Monday, September 11, 2006

Celiac and Delayed Reaction Allergic Responses to Gluten

I was recently discussing (on a forum) how my personal experience with gluten intolerance involves a delayed allergic reaction once I am exposed to wheat or gluten containing foods. One helpful member (Al, at provided some great information about the two types of food allergies people commonly experience.

The following is information he provided:

Technically, Celiac Disease is considered a "delayed onset". However, some people know right away when they've been [exposed to] gluten. Everyone reacts differently.

When it comes to food allergies, there are typically two kinds:

* Type 1 (Classic, Immediate-Onset, IgE-Mediated): The reaction time occurs anywhere from seconds to up to 2 hours and typically affects the skin, airways or the digestive system. Conventional skin “scratch” tests are commonly used to detect this type of food allergy.

* Type 3 (Food Intolerance, Delayed-Onset, IgG-Mediated, IgA-Mediated):
The reaction time occurs anywhere from a couple of hours, and up to 2-3 days, after consumption of the food, and any system, tissue or organ in the body can be affected.

Celiac disease is thought to involve delayed immunoreaction and patients would not generally be expected to have an immediate and violent reaction to eating wheat whereas allergic reactions of the immediate hypersensitivity type might be both immediate and violent. It is also possible that both immediate hypersensitivity and delayed reactions might be present in the same person. There is a considerable potential then for confusion between allergy and celiac disease. It may be difficult to distinguish immediate hypersensitivity reactions or allergies from celiac disease as traditionally defined, but more research on this problem is needed.

Reactions to ingestion of gluten can be immediate, or delayed for weeks or even months.

The amazing thing about celiac disease is that no two individuals who have it seem to have the same set of symptoms or reactions. A person might have several of the symptoms listed above, a few of them, one, or none. There are even cases in which obesity turned out to be a symptom of celiac disease.

People do become more sensitive to gluten once it's been removed. Smaller amounts will set off reactions, than before (e.g., before going completely Gluten Free with your diet). Many have noticed this effect.

I found all this information to be very helpful, and I hope other do to. Thanks, Al, for providing such great links, quotes, and insight into the condition.


Anonymous said...

Very helpful. My reaction could be 20 minutes or 24 hours, it varies with the amount of gluten.

The Chatty Housewife said...

I often have an almost immediate or within 1 hour stomach ache with sharp pains and cramping. The lower abdominal pain, cramping and eventually diarrhea doesn't come till 10-20 or more hours later. It messes up my whole digestive cycle. This was a helpful post to read, thank you!

Sorry for over sharing lol.

Anonymous said...

This was very helpful..I wondered why my doctor said 6-8 hours later and mine is more like 20 hours. Recently diagnosed and learning a ton.

Sue M said...

I had a reaction to regular pizza last night. My lip started feeling numb. This feeling radiated up one side of my face towards my eye and eyebrow. Has anyone else had a similar reaction?

Discombob said...

In reply to the last post have only recently discovered an intolerance. Have been put of sorts for ages though - probably two years - with doctors apparently missing a wealth of symptoms over the period. One symptom included tingling lip then face - was debilitating on occasions. Went to a number of consultants, dental experts and even had MRI. In then end they decided it was a migraine! Reported all symptoms to doc on annual medical too who persisted down IBS route even after mentioning numb/tingling hands . Seem to have reaction exaggerated by fresh onions. In the end took a fortunate Internet search to spot the parallels and decide to try cutting out the gluten. Response has been a revelation. Have lapsed a couple of times and reaction much more pronounced. Lasts phase of bowel movement with first reaction in 20 mins to 1 hour.

The Chatty Housewife said...

Wow, I have never heard of the tingling symptom, thank you for sharing. I will have to pay more attention if and when I get cross contamination again. (I guess it's bound to happen.)

Dave said...

After three years of gluten-free living I accidentally ate a single piece of bread yesterday. Within about 2 hours I experienced violent vomiting, debilitating cramping in the stomach, diarrhea, and intense fatigue. Never had this before going gluten-free. Have others experienced this enhanced sensitivity to gluten?

Sue M said...

Oh, you poor thing! That sounds awdul. I am so sorry your reaction was so bad!

I am still able to have some gluten, here and there, and it doesn't bother. But I am avoiding it anyway as my fibromylgia is definitely better without the gluten.
Hang in there!

bakingbarb said...

Thank you for this great info. I have written a post on fast food french fries and it amazes me how many people that can't eat wheat want to eat fast food french fries. The damage occurs regardless if they can feel it or not!!!

Katie Terese said...

Delayed type hypersensitivity is type four, not type three. Poison ivy is also type four.