What Is A Wheat Allergy?

By Stefani Padilla

Among the most common food allergies are wheat and gluten. But exactly what is a food allergy? Is it similiar to food intolerance? Allergies occur when your immune system marks an ingredient in something you eat as adverse, then it prepares to defend itself against the opponent (the food).

Allergy symptoms develop when the body’s immune system releases antibodies to fight the “harmful” material. Food intolerance is the response of your digestive functions to an irritating food, not a reaction of the immune system.

When the digestive system can’t adequately breakdown the food, it can create an negative response. Often times continued exposure to foods can create an allergic reaction. Wheat allergy reactions may consist of rashes on the skin or hives, upset stomach, stomach discomfort, loose stools, itchy patches on skin, eczema, joint and muscle aches and pains and in serious reactions might cause trouble breathing, pain in the chest, swelling of the air passages, and anaphylaxis.

Symptoms of wheat intolerance may include stomach pain, upset stomach, cramping, swelling, gas, vomiting, heartburn, diarrhea, headaches, irritability, and an unexplained runny nose or itchy eyes.

Signs of gluten allergy include upper repository tract troubles, fatigue and CFS, sores in the mouth, low iron in the blood, osteoporosis, loss of weight, smal stature in children, diarrhea, constipation, bloating and other digestive tract troubles, depression, Autism and attention disorders, dermatological problems, and irritability.

Signs of gluten intolerance may consist of weight loss or weight gain, vitamin deficiencies, bloating, pain, gas, constipation, diarrhea, aching joints, unexplained sadness, eczema, headaches, fatigue, irritability and changes in behavior, cramps, tingling and numbness, and slow growth in babies and children.

Beyond the severity of symptoms, the differences between allergies and intolerances are that an allergy can be triggered even when a small measure of the offending item is eaten. On the other hand, food intolerance is generally related to the amount of food ingested. A minute amount might not cause any issue, but eating a large portion, or ingesting the substance regularly may create symptoms.

What about Celiac Disease? Celiac disease is like gluten intolerance, but the result is more severe. In celiac disease, the inner lining of the small intestine has an allergic response to the gluten that occurs in wheat and other grains such as rye.

This reaction causes the small intestine to become inflamed and decreases absorption of the minerals that flow through the small intestine from food. One of the main symptoms of Celiac Disease is gastrointestinal problems that include bloating, gas, cramps, diarrhea and fatty stools.

Eventual signs of malnourishment will appear as a result of nutrients not being adequately absorbed into the small intestine. Many those with Celiac Disease can handle minute meaures of gluten, but others may have serious reactions within several minutes of ingesting an offending food.

Remedies for wheat and gluten allergy or intolerance and Celiac Disease all necessitate eliminating wheat and gluten from the foods. Elimination of wheat, rye, barley and oats is key. items that contain these foods must also be removed. eliminate processed foods and beer, and be careful with vitamins and supplements that can contain gluten as well.

Ms. Padilla is a happily married mom of 4 and a healthy eating advocate. For more information on a great gluten free diet, the Paleo Diet, please visit her website here.

What Is A Wheat Allergy?