Wheat allergy or wheat intolerance?
Let's start with a question. Why are you visiting this site?
Our guess is because you are feeling unwell most (or all) of the time, and you think there may be a link between this and what you eat.
So you've now taken the first step and tried to find out some information about food allergies and intolerances, and in the 21st Century the Internet is one of the best resources available to start your research.
Another question. What are your symptoms?
- Bloated stomach?
- Diarrhea (aka diarrhoea)?
- Skin rash?
Just a few of the symptoms that you might suspect are caused by a food allergy or intolerance, and in your case possibly wheat.
Below is a list of the wide range of symptoms that are associated with wheat allergy or intolerance. Not everyone suffers from them, and certainly not all of them at the same time.
Symptoms of a wheat allergy or wheat intolerance (not exhaustive by any means):
- Bloated stomach
- Chest pains
- Depression or mood swings
- Feeling dizzy or faint
- Joint and muscle aches and pains
- Nausea or vomiting
- Skin rashes
- Suspected irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)/similar effects
- Swollen throat or tongue
- Tiredness and lethargy
- Unexplained cough
- Unexplained runny nose
- Watery or itchy eyes
Important note: These symptoms can also be indicative of many other medical conditions, and therefore professional medical advice should always be sought when trying to determine a cause.
So another question. How many of the symptoms listed above do you suffer from?
One, three or four, more?
Wheat is a major diet constituent for much of the world. It is an ingredient for a wide range of foods. Using wheat in food manufacture has advantages that make its continued mass growth vital to manufacturers. It's a cheap bulking agent that often takes the place of better quality ingredients in a product.
So if wheat is considered one of the most wholesome, nutritious foods, then why is wheat one of the most common foods that people become allergic to? Wheat is now listed in the top 8 food allergens along with peanuts, tree nuts, milk, fish, shellfish, eggs and soy.
Most people eat wheat so often their bodies adapt and cope and so they experience mild forms of the symptoms (known as wheat intolerance) without ever really being aware of where the problem lies. Withdrawing wheat from the diet and therefore ridding the body of wheat can lead to immense improvements in health and wellbeing.
But, and it's a big but, once wheat is eliminated from the diet it can very rarely be reintroduced. A wheat intolerance may, after a substantial wheat free period, allow a very minor reintroduction of wheat into the diet. A genuine wheat allergy has no route back to eating wheat.
We've asked several questions. The next step we suggest is that you talk to your doctor to help you arrive at the answers.
A word of caution however, do not follow the temptation to send off hair or blood prick samples to paid for food allergy diagnosis services. None of these are acceptable for genuine food allergy diagnosis, you MUST speak to your doctor or pediatrician who will refer you to a food allergy specialist or dietician at your local hospital.
Following a wheat free diet if you have a genuine wheat allergy is a tough health choice to make. It's not a decision that should be made lightly and something that you should never embark on alone without guidance.
This page is not to be taken as medical advice:
No information on this page or website should be taken as medical advice. Before starting any food exclusion diet you MUST consult your General Practitioner and/or Pediatrician together with a registered Dietician.
We also have a celiac disease information page.