Caution, cereals! How to distinguish celiac disease from allergies
Celiac disease and cereal protein allergy are different diseases. What unites them is that the culprit in both cases is gluten – a vegetable protein of wheat, rye and barley. But the mechanisms of development are different, and, therefore, the diagnostic methods differ from each other.
How is celiac disease different from gluten allergy?
It is difficult for the common man to understand what is happening, since in both cases the intestines are involved. Everyone knows about allergies, few people know about celiac disease. Patients are worried about nausea, vomiting, loose stools, and bloating – symptoms common to many bowel diseases. Skin rashes can join. These manifestations occur in children with the introduction of complementary foods containing cereals. But with allergies, as a rule, anxiety appears during feeding or immediately after it. With celiac disease, the signs of the disease build up slowly, there is no clear connection with food intake. As the villi are damaged, malabsorption syndrome is formed – impaired absorption in the intestine, and this will lead to vitamin deficiency, anemia, problems with teeth and bones, and impaired growth and development of the child. If celiac disease is not recognized, problems will spill over into adolescence and adulthood. Menstrual irregularities, infertility, osteoporosis are the consequences of untreated celiac disease.
Celiac disease does not go away on its own! Allergies – may go away as the baby’s immune and digestive systems develop. Allergy symptoms are reduced with antihistamines, but not with celiac disease. Due to impaired absorption, children with celiac disease used to look typical – a large swollen belly and thin arms and legs. Nowadays, such vivid manifestations are rare.
Given the commonality of symptoms, often erased clinic, celiac disease may first be diagnosed in an adult. The development of celiac disease https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coeliac_disease in adults is another myth. This is an unrecognized disease in childhood, when they say: “I grew up weak,” “I always had problems with stool,” “I had bad teeth since childhood,” and so on.
The diagnosis has long been made on the basis of laboratory tests or other modern research methods.
What methods are used to detect allergies?
To identify allergies, the level of eosinophils in the blood test, total immunoglobulin E and IgE to gluten (gluten) are assessed. Food allergies often occur to several food ingredients at the same time.
What tests detect celiac disease?
Screening tests – prescribed for suspected celiac disease
Antibodies to gliadin – usually given to children
Antibodies to deaminated gliadin peptides
Confirmatory serologic tests
Antibodies to tissue transglutaminase
Antibodies to endomysium
Genetic testing for celiac disease – HLA DQ2 / DQ8 typing in celiac disease – reflects only the genetic predisposition to the development of the disease.
The gold standard of diagnosis is histological examination, when damaged intestinal tissue is visible. In most cases, only histology allows a definitive diagnosis. Histological examination of the biopsy specimen should be performed against the background of normal nutrition (without excluding gluten).
Celiac disease and cereal protein allergy are different diseases. What unites them is that the culprit in both cases is gluten – a vegetable protein of wheat, rye and barley. But the mechanisms of development are different, and, therefore, the diagnostic methods differ from each other. How is celiac disease different from gluten allergy? It…