What is the difference between celiac sprue and gluten sensitivity?
Gluten sensitivity implies that a person’s immune system is intolerant of gluten in the diet and is forming antibodies or displaying some other evidence of an inflammatory reaction. When these reactions cause small intestinal damage visible on a biopsy, the syndrome has been called celiac sprue, celiac disease, or gluten sensitive enteropathy. (Nontropical sprue and idiopathic steatorrhea are other terms that have been used for this disorder in the past.) The clinical definition of celiac sprue also usually requires that there is clinical and/or pathologic improvement following a gluten-free diet.
In the past, celiac sprue could only be diagnosed after somebody developed certain symptoms like diarrhea, weight loss, or growth failure in children. A biopsy would be performed and if abnormal and typical of celiac sprue, and if a gluten free diet brought resolution of diarrhea, weight gain, or growth, only then would a diagnosis of celiac sprue be made. However, recent advances in diagnostic screening tests and application of these tests to people at heightened risk or to general populations have allowed detection of celiac sprue, sometimes even before damage to villi has occurred. This latter scenario is often called gluten sensitivity.
This sensitivity or intollerance is very real and you should not see it as a ” fad” or Hoax. What you are dealing with is a legitimate struggle and you are not alone. There is a growing myriad of resources available for support. Sites such as Udi where they recognise not just Celiac but also all the other areas where Wheat has an impact:
- Doctor’s Orders
Keep reading. Keep trying. Keep exploring. You CAN do this and it IS worth it.