Making Decisions About Home Care

All About Wheat Allergy

by Mae Ferguson

What Exactly is Wheat Allergy?

Any type of food allergy is caused by an abnormal reaction to a typically harmless food substance. In the majority of cases, these reactions are triggered by proteins which that body has misinterpreted as a threat. With wheat allergy, the reaction is triggered by four main forms of protein: 

  • Globulins 

  • Albumins  

  • Glutenins  

  • Giladins 

When the body encounters one or more of these proteins, the immune system produces substances known as immunoglobulin E anitobodies (IgEs). When wheat is consumed or handled, these antibodies trigger an allergic reaction in the body which shows itself on the surface as symptoms.  

What are the Symptoms?

The symptoms of wheat allergy are very similar to those of other food allergies. In most cases, the symptoms will appear soon after consumption; however, the specific period of time varies between sufferers. With that said, the symptoms themselves are relatively common and include: 

  • Sudden development of a rash or hives.  

  • Feeling of tingling or itchiness all over the body.  

  • Tingling of the tongue or mouth.  

  • Redness of the face and/or swelling.  

The above symptoms are fairly standard and do not indicate a serious reaction to the proteins. However, severe reactions do occur in sufferers who are particularly vulnerable to one particular strand of protein. With these reactions, the following additional symptoms may occur:  

  • Sharpness or difficulty in breathing.  

  • Severe stomach cramps and vomiting.  

  • Swelling of the tongue making it difficult to swallow.  

  • Anaphylactic shock.  

The above symptoms are much more severe and require immediate medical attention. While rare, these symptoms can lead to major complications if allowed to develop. As such, it is important that you contact a medical professional immediately if you suspect any of the above symptoms. 

How Can Wheat Allergy Be Diagnosed?

If you have only suffered from minor symptoms, you should contact your family doctor as a first port-of-call. Your doctor will be able to analyze the extent of your allergy and make a recommendation as to whether or not you need to see visit an allergy clinic.  

If your doctor has recommended you to an allergy clinic, they will forward on your medical history to the specialist. This allows them to make an assessment of your current condition, which will help them to determine the full extent of your allergy and plan a suitable care package to manage your allergy. Whilst the allergy itself won't be treated, your doctor will be able to put a plan in place to reduce the symptoms and allow you live a stress-free life! For more information, contact establishments like Premier Surgical Associates.