Eliminating wheat from your daily diet is the best way to get rid of wheat allergy. But as there are many products which consist wheat, it is difficult to avoid it completely. Read this article to find out effective ways to treat wheat allergy.
Wheat allergy is one of the most common allergies in the United States. It is caused due to the abnormal immune system reaction in which the body starts reacting against one or more proteins present in wheat. This results in the production of antibodies to destroy such proteins, which in turn will result in some allergic reactions. It is quite common and is usually observed in children. Gluten allergy is one of the most common part of wheat allergy as it is caused due to two protein groups: prolamins and glutelins. The symptoms may be seen within 5 to 6 hours of the intake of any wheat product or just by coming in contact with wheat or wheat products.
The most effective wheat allergy treatment is to eliminate the intake of wheat completely from the daily diet. But as it is one of the main constituents of many food products, it becomes difficult to eliminate it completely. Hence treatment is required. But before starting with the treatment the person needs to undergo some tests which will confirm that the allergic reaction are due to the intake of wheat. Following are some of the allergy tests.
- The first test to be conducted is the skin test. In this test a small drop of wheat extract is dropped on the person’s skin to check the allergic reaction. The drop is left for 15 minutes and if the person is allergic to wheat, he will develop a red itchy bump on the skin. This will confirm the wheat allergy.
- If the allergic reaction is not detected or may not be conducted on the skin due to some reasons, then a blood test is done to confirm the allergy. The blood test finds out the antibodies which were produced against the wheat protein. Detection of antibodies will confirm a wheat allergy.
- The last option to detect the presence of allergy is the food challenge test. In this test, the person is given a capsule which contains the wheat extract which can cause allergic reactions. Then the person is kept under observation for few hours to monitor the symptoms.
If any of the above given tests come positive, then you need to take proper treatment to overcome this allergy. Antihistamines are usually prescribed to overcome the signs and symptoms. It may be taken as soon as the allergic reaction is noticed. Apart from this, epinephrine drugs are given in case of anaphylaxis. This drug is used for emergencies and it is recommended that if the person has a serious wheat allergy, he/she should carry injections of these drugs to avoid life-threatening conditions.
If the person is unable to get relief from the drugs mentioned above then he or she should consult a doctor immediately as it may turn out to be very dangerous. Take the drugs only after consulting a doctor. To get totally rid of this allergy you need to avoid wheat products as much as you can. Concentrate on the wheat allergy diet and read the labels carefully when buying any food products. Keep you near and dear ones informed about the wheat allergy and try to take proper precautions.
Causes and Symptoms
Wheat allergy is caused due to the abnormal reaction of the immune system towards the proteins present in the wheat. Prolamin, glutelin, albumin and globulin are the four proteins which may be responsible for the allergic reactions. The reaction may be observed either due to the intake of wheat or by just coming in contact with the wheat. The most widely identified symptoms of these allergic reactions are asthma, eczema and anaphylaxis. Apart from these, following are some of the other wheat allergy symptoms in adults as well as in children.
- Hives and flaky skin
