Autism Treatment – The Difference Between Gluten Sensitivity and Celiacs

Article by Dr. Kurt Woeller

I will be discussing the differences between gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease. For many children on the Autism spectrum a gluten and casein free diet is considered the primary diet to help reduce the inflammatory proteins found in gluten. Casein is found in dairy and gluten is found in wheat. Kids on the Autism spectrum can also experience drug like effects from these foods due to peptides which are small amino acid chains that can negatively impact brain chemistry.

Gluten intolerance means there is a sensitivity in the body to the gluten protein found in wheat. But Celiac disease is a genetic disorder where the person cannot breakdown the proteins found in wheat called gluten and gliadin. The protein gliadin is a subfactor of gluten and is very inflammatory. People with Celiac disease lack the enzyme to break this down in the digestive tract. This chronic exposure to inflammatory proteins can produce autoimmunity which can then wear away the surface lining of the gut. So, not everyone who has a sensitivity to gluten has Celiac disease but everyone who has celiac disease has a sensitivity to gluten.

It can be complicated to test for gluten intolerances and Celiac disease. Food sensitivities can be identified through an IgG food sensitivity panel. You can look for reactions to gluten, gliadin and even the whole wheat complex. Testing for Celiac disease is much more in-depth. To gauge gliadin sensitivity you can perform an IgG and IgA test, or you can do an IgA immune test to assess for transglutaminase. Reticulin antibodies is something else you can look for. Other gastroenterologists prefer to also use a scope down into the intestinal system to get biopsies from difference spots in the gut. They can then asses any cellular changes and see if they are indicative of Celiac. The diagnostic testing for Celiac disease is much more in-depth than for a sensitivity to gluten. But removal of gluten from the diet is the treatment for both conditions. So now you understand better the differences between Celiac and gluten intolerance. We recommend the removal of gluten from the diet of children with Autism because we have seen positive changes not just in digestive health but also for cognition.

Don’t let ANYONE tell you there is nothing you can do to help your child. Autism really is treatable! Start your child down the road to recovery from autism. For free biomedical autism intervention information and videos from Dr. Kurt Woeller go to www.AutismRecoveryTreatment.comand interact with him directly at his membership website at

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