Wheat allergy symptoms: Am I allergic to wheat?

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Wheat allergy is an allergic reaction to foods containing wheat. Reactions can be triggered by eating the food or inhaling wheat flour. A wheat allergy is not the same as a gluten allergy, but they are closely linked. Am I allergic to wheat? Express.co.uk reveals the symptoms.

Myriads of gluten-free products can be bought these days because people are more aware of Coeliac disease.

Coeliac disease is a condition where your immune system attacks your own tissues when you eat gluten.

Gluten is a dietary protein that you can find in three types of cereal.

Gluten can be found in wheat, but it is also found in barley and rye.

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There is no such thing as a gluten allergy, but you can be Coeliac or have gluten intolerance.

If you have Coeliac disease then you cannot eat wheat as well as barley and rye.

However, if you just have a wheat allergy you can eat barley and rye.

It is very unlikely that you have a wheat allergy that has gone undetected for a long time.

Wheat is in so many common foods that you or your parents will have spotted a pattern due to your symptoms.

You are at increased risk if your parents had food allergies or other allergies such as asthma, but anyone can get it.

Wheat allergy is common in babies and toddlers but they tend to grow out of it by the age of 16.

Adults can still develop a wheat allergy though, often as a cross-sensitivity to grass pollen.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a child or adult with wheat allergy will show signs within minutes to hours of eating something containing wheat.

You will know if you have a wheat allergy because when you are exposed to wheat proteins such as bread, baked goods, pasta, cereals, salad dressings, soups, sauces, and roux.

If you were coeliac, you would have problems with foods containing barley such as malt, food colouring, and beer, and foods containing rye such as rye bread, rye beer, and other cereals.

The consequences of eating wheat for those allergic to it range from mild to life-threatening.

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Wheat allergy symptoms

The symptoms include:

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

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening reaction that can be caused by wheat allergy.

It causes swelling or tightening of the throat, chest pain, severe difficulty breathing, and trouble swallowing.

It can also turn your skin a pale blue colour and you may feel dizzy or faint.

The symptoms of coeliac disease are different, but diarrhoea is still the most common symptom.

People with coeliac disease will also experience abdominal pain, bloating and flatulence, indigestion, constipation, vomiting, fatigue, weight loss, rashes, and other symptoms

Am I allergic to wheat?

There are food intolerance tests on the market but they are not based on scientific evidence.

The British Dietary Association does not support these tests, and instead recommends keeping a food diary.

If you are experiencing symptoms that you think could be a wheat allergy or another food intolerance, this is the best thing to do.

Jot down what foods you eat, any symptoms you have after eating them, and how long after these symptoms happen.

You could actually just have wheat sensitivity which causes symptoms like bloating, cramps, diarrhoea and sickness hours after eating wheat.

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