Wheat Intolerance or Wheat Allergy : The Facts
It is clear that an ever increasing number of people throughout the western world now believing that their body is not able to cope with wheat and they have developed a wheat allergy or wheat intolerance.
However we know that many of these people are self diagnosing and then treating the wrong problem. If they think they have a wheat allergy they will go to large measures to self treat that wheat problem. If they believe they have a wheat intolerance they think they should research the cures for that. They could be missing out on the real problem and subsequent treatment is wrong.
I say this because wheat problems can easily be divided into three different main medical groupings each with some similarities between their symptoms but with different causes. We need to treat the real cause of your wheat intolerance problem not just your wheat related symptoms.
To help people identify the real wheat medical problem we have taken the time to to develop this helpful guide to the main health conditions involving wheat in the diet, their symptoms, methods of diagnosis and treatments.
What is a wheat allergy?
Wheat allergy problems can produce a variety of symptoms in the body such as sneezing itching, rashes, watery eyes, runny nose, coughing, hay fever, headaches, nausea, digestive problems, swollen limbs or general aches and pains. (See a fuller list of the wheat allergy symptoms in adults here.)
Allergies to food generally affect between one and two percent of the adult population with wheat allergies affecting less than one per cent. However food allergies are usually difficult to initially identify as our body can take several hours after consumption of the suspect food maybe even days before any reaction occurs. If the body does does have wheat allergy problem it will produce antibodies to fight off the problem and these antibodies can be measured in medical tests.
Unlike classic allergies, if you are allergic to wheat you will usually be allergic to more than one food. On average, sufferers react to four or five different foods. This, of course, makes it more difficult for us to even suspect that it is wheat when we may also be reacting to a food allergy to something else that we are eating.
Wheat Allergy test procedures
A wheat allergy can be diagnosed by a simple prick test procedure available at a hospital or private allergy clinic. Put simply a nurse will prick your skin with a sharp needle and then place a small amount of wheat over the prick and leave it for 15 minutes or so. If you have a confirmed wheat allergy the skin will flare up and react in a rash in that area. The whole process is completely painless and the test for wheat allergy this way is highly recommended if being carried out by a competent person.
There is another simple test that will mean waiting a little longer for the results to come back. The RAST blood test involves sending a sample of your blood and testing for the wheat allergen and the antibodies developed by the body to protect itself against any harm. If found to be be present then the test is regarded being positive for a wheat allergy. However if you have been avoiding all wheat for some weeks before the test then there will be no wheat allergen present and this test for wheat allergy could show a false negative.
Sufferers — after medical diagosis has been confirmed —are advised to eliminate wheat from their diet altogether and replace with rice, corn, millet, buckwheat or potatoes.
Because of space limitations and the need to explore the real facts about celiac diseases and wheat intolerance which are very closely related to wheat allergy issues we have created a separate page on celiac disease and wheat intolerance . It is important that you read it as well. Go there now by clicking here now.