Wheat Allergy - Health Center

Wheat Allergy

By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST

Wheat Allergy – Basic Overview

Wheat Allergy – as is suggestive from the name is an allergic reaction which occurs to foods containing wheat. People suffering from Wheat Allergy can react even to inhaling wheat flour. Wheat is an active ingredient in many foods such as beer, soy and ketchup. Avoiding wheat is one of the primary treatment options against the allergy. Medications are needed in order to manage the allergic reactions. Often, wheat allergy is confused with Celiac Disease. However, the symptoms and conditions of both differ. A wheat allergy causes the body to generate antibodies against the proteins found in wheat. In case of Celiac Disease, gluten causes a reaction by the immune system. 

Causes of Wheat Allergy:

Exposure to the wheat proteins is one of the primary causes of Wheat Allergy. These proteins invoke a reaction from the immune system. Allergies can be developed to any of the four classes of wheat proteins – albumin, globulin, gliadin and gluten.

Certain sources of wheat, which are rich in wheat protein, are the major reasons for causing the allergy. Foods that may include wheat protein are:

  •   Breads
  •   Cakes/Muffins
  •   Cookies
  •   Cereals
  •   Pasta
  •   Semolina
  •   Vegetable Proteins
  •   Beer
  •   Soy Sauce
  •   Ketchup
  •   Dairy products like ice cream
  •   Starch
  •   Vegetable Gum

Certain people suffering from wheat allergy tend to develop the symptoms only when they exercise within a few hours of consuming the wheat. The changes induced in the body post exercise can trigger the allergic reaction. This condition can result into a life threatening problem known as anaphylaxis. 

Tests and Diagnosis of Wheat Allergy

A physical examination, an examination of the medical history and some tests are the best ways to diagnose the allergy. The following are the best diagnostic procedures for wheat allergy:

  1. Skin Tests: A little amount of purified allergen extracts is inserted into the skin of the person. After 15 minutes, the doctor looks for signs of allergic reactions. If the patient develops red and itchy bumps over the skin, he is allergic to wheat. Itchiness and redness of the skin are the best signs of a wheat allergy.
  2. Blood Test:  A Blood Test is best suited in order to screen the person for signs of specific allergy causing antibodies. These antibodies are formed in response to the common allergens, such as the wheat proteins.
  3. Food Diary: The doctor may ask the patient to maintain a detailed record of what they ate and the symptoms which appear afterwards.
  4. Elimination Diet: The doctor may recommend the patient to remove certain foodstuffs from their diet. These are the ones which are rich in the common allergens. 

Treatment and Drugs for Wheat Allergy:

Avoiding consuming wheat proteins is the best treatment option for combating Wheat Allergy. However, since wheat is an essential ingredient of different food products, it can be difficult to keep a tab over the same. The following drugs are best suited in order to combat Wheat Allergy:

Drugs:

Drugs such as Antihistamines are best suited in order to reduce the symptoms caused due to the allergy. These drugs are often taken after the exposure to the allergens in order to control the signs of discomfort.

Epinephrine is one of the best opted emergency treatments against anaphylaxis. If a patient suffers from a severe wheat allergy, it is recommended to carry along two doses of Epinephrine. 

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