The fundamental difference between celiac disease vs gluten sensitivity is the definition – not the illness
Currently, celiac disease is defined by the histological appearance of damage seen in the small bowel mucosa (the tissue sample is obtained by the small bowel through an endoscope). However, this definition will change in the future and be based on the blood test results (tTG, DGP, EMA) which are more sensitive in detecting the early damage of the small bowel. Also you need to have the HLA DQ2/DQ8 gene to express this damage.
On the other hand, gluten sensitivity is defined by clinical elimination and challenge. People who improve on a gluten-free diet are called gluten sensitive. There are antibody blood tests that help make the diagnosis (AGA Anti-Gliadin-Antibody). You do not need an endoscopy to make the diagnosis (indeed, the gut usually looks healthy).
But – the symptoms of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are the same. And the management of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are the same: that is a zero-gluten-diet.
Check out this paper:
The top 15 celiac-doctors have now acknowledged that gluten-related-illness is real, it needs much better diagnostic tests, and it is common. They have released a powerful consensus statement:
“Spectrum of gluten-related disorders: consensus on new nomenclature and classification.”
Sapone A, Bai J, Ciacc C, Dolinsek J, Green P, Hadjivassiliou M, Fasano A, et al.
BMC Medicine 2012, 10:13
Avoid gluten if you are sick
Vikki Petersen says: getting better on a gluten free diet is only the start. There is lots more to do to get full health. As a pediatrician, my job is to get children gluten free early – to avoid the chronic damage of long-term gluten exposure. Gluten can cause very long-term damage to the bowels, brain and skin. Crucial, that once diagnosed to stay strictly gluten free (ZERO) life-long. No exceptions.
Celiac disease vs gluten sensitivity: more similarities than differences. Both aer gluten-related disorders.
by Dr Rodney Ford.