bệnh celiac, dị ứng lúa mì, nhạy cảm với gluten, celiac disease, wheat allergy, gluten sensitivity, cœliaque, l'allergie au blé, la sensibilité au gluten,
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Celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and wheat allergy are often confused because they are linked to wheat intolerance and have many similar symptoms.

Distinguish Celiac Disease, Gluten sensitivity and Wheat allergy

Gluten-free foods are more and more fashionable. These products are increasingly popular in stores and supermarkets and are clearly labeled to attract consumers.
But why has this trend had such a sudden increase in the number of people interested in recent years?
Have people suddenly become sensitive to gluten intolerance?
Or is it a marketing strategy?
Or is the gluten-free diet the newest and most popular diet?
And, or does self-diagnosis reveal that you have gluten intolerance that has gone viral and has become a trend?

In fact, celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and wheat allergy are often confused because they are linked to wheat intolerance and have many similar symptoms. But these are very different conditions that need to be controlled separately.


Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease, an intestinal condition caused by gluten intolerance and allergy and of course directly affects the digestive system. In case of illness, the patient’s immune system reacts to gluten and destroys the small intestinal mucosa by inducing inflammation and aplasia of the intestinal mucosa, causing various digestive disorders, reducing the likelihood of absorption of nutrients in the small intestine. As a result, the patient’s body cannot absorb the nutrients from food because the small intestine is damaged and can lead to dangerous complications if not diagnosed and treated early.

Causes of celiac disease

Celiac disease has a prevalence rate of approximately 1% of the population, equivalent in both sexes, and can be seen at any age.

It’s a genetic condition, and if someone in your family has celiac disease, about 1 in 10 other family members are likely to have it.

It can appear early in childhood and is often associated with other autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, autoimmune thyroiditis or several other conditions such as Down syndrome, selective IgA deficiency ( is a primary type of immunodeficiency disorder), Turner syndrome, Williams syndrome. And, the disease can also occur at many ages such as adolescents, adults and the elderly.

However, even if you have celiac disease, you will not experience symptoms without a causative factor such as consuming foods containing gluten like wheat, barley or oats; too nervous stress like stress; intestinal infection; Having a baby or having surgery, etc. Then the immune system attacks and damages the small intestine.

Symptoms of celiac disease

In children:

Symptoms of celiac disease in children can appear as early as around 6 months, when babies begin to get used to condensed foods containing gluten.
Children often have gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, stools with an unusual odor, and greasy, greasy stools. Children can be underdeveloped, gain poor weight, be irritable, fussy, and play less. Heavier than children, the signs of malnutrition are manifested by a large belly, narrowed thigh muscles and flat buttocks, etc., in folklore, we have the saying “big belly, panting ass”.

In adults:

Fewer gastrointestinal events are less common, most often in poor health, including fatigue, bone or joint pain, irritability, anxiety, and depression, in women who may lose their menstrual cycle.
It causes malabsorption of nutrients, minerals and vitamins. Here are some of the specific and specific signs that are common in people with celiac disease:

  • Weight loss and stunted growth, fatigue or lack of energy due to poor absorption of carbohydrates and fats
  • Anemia due to poor absorption of substances involved in the production process of erythrocytes such as iron, folic acid, vitamin B12.
  • Osteoporosis and easy fracture due to malabsorption of Ca and vitamin D
  • Selenium deficiency due to malabsorption of selenium in food. It is a mineral essential for bodily functions such as DNA synthesis, reproduction, immunity, endocrine system, metabolism and circulatory system, etc.
  • Abnormal bleeding due to a lack of vitamin K, poor absorption of vitamin K
  • Lactose intolerance reduces the digestibility of dairy products as I said in the previous lecture. This symptom is quite common in celiac disease patients of any age.
  • Herpetic dermatitis (blistering phenomenon) and ulcers of the oral mucosa are also common signs in people with celiac disease.

