Gluten Allergy and Celiac (Coeliac) Disease

Definition, Prevalence, Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Gluten Allergy is a popular new term - and refers to the inability to digest Gluten - a protein found in wheat and other grains. In the sense that true allergies cause immediate and sudden-onset immune responses - it is not strictly an "allergy". However in Gluten-sensitive people the breakdown products of Gluten into two smaller proteins certainly causes an immune response - but with a delayed reaction - many hours later or even the next day. For Gluten allergy - read Gluten intolerance.

Gluten Allergy - Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions about Gluten Allergy

What is the difference between Gluten allergy and Celiac Disease?

Definition of Gluten Allergy - Gluten Intolerance

Gluten allergy is a widely used term referring to Gluten sensitivity (the inability to fully digest gluten). A few Gluten sensitive people test positive for the Celiac Disease biopsy, and so are called Celiacs (~0.5% of the population).

But most Gluten sensitive people return negative or inconclusive results from a Celiac biopsy test. A more appropriate term for these people is Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitive (NCGS) and may be as many as ~15% of all people or 1 in 7.

So even if you tested negative for Celiac – you may still have Gluten allergy (sensitivity). The most accurate and effective way to identify NCGS is to use the Journal Method.

We recommend the Detection Diet Journal in the Healing Program.

Celiac Disease is one type of Gluten Allergy

Celiac Disease (CD) was the first type of Gluten allergy to be properly recognised. A special test was designed in the 1940s to observe whether tissue lining of the small intestine was damaged. It takes a tiny section of intestinal tissue and assesses it for damage.

Although Celiac testing is still used in many clinics as a first test for Gluten allergy, it only picks up the small percentage of Gluten-sensitive people – those who are Celiac. So it misses the other non-Celiac people. Consequently this latter group is poorly diagnosed and misses out on the simple and drug-free remedy of a Gluten-free diet. Luckily the Journal Method is excellent for pinpointing any type of gluten sensitivity.

What is Gluten and which foods contain it?

The Gluten Protein

Gluten is an enormous and complex protein molecule ccontained in these grains and others: Wheat, rye, barley and oats. Gluten is in all types of Wheat grain like whole grain wheat, wheat bran, spelt, triticale and others.

Therefore Gluten is also available in  everything made out of the flour of these grains: baked foods like bread, pies, cake, breakfast cereals, oatmeal (porridge), cookies, pizza and pasta. Thousands of processed foods have Gluten in them.

Comments: Gluten is one of the largest and most complex proteins consumed by man. That’s why it is difficult for the human digestive system to break down. It starts when the half-digested Gluten protein fragments (Gliadin and Glutenin) arrive in the small intestine. Thes protein fragments actually damage the gut lining.

Unfortunately that allows 'foreign' things to slip through into the bloodstream - where they can move to any part of the body. Of course that sets the body's immune system on 'high alert' - appearing as your symptoms. If left untreated it can eventually develop into diseases like arthritis.

Find out whether you have food intolerance - quickly and accurately with the Journal Method - used in the Healing Program.

How common is Gluten allergy?

Prevalence of Gluten Allergy

Around 0.5% of the world's population is Celiac. This means ~1 in 200 people.

However new evidence shows Non-Celiac Gluten Allergy (NCGS) is around 30 times more prevalent. Up to 15% of people or 1 in 7 are Gluten Sensitive and suffer the same symptoms. These are people who test negative or inconclusive for Celiac Disease. The most accurate and clinically effective way to identify NCGS is the Elimination Diet – or Journal Method.

All Gluten sensitive people improve dramatically on a Gluten-Free diet.

Comments: Gluten allergy gets diagnosed in elderly patients at a disproportionately high rate - because it is misdiagnosed and under-diagnosed by doctors. The symptoms definitely get worse with age if left untreated. The good news is - Gluten intolerant people improve dramatically on a Gluten-free diet.

To learn more – sign up for the free e-book ‘How To Tell If You have Food Intolerance’

What are the symptoms of Gluten allergy and Celiac Disease?

Symptoms of Gluten Allergy

There are dozens of symptoms of Gluten allergy and they are widely varying - and usually have a delayed onset - up to 2 or 3 days later. This is why they are traditionally difficult for doctors to diagnose. They can be:

  • Gastro-intestinal: stomach bloating & pain, diarrhea, flatulence, constipation etc.
  • Neurological: headache, memory loss, behavioural difficulties, depression
  • Immune: poor resistance to infection, mouth ulcers
  • Inflammatory disease: arthritis, colitis, thyroiditis etc.
  • Skin rashes, eczema, psoriasis, itching flaky skin
  • General: food cravings, tiredness, chronic fatigue, unwell feeling
  • Infertility, miscarriage or difficulty conceiving

To learn more – sign up for the free e-book ‘How To Tell If You have Food Intolerance’

Comments: Because the symptoms overlap with many other ailments, Gluten allergy can be missed or mistaken for other conditions. Doctors readily acknowledge that Gluten allergy is poorly diagnosed.

