What is wheat allergy?
A wheat allergy develops when your body, specifically your immune system, overreacts to the wheat you have eaten. This wheat could be found in foods such as cereal, pasta and bread. Your body’s overreaction could be in the form of hives, tongue, lip or throat swelling, stomach pain or something else. Currently there is no definitive, well-supported cure for wheat allergy, although food desensitization is being researched.
How common is wheat allergy?
Wheat allergy is most common in children but anyone can develop an allergy. Typically about two-thirds of children outgrow it. Some people with wheat allergy can eat other grains.
What are the risk factors of having a wheat allergy?
The risk of having a wheat allergy is greater if both your parents have allergies. If only one parent has allergies, your risk is lower.
What are the symptoms of a wheat allergy?
Symptoms of wheat allergy vary from person to person. They range from mild to severe and even deadly. The following are potential symptoms of someone with an allergic reaction to wheat:
- Hives or skin rash
- Stomach cramps
- Stuffy or runny nose
These symptoms typically occur within 30-45 minutes of eating wheat, and each time ingestion takes place. Anaphylaxis – which can cause your body to go into shock due to low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, airway collapse or throat closing – is a life-threatening symptom of wheat allergy. During this reaction, your body releases chemicals that can lower blood pressure and narrow your airways.
What are the causes of wheat allergy?
Wheat allergy is caused when your body senses wheat as a dangerous and foreign substance and creates an immunoglobulin against it.