Complications of celiac disease

About 20% of people with celiac disease have no symptoms. However, even without symptoms, if left untreated, the patient may still suffer from long term health consequences, such as iron deficiency anemia, weakness, weak bones. and, bowel cancer, etc.
Therefore, it is necessary to carry out medical tests to detect celiac disease and to take prompt treatment measures.

Treatment of celiac disease:

However, as mentioned above, celiac disease without long-term treatment can lead to dangerous complications.
However, the treatment for the condition usually involves a change in the diet. If you have celiac disease, you can control it completely by following a gluten-free diet, which means you don’t eat any foods that contain gluten.
By following the right diet, even the damage caused by celiac disease can be restored and enhanced. What is important to do is that you need to be diagnosed early through a medical examination and diagnostic tests to get treatment as soon as possible.

Simply put, I just told you about a condition called celiac, also known as gluten intolerance, which is a serious but treatable autoimmune disease.
Now we will talk about another type of pathology, although there are many similar signs and symptoms, but the nature of the disease is completely different from celiac disease, which is called “gluten sensitivity”.


Gluten sensitivity is also known as wheat intolerance syndrome.
Please note that gluten sensitivity is not a food allergy that I will discuss below, and it is not celiac disease above (i.e. no celiac positive result).
A person who is sensitive to gluten will experience symptoms similar to celiac disease if they eat foods that contain gluten and will improve if they stop eating those foods.
Additionally, in addition to symptoms similar to celiac disease, some studies have shown that gluten sensitivity can also cause mild damage to the small intestine, just like celiac disease. But unlike celiac disease, gluten sensitivity doesn’t seem to be hereditary. Some children sensitive to gluten can also be diagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – a functional digestive disorder characterized by symptoms of colic and changes in walking habits.

According to Agriculture and Agricultural Products Canada, while the number of patients with celiac disease in this country is only 1% of the population, the number of people sensitive to gluten is up to 6% (or more than 2 million people).

Typical symptoms of gluten sensitivity:

Here are some common signs that you might be gluten sensitive after eating foods containing gluten:

  • Abdominal pain, gas.
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Tired
  • Headache
  • Arthritis and swelling
  • Discomfort, anxiety or depression, etc.

And, we just talked about two similar forms of pathology regarding signs and symptoms, but different in the nature of the disease, which is celiac disease and glucose sensitivity.
Both types of pathology have similar and different specific disease examination, prevention and treatment requirements as mentioned above. And, there is one very important thing in common is that it cannot cause life-threatening situations requiring immediate emergency medical emergency like the following type of condition called “Wheat Allergies”


A wheat allergy is a food allergy that involves another part of the immune system. If you have a wheat allergy, your immune system has identified wheat proteins as irritants and immediately produces antibodies against those wheat proteins. Therefore, whenever you eat or inhale substances that contain wheat, after a few minutes or hours you will have an allergic reaction, causing the body to secrete a special substance called histamine, which causes an allergic reaction. variety of bodily disorders with symptoms ranging from runny nose and watery eyes to rash, redness, edema, difficulty breathing, itching, cough, nausea … which is more serious than causing anaphylactic shock and can quickly lead to the dead.

It should be noted here that some people with wheat allergies will only experience symptoms if they have exercised within a few hours of consuming wheat. Why this? Exercise may have triggered an allergic response or worsened the immune system’s response to wheat proteins. This condition is rare, but when it does occur it often leads to a very big consequence, anaphylaxis, with the following typical symptoms:

  • swelling or spasm of the throat;
  • chest pain;
  • Severe shortness of breath;
  • Difficulty swallowing;
  • Pale skin;
  • dizziness or fainting.
    Again say, a wheat allergy can lead to life-threatening anaphylaxis, requiring immediate emergency care and medical attention.