How do you Test For Gluten Intolerance?

Temporary treatment: Some people choose to treat the symptoms of Gluten intolerance with medications like anti-histamines, pain relief or supplements. But this gives only a few hours relief - and it means you have to keep buying and taking medications your whole life - plus keep getting their side effects.

Permanent treatment: Choose the natural no-drug solution. We believe it's much better to go to the source of the problem - and simply remove it. That is - identify your food intolerance and then substitute that food for another delicious food.

Wheat and Gluten Intolerance

A journal puts system into your exploration. It's easy. All you do is track your symptoms as you switch a few foods - using the Healing Program




What are the Types of Testing for Gluten Allergy and Celiac Disease?

Testing Methods for Gluten Allergy

All Gluten allergy is accurately identified by an Elimination Diet (Journal Method).

But many people choose  blood tests as a first resort, expecting it will be more accurate and quicker. Unfortunately most testing for Gluten allergy returns inconclusive results and can be misleading. DNA (stool) testing gives accurate results. These tests are searching for Celiac Disease only. See Video on Types of Clinical Testing

The prevalence of Celiac Disease is just a tiny fraction of Gluten allergy. Celiac Disease (CD) was the first type of Gluten allergy for which a testing procedure was devised - way back in the 1950s. That same test is still used in clinics  for Gluten allergy, but it only picks up the people who are actually Celiac.

This test misses the NCGS patients - so they are not diagnosed. The trouble is they never get to take advantage of the Gluten-Free diet - a great remedy without drugs. With the right diagnosis - and on the right diet these people could begin getting well within days.

To learn more – sign up for the free e-book ‘How To Tell If You have Food Intolerance’


Why did I get Gluten allergy?

Causes of Gluten Allergy

Gluten allergy - both NCGS and Celiac Disease - is genetically inherited. You have the genes for it. If you are Gluten intolerant, then sisters, brothers, parents and grandparents are likely to also have it, even if they don't yet have any symptoms.

Gluten allergy can be picked up in children with 'failure to thrive'. But it is not until much later in life that Gluten allergy is usually suspected, after a lifetime of illness. Alternatively it is often set off later in life by some ‘life event’ like job loss, death in the family, marriage breakdown or serious illness. One indicator can be persistently low blood iron levels.

How do you treat Gluten allergy and Celiac Disease?

Treatment for Gluten Allergy

No drugs or therapies are needed to treat Gluten allergy. The best treatment is to substitute all Gluten bearing foods in your diet for life.

This means a Gluten-free diet - the removal of all foods, drinks, supplements and pharmaceuticals that contain Gluten. Luckily - thousands of great new Gluten-free products become available every year in your supermarket - as manufacturers scramble to provide choices for consumers.

However don't change your diet without finding out for sure which food intolerance (or intolerances) you have. We recommend the Healing Program.

When will I be cured from Gluten allergy?

Here at foodintol® we don’t view Gluten allergy as a ‘disease’. Gluten allergy (the inability to fully digest gluten) is genetic – like having blue eyes or brown skin.

Would you want to 'cure' blue eyes or beautiful brown skin? Gluten allergy is not a disease - so you don't need a cure. But you do need a diet that accommodates it . . . a Gluten-Free diet. After just a few weeks on a Gluten-free diet symptoms diminish or disappear completely.

Most newly diagnosed Gluten sensitive people report feeling better than they have for years, once eating correctly.

More about the Healing Program


I think I might have food sensitivity: What should I do?

Beginning with our free e-book, we can help you establish if you are suffering from gluten or wheat allergy or if your symptoms indicate an allergy to dairy, fructose or yeast. You may even be suffering from more than one food intolerance.

The research indicates that doing nothing can be a risk. Undiagnosed food sensitivity can cause serious long-term health problems like osteoporosis, anaemia and many others.

To learn more – sign up for the free e-book ‘How To Tell If You have Food Intolerance’



Gluten sensitivity and links to Gastrointestinal, Reproductive, Neurological and other disorders

All foodintol® information is based on research from peer-reviewed medical journals