Wheat allergy, celiac disease or wheat intolerance?

Posted at 4:12 pm on 01/21/2015 by Powlin V. Manuel MD, MBA, MS.
In our office many patients come with complaints of diarrhea and abdominal discomfort relieved often by avoiding wheat. The question is if it is due to wheat allergy or chronic disorders such as celiac disease. Tests for celiac disease (such as such as serum antitransglutaminase and anti-endomysium IgA abtibody) are often negative in these patients. Tests for wheat allergy by skin tests as well as RAST test in serum for wheat allergy are also often negative. This would be considered wheat intolerance, a vague term used in the absence of wheat allergy and celiac disease.  Carroccio et al (2012) found that there are some patients who get better when they avoid wheat even though both allergy tests and tests for celiac disease are negative and the author suggests that some type of wheat sensitivity is present in these patients and they get better by eliminating wheat from their diet.

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