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A common misnomer; a person who has a gluten intolerance/sensitivity has celiac disease. Wrong; this is an inaccurate assumption.
To keep it simple:
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder. If a person that has celiac disease consumes gluten their immune system will step up to attach the intruder thus damaging the healthy cells that surround the lining of the small intestines.
Food for thought: if gluten is not avoided, it can cause permanent damage to the body’s small intestines and ultimately effect the body’s ability to adsorb nutrients from food which can cause a whirlwind of symptoms including PAIN.
Second: a gluten allergy is an immune reaction where the body produces antibodies that will attack the gluten as it is recognized as a threat while other tissues in the body are sending out chemical messages of the impending threat to wage a war against it. It is important to know that food allergies can be life threatening. Symptoms of an allergic reaction are serious and can include and are not limited to itching, hives, abdominal pain, swollen lips/tongue, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
Food for thought: Individuals with gluten allergies should under NO circumstances EVER consume gluten!
Third: gluten intolerance/sensitivity; aka Non celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS): are those individuals that experience many of the same symptoms as the folks diagnosed with celiac disease, however neither cause damage to the lining of the small intestines; BUT can cause chronic pain if ignored. Gluten intolerance/sensitivity is not well defined and it is not really known just how much gluten will actually trigger symptoms or for how long the symptoms will last. Simply put; mild symptoms that resolve quickly = gluten sensitivity and more serious symptoms that last longer = gluten intolerance.
Food for thought; Gluten can be linked to pain in a variety of ways; joint and muscle pain, headaches including migraines; skin rashes as well as digestive pain and upset, just to name a few.
In a nut shell; folks with celiac disease or those who have a gluten allergy should avoid gluten at all costs. For all of us who fall into the gluten intolerance/sensitivity category; consuming foods that contain gluten can cause an array of annoying symptoms; including chronic PAIN; therefore, eliminating gluten from your diet may be the key in reducing inflammation and the subsequent pain that can follow.
At this point you may be wondering or asking yourself: how do I eliminate gluten; what can I eat; what foods do I avoid – ALL are excellent questions!
Stay tuned; there’s more to come