Wheat Allergy

Friday, July 18, 2014

Wheat is one of the top eight food allergens in the United States. It is sometimes confused with celiac disease but the two conditions are different. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about wheat allergy in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Wheat allergy is an allergic reaction to foods containing wheat. Allergic reactions can result from eating wheat, but also, in some cases, by inhaling wheat flour.

Wheat can be found in many foods, including some you might not suspect, such as beer, soy sauce and ketchup. Wheat allergy sometimes is confused with celiac disease, but these conditions differ. A wheat allergy generates an allergy-causing antibody to proteins found in wheat. In people with celiac disease, a particular protein in wheat gluten causes an abnormal immune system reaction.

A child or adult with wheat allergy is likely to develop symptoms within minutes to hours after eating something containing wheat. Wheat allergy symptoms include:

Swelling, itching or irritation of the mouth or throat

Hives, itchy rash or swelling of the skin

Nasal congestion

Headache

Itchy, watery eyes

Difficulty breathing

Cramps, nausea or vomiting

Diarrhea, and

Anaphylaxis

Most young children with wheat allergy outgrow it by ages 3 to 5. Avoiding wheat proteins is the best treatment for wheat allergy.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.