Wheat Allergy

Eating Edible knows the importance of understanding whether you suffer from a wheat allergy, a wheat intolerance. Once the condition is diagnosed you must learn to follow a wheat-free diet. That means wheat free cooking all the time. Eating wheat-free is easy with Eating Edible.

Eating Edible makes the perfect wheat free care packages for kids with allergies.  Many of our care packages for kids with allergies are packed with awesome wheat-free cookies.

Wheat allergy is an allergic reaction to foods containing wheat, and sometimes to other grains that contain the same protein. It is one of the more common food allergies in children. Wheat can be found in many foods, including breads, cakes, breakfast cereals, pasta, crackers, beer, soy sauce and condiments, such as ketchup.

A wheat allergy is not the same thing as a gluten allergy, gluten intolerance, or celiac disease. A wheat allergy generates an allergy-causing antibody to proteins found in wheat. People often become confused between a gluten or wheat allergy, a wheat or gluten intolerance, because one particular protein in wheat — gluten — causes an abnormal immune system reaction in the small intestines of people with celiac disease. Gluten is found in grains other than wheat. Gluten is found in wheat (durum, farina, graham, kamut, semolina, spelt), rye, barley, triticale (a blend of rye and barley), bran, tef, and cous cous and present in many foods.

The big question everyone asks is, “Is gluten free wheat free?”  No, gluten-free does not always mean wheat-free. Some manufacturers use wheat that has had the gluten removed to make gluten-free foods. A typical example is many gluten-free breads and rolls, and gluten free biscuits and cakes have wheat in them that has had the gluten removed.  They do this to make them more like ordinary bread or rolls. This makes it a bit of a challenge. You need to read the ingredients list on gluten-free foods carefully to make sure that you have not got one that is using wheat with the gluten removed. Exercise caution as gluten free foods are not necessarily safe for you to eat if you need to avoid wheat. Some products help by actually saying “wheat & gluten free” on the label.

Avoiding wheat is the primary treatment for wheat allergy. Medications may be necessary to manage allergic reactions to wheat.

Wheat allergy symptoms include but are definitely not limited to:

  • Swelling, itching or irritation of the mouth or throat
  • Hives, itchy rash or swelling of the skin
  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Cramps, nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anaphylaxis

They also can include neurotoxic brain dysfunction, also sometimes referred to as brain fog. This makes thought processes extremely arduous.

Repeated ingestion of wheat can cause bronchial difficulties and a bad cough. It can provoke nasal dripping that results in chest pain.

For some people, wheat allergy may cause a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. It may be necessary to carry an EpiPen.

There are four different classes of proteins in wheat that can cause allergies: albumin, globulin, gliadin and gluten. Any of them can cause an allergic reaction.

 Sources of wheat proteins
Some sources of wheat proteins are obvious, such as bread, but all wheat proteins — and gluten in particular — may be used in a number of prepared foods and sometimes in cosmetics. Foods that may include wheat proteins include:

  • Breads
  • Cakes and muffins
  • Cookies
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Pasta
  • Couscous
  • Farina
  • Semolina
  • Spelt
  • Crackers
  • Beer
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • Soy sauce
  • Condiments, such as ketchup
  • Meat products, such as hot dogs or cold cuts
  • Dairy products, such as ice cream
  • Natural flavorings
  • Gelatinized starch
  • Modified food starch
  • Vegetable gum
  • Licorice
  • Jelly beans
  • Hard candies

If you have a wheat allergy, you may also be allergic to:

  • Barley
  • Oat
  • Rye

Wheat-dependent, exercise-induced anaphylaxis
Exercising may provoke a wheat allergy reaction in some people. For some, exercise can either trigger an allergic reaction or worsen an immune system response to a wheat protein. This condition can result in life-threatening anaphylaxis.

Airborne Responses
Simply walking into a bakery or pizzeria can trigger a reaction. Many individuals who are allergic to wheat cannot be in a location where wheat allergens are airborne.

Visit the Food Allergies Resources page of our site for links to support organizations and websites that provide more information.
Also take the time to visit our Celiac Disease and Gluten Allergy Resources page.
Don’t forget to check out our Food Allergen Labeling page.