September 20, 2023

Wheat Allergy: Not the same thing as celiac disease

by admin in Food Allergies0 Comments

Proteins in wheat can cause an allergic reaction.

When someone has a food allergy to wheat, his or her body mistakenly thinks that it is being attacked. The body responds by causing itching and irritation in the throat.

Other symptoms can occur after eating this food, including a rash, hives and skin swelling. It is also possible to have breathing problems, nausea and watery eyes after eating or being around wheat. Other symptoms include cramps, vomiting, diarrhea and anaphylaxis, which involves swelling in the throat and other symptoms that require immediate medical treatment.

Wheat allergy vs. celiac disease

An allergist can test you or your child if you suspect that you have a wheat allergy. This condition is different from celiac disease, according to the Mayo Clinic. A true wheat allergy results when the body forms antibodies to the protein found in wheat. On the other hand, celiac disease is an immune system reaction that occurs in the small intestine. Allergies cause symptoms such as rashes, hives, trouble breathing and itchy throat. These reactions do not occur in celiac disease.

Four proteins in wheat can cause allergic reactions

Wheat is found in a wide variety of foods: bread, cake, muffins, cookies, pasta, cereal, baked goods and many others. It is also present in some foods as a hidden ingredient, such as ketchup, in other condiments, including soy sauce, and in various lunch meats and hot dogs.

There are four different proteins, including albumin globulin, gliadin and gluten, which are found in wheat. Any of these can cause allergy symptoms to a person who has a wheat allergy. When you see your allergist for allergy testing, you will be tested for all four proteins in wheat.

Skin and blood tests can determine wheat allergy

When you see your allergist to be tested for a wheat allergy, you will probably also be tested for allergies to barley, rye and oat because these grains are closely related to wheat. You may be given a skin test in which very small drops of allergen extracts are placed under the skin. After 15 minutes, your doctor or nurse will look for allergic reactions that you might have. A small red bump similar to a hive will develop to indicate an allergy.

At times, a patient is not able to have a skin test because the person’s allergies are severe. Skipping doses of antihistamine medication could be dangerous for this patient. In this case, it is possible to see if the person has antibodies to wheat proteins in his or her blood through a blood test. A small amount of blood is extracted from the person’s arm and tested. The results may take a few days, whereas a skin test immediately tells whether or not you have a wheat allergy.

Mild allergies can be identified with an elimination diet

Sometimes doctors recommend that you try an elimination diet. This should be done under the direction of your doctor or nutritionist. By eliminating wheat from your diet, you will be able to tell whether or not your allergic symptoms go away when you avoid this food. It is important to start babies and toddlers on one food at a time in case the child has a wheat allergy or other type of food allergy. Doing this makes it easier to identify which food is causing an allergic reaction.

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