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What about wheat allergies?

December 2012 | 3 min read

8_wheat_allergy


As is the case with non-celiac gluten sensitivity/intolerance, wheat allergy is not yet fully understood by researchers, but is also recognized as a distinct clinical condition.

Symptoms

Similar to gluten sensitivity/intolerance, wheat allergies generally present as one of two forms: symptoms with characteristics of celiac disease and the other with symptoms of a food allergy. Some of the common symptoms of a wheat allergy are:

  • Swelling, itching or irritation of the mouth or throat
  • Hives, itchy rash or swelling of the skin
  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Cramps, nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anaphylaxis

Diagnosis

A physician may use a combination of tests to diagnose a wheat allergy, including:

  • Skin test
  • Blood test
  • Food diary tracking
  • Elimination diet
  • Food challenge testing

Treatment

Research has suggested people with a wheat allergy may benefit from a gluten-free diet. However, there is much disagreement among experts about whether patients are suffering symptoms due to gluten or other components of wheat, like fructans. In some cases, antihistamines may relieve the symptoms of a wheat allergy. Evidence also has shown following a gluten-free diet is an acceptable and potentially beneficial treatment for a wheat allergy.

Sources:

American Journal Gastroenterology, December 2012 | Mayo Clinic

Packaged Facts. Gluten-Free Foods and Beverages in the U.S., 4th Edition. October 2012

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