Conversely, if you are lucky enough not to have a wheat allergy to the aforementioned level of anaphylaxis, in children and adults, within minutes to hours after eating foods containing wheat, an allergy to wheat These can often cause typical food allergy symptoms such as:

  • hives, rash, red, itchy rash
  • Swelling or itching of the lips, mouth and throat
  • Nasal congestion, difficulty breathing and wheezing
  • Nausea Vomiting
  • And, diarrhea etc …

Factors associated with an increased risk of wheat allergy:

  • Family history: you are at risk of allergy to wheat or wheat gluten if your parents also suffer from this disease.
  • Age: Between the ages of birth to adulthood, infants and young children with an immature immune and digestive system, if they are allergic to wheat, there are often consequences. In addition, at this age, children are often not aware of food and drink, and at the same time are not able to understand and tell others what has been helped. It can be said that the safety of these children depends entirely on the care of adults.
    In adolescence, the degree of allergy to wheat decreases significantly. But it happens more often in some older people. This is probably related to a weakened immune system, although the level of allergies in older people is usually not as severe as in babies and toddlers.

Causes of a wheat allergy:

In people with allergies to wheat, exposure to one of the four proteins found in wheat, in addition to gluten, includes three others, albumin, globulin and gliadin, which stimulate the immune system to induce a allergic reaction.

However, some foods containing wheat are easy to spot, such as bread. Still, all of the aforementioned wheat proteins, especially gluten, can be found in a variety of very subtle processed products, such as cosmetics, bath soaps, and children’s clay.

In fact, dietary sources of wheat protein include:

  • Bread and breadcrumbs
  • Cake and muffins
  • Biscuits
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Pasta pasta
  • Rice flour, semolina, brown flour
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • Soy sauce (soy sauce)
  • Meat products (sausage or ham, …)
  • Dairy products (ice cream, …)
  • Natural aromatherapy
  • Jelly or gelatin powder
  • Modified starch, or a derivative of starch, can be prepared by natural physical, enzymatic or chemical methods to modify the properties of starch such as viscosity, substitution, adhesion, gel temperature, chemicals, etc. to meet the different requirements of food production technology.
  • Gum.
  • Then, wheat, barley, rye, rye, etc.
  • And, if you are not only allergic to wheat, but also allergic to other grains, you will have to follow an even stricter diet – absolutely gluten-free.

Prevention and treatment of wheat allergies:

The first and best thing to do is to avoid wheat protein. Since wheat protein is found in a wide variety of processed foods, it is important that patients read labels carefully before purchasing, even if they have been used safely in the past. Make sure you don’t contain wheat protein, especially gluten.

  • Tell others involved if you or the child or you have a wheat allergy to take steps to prevent, recognize and treat the allergic reaction.
  • Be careful when taking your meals. You should inform the restaurant staff of the severity of an allergy you experience if you eat wheat, including the potential source of wheat protein that is found in sauces, fried dishes, or cooked with others. ingredients containing wheat.
    In fact, avoiding exposure to wheat proteins is not entirely straightforward, as wheat proteins can be found in a variety of seemingly unrelated and unrecognizable foods, such as water, soy sauce, cream and sausage. Therefore, patients with allergies to wheat should always be careful in their daily diet.
  • Wearing a medical identity bracelet is also a particularly significant solution. On the bracelet, clearly indicate an allergy and seek urgent treatment if you have anaphylaxis and are unable to communicate.
    Your doctor may prescribe and instruct you to use certain medications such as antihistamines which may reduce the signs and symptoms of a mild wheat allergy.
    More serious than emergency medical intervention for anaphylaxis, you can talk to your doctor to be asked to carry an emergency injection pen such as an epinephrine (EpiPen, Adrenaclick) for it. prophylaxis when needed.
  • Finally, I would like to tell you the good news for people with food allergies in general, scientists are also currently researching immunotherapy to treat food allergies. As a result, the patient will first be exposed to a small amount of the allergen and then increase the exposure over time. This should allow the body to get used to it and gradually lose its sensitivity to the allergen, so that no less common and milder symptoms or symptoms appear.

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Docteur en Physiopathologie
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