Celiac Disease (CD) is an autoimmune condition affecting children and adults. Until recently, Celiac Disease testing has been inaccurate and expensive. However, more information has been made available thanks to intense research and development, resulting in our Gut Health Profile.
Celiac differs from a wheat allergy, although the two are sometimes used interchangeably. When people with CD eat foods that contain gluten, it creates an immune-mediated toxic reaction that causes damage to the small intestine and does not allow food to be properly absorbed. Even small amounts of gluten in foods can affect those with CD and cause health problems. Damage can occur to the small bowel even when there are no symptoms present. Celiac disease affects about 1 in 133 people, or close to 1% of the population. However, few people - some estimates are as few as 5% of the total - know they have the condition. This is why Celiac Disease testing is vital.
Gluten sensitivity, also known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity or sometimes gluten intolerance, has been recently recognized as a stand-alone condition by the medical community. The Gut Health Profile also tests a patient's level of gluten sensitivity. Many believe that gluten sensitivity involves a different immune system reaction than celiac disease. A team of researchers, led by Dr. Alessio Fasano, hypothesizes that a person with gluten sensitivity experiences a direct reaction to gluten - i.e., your body views the protein as an invader and fights it with inflammation both inside and outside your digestive tract.
In 2009 Dr Alessio Fasano, medical director of the University of Maryland Center for Celiac was quoted in Scientific American: "Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are subsets of gluten intolerance. Anyone who has celiac disease or gluten sensitivity is, by definition, gluten intolerant."