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Wheat Allergy Causes and Symptoms

Like most allergies, a wheat allergy is terrible because of the prolific nature of wheat in our society. You can find it in a myriad of products, and to get similar products without it is quite a task. What are the symptoms and causes of wheat allergy? I will explain them all very shortly.

Wheat allergy is among the more common allergy for kids, and though some can grow out of this allergy (usually by 3 or 5), there are a fair amount who have it for life. You can usually grasp the situation of their allergy rather easily, as symptoms will appear soon after eating any wheat products. It can also onset in adult times, but it is more likely for people to have it as children.

Your doctor may confuse it for celiac, which has very similar symptoms but comes from a different source. Celiac is based off the gluten in wheats and breads, and is more a sensitivity than a allergy, but nonetheless the symptoms appear very similar. A true wheat allergy though is caused by certain proteins in the wheat. The body has falsely recognized them as dangerous, and thereby releases histamines to destroy the protein.

These histamines are what cause irritation, runny nose, coughing, cold like symptoms, and for the worst sufferers anaphylaxis shock (constricting of throat, passing out, chest pains, problems breathing, pale skin, and dizziness are associated with anaphylaxis).

Often to stop them, an antihistamine can be very effective, as it would block the histamines from attempting to attack this false intruder. However, in the worst case, anaphylaxis scenario, you should have a doctor prescribe you an Epi Pen. This “pen” will administer a shot of epinephrine (a type of adrenaline) to wake you from an unconscious state. Unfortunately, at this point these are the only sure fire “cures” to help alleviate wheat allergy symptoms.

You already know that breads products should be watched out for. But you should also watch out for other grains. Barley, for instance, has similar proteins to wheat and thereby can cause the same symptoms. Perhaps not at first, but repeated exposure will make the body more vulnerable to this possibility. Oats and rye are not excluded either.

Other products to what out for are: cakes/muffins, beer, cereals, pastas, couscous, soy sauce, condiments, meat substitutes, some ice creams, natural flavoring, and food starch. All of these are possible triggers to your allergy (some obviously more than others). Always make sure to read the ingredients label before purchasing, and if the ingredients lists natural flavors, research until you find out what the flavors originate from. This information can usually be found online with a little bit of work, so it shouldn’t be a difficult task.

Now, there is also a variety of wheat allergy that does not come from purely ingesting wheat, but from inhaling the flour. Known commonly as “baker’s asthma,” the version of the allergy primarily deals with constriction of breathing and comes from the flour. While less common, you should try to keep your kids away from flour just in case.

All it takes is a little patience to find comparable foods, and a keen eye to read the ingredients label to ensure you or your child will not get sick from wheat. While most foods will state allergens near the end, read the entire label just to make sure, as they may try to hide it.

Information about wheat allergies found at: http://mayoclinic.com/health/wheat-allergy/DS01002