Wheat Allergy Versus Wheat Intolerance
Many food allergies are confused with a food intolerance. A wheat allergy typically is confused with a wheat intolerance and if you dig even further can be confused with a gluten allergy as well as celiac disease. How you manage your reactions or intolerance can be very different so it is very important to know the difference between a wheat allergy and a wheat intolerance.
Millions of people suffer from allergies caused by a variety of sources both internal and external. External allergies are usually caused by airborne allergens like pollen or dust or environment factors like chemicals. Food allergies are usually the culprit when it comes to the internal reactions. They can be caused by certain foods that we eat, like seafood, peanuts or eggs. Wheat allergies fall into this category and is known to cause many uncomfortable reactions for the person involved.
A wheat allergy can be particularly hard to manage because wheat is found in so many different places. There are products that contain wheat like flour. There are ingredients like gluten that contain wheat and then there are the variety of foods like pasta and breads that contain wheat. We have broken it down this way because in order to manage your allergy you have to be aware of all the different ways you can come across "wheat".
How do You Differentiate Between a Wheat Allergy and a Wheat Intolerance
A wheat allergy and a wheat intolerance are two very different problems. True allergies involve the immune system whereas an intolerance does not cause a reaction from the immune system. A wheat allergy is an auto-immune response that can cause a variety of symptoms. The signs and symptoms of wheat allergy include:
*other breathing problems
Depending on the person it can cause anaphylaxis which can be fatal. True food allergies are rare and a wheat allergy is not an exception to that. A true allergic reaction to wheat is present in less that one half percent of the population.
Wheat intolerance is more typical and involves a person reacting to the gluten ingredient found in many wheat products. The gluten is a complex protein used so that the wheat will stick together and will rise when baked. Gluten can be found in other grains like rye and barley. It can also be found in oats that may be contaminated in the production process of the other grains. This intolerance continues to grow and can affect upwards of 14% of the population.
A wheat allergy produced sudden reactions while a wheat intolerance does not. The symptoms of wheat intolerance may seem less obvious and many people confuse it with something else or dismiss them as a normal part of life. The symptoms of a wheat intolerance include:
*low blood iron
One may dismiss a food intolerance as "That food just doesn't agree with me" but you should consider that there are serious health risks associated with both a wheat allergy and a wheat intolerance. These risks can be long term causing or contributing to conditions such as:
Whether you have a wheat allergy or a wheat intolerance the best treatment is an elimination diet. There may be a specific wheat allergy diet that your allergist or nutritionist may recommend. These diets may be difficult to maintain but they are a must if you want to live as healthy as possible as well as avoid the serious health conditions that can be caused by this problem.