for a patch test he insisted that I don’t have an allergy to wheat otherwise it would have flared up during the test… He thinks it’s my eczema playing up combined with other factors like stress, the environment and dust (yes dust.) But I know my body. And I know when I overindulge in wheat I face the consequences.

So what’s the difference between Celiac Disease and wheat sensitivity? Well for a start people with celiac have to avoid gluten full stop. I know someone who can’t even share the same knife with her hubby to butter her toast. If he’s used the knife to butter his wheat filled bread, then it’s contaminated and she has to get another knife out and of course she has separate butter and a four-slice toaster where two sides are for her gluten-free bread. If she has any gluten she’s ill for days. It’s really quite serious and more people need to be understanding about it. I find a lot of people can be dismissive about food allergies like it’s not a big deal. Well. It is pal.

Some symptoms of Celiac Disease include:

  • Abdominal bloating and gas
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea and vomiting

Now wheat sensitivity is when you’ve had that cream cake and you’re ok. But if you’ve had that cream cake, a plateful of pasta and a few biscuits with your cuppa then a few hours later or the next day you’ll know about it. For some people the reaction can occur within a few minutes or hours but like I said everyone is different. Someone who has got wheat sensitivity like moi, might come across the following symptoms:

  • Hives and rash
  • Irritation of the mouth and throat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Gas, bloating, and abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Ultimately if you think you might suffer from a gluten or wheat-related condition, it’s important that you talk to your doctor. Don’t suffer in silence. It’s best to find out these things so you can change your diet and start to feel better.