Wheat or Gluten Allergies
Are you allergic ?
A food allergy can be a dangerous condition. If your body is allergic to wheat, your immune system perceives wheat as a threat. Your body will then send antibodies known as histamines as a means to deal with the threat. If your body is allergic to a food like wheat or gluten, a tiny amount of that substance will give an allergic reaction.
If you are having an allergic reaction to wheat or gluten you will have one or more symptoms fairly quickly. These symptoms include rash, difficulty breathing, stomach discomfort, diarrhea, fatigue and a drop in blood pressure. A person having a severe reaction to wheat or gluten may even die if he or she does not receive immediate medical assistance.
Wheat or Gluten Intolerance
Are you intolerant ?
The main difference in wheat intolerance and wheat allergies is that wheat intolerance symptoms usually come on over a period of time. Gluten intolerant people may react to either a tiny amount of gluten or it may take a large amount of gluten over time to start symptoms.
Some of the symptoms of wheat or gluten intolerance are itchy skin, stomach discomfort, diarrhea, gas, fatigue, bloating and poor absorption of food. Muscle and joint pain are sometimes a symptom of gluten intolerance as well. Some people, especially children, have failure to thrive and attention deficit disorder symptoms if they can't tolerate gluten. In the case of gluten intolerance, the intestines are not able to digest or absorb foods containing gluten. If you are gluten intolerant your body has a difficult time absorbing nutrients through the intestines and food moves very slowly through the digestive system.
Diagnosing Wheat or Gluten Allergy or Intolerance
If you suspect gluten intolerance or allergies, one of the best ways to help your doctor make a diagnosis is to keep a food journal. List everything you have eaten, even if you just had a tiny taste of a specific food. Then log the way you felt after eating. If you routinely have symptoms after foods containing wheat or gluten you know you may have a problem. But do not quit eating gluten until after consulting your physician. He or she will need to see the reaction you are having to wheat or gluten in able to make a diagnosis. No matter whether you are allergic to wheat or gluten intolerant you will need a doctor's care and advice to feel better.
Treatments of wheat allergies or gluten intolerance all require the patient to remove wheat or gluten from their diet. If you are gluten intolerant, you will also need to remove rye, barley, oats, many processed foods, beer and some supplements from your diet, as well. Gluten is hidden in many of the products we consume, so read ingredient labels carefully.