There has been alot of confusion about these two terms. They have been used interchangeably and incorrectly. I have found that more recently, medical professions and various health-oriented groups are realizing this error in diagnosis and are re-categorizing people, moving many of them from gluten-intolerant to starch-intolerant status.
In my nutritional counseling work, I found that most people ARE starch-intolerant for the reasons stated above, the low production of pancreatic enzymes and the defense mechanisms of the grains themselves. Starch-intolerant bodies can handle sprouted grains and sprouted flour products. They find that these foods do not create heartburn, gas, bloating, constipation and other body problems the way that these same unsprouted grains will. Even problems like celiacs diseases have a lot of misconceptions around them. Case in point, here is a story from a sprouted flour user: "When my son was a year old, he was diagnosed with celiac disease. He was falling off the growth charts …and had horrific eczema…a skin condition, dermatitis herpitiformis, that accompanies celiac disease. ALL the gluten-free food protocols failed…my son continued to waste and have skin as hard as asphalt…. he either threw up or his skin became tight, rougher and untouchable...it would even crack and bleed. I suspected starchy grains prominent in most gluten-free foods. I was on a mad hunt to find starch-free easy-to-digest foods when I came across Summers Sprouted Flour. Immediately I bought 10# and began to make foods for my ailing, thin son. Within a month of changing this one food in his diet, I am happy to report my son is a healthy child who maintains a handsome weight for his tall frame. All vomiting episodes stopped and his skin is as soft as butter. I am 100% convinced that the Summers Sprouted Flour helped him to turn the corner from what was really a major sensitivity to the STARCH in grains and not the GLUTEN!" (Tonya C. Johnson, Mother of a Celiac Child, Chicago, IL., Founder of Vision's Sown, An Ancient Vegan Baking Co. that uses Summers Sprouted Flour in all products.)
True gluten-intolerance is a whole other ball of wax. Gluten is a protein molecule that is relatively easy for most people to digest....but in bodies that cannot digest it, it can create serious health problems from allergic to immune reactions. And trace amounts of gluten exist in many other plants besides grains!
A gluten-intolerant client I worked with for five years (who can now eat sprouted grains with no negative reactions) would have violent reactions to simple things like alfalfa tea! She couldn't tolerant any regular vitamin and mineral supplements as well as food supplements like barley grass, bee pollen, or herbs. Even small doses of these could send her to bed for weeks with flu-like symptoms.
Most truly gluten-intolerant people are relatively limited in the food choices that work in their bodies. They frequently have health issues that are confusing and hard to nail down. Their immune systems are compromised and they get every cold or flu that crosses their paths.