FAQ: Celiac Disease vs Gluten Intolerance
Q: Since Joseph can’t eat gluten, does that mean he has celiac disease?
All we know for sure is that Joseph has gluten intolerance/sensitivity. Through an elimination diet, we determined that he had symptoms after eating gluten (crankiness probably caused by stomachaches, and flaring up of eczema) that went away when we took it out of his diet.
Two main causes of gluten intolerance is wheat allergy and celiac disease. An allergy would mean that the body is attacking the gluten as an invader. There is a possibility of growing out of this. In celiac disease, the presence of gluten triggers the immune system to attack the lining of the small intestines. There is no cure, and no way to grow out of celiac disease. In addition, there are many people who react to gluten that don’t fall into either of these categories. Since we haven’t done any testing, we don’t know which bucket Joseph falls into. But we certainly hope it’s not celiac disease.
We do plan on having him tested soon, though I do not want to do any biopsies, which is needed for a diagnosis of celiac disease. Also, because we’re already on a gluten-free diet, his results may not give good results. So we’ll see what happens as he grows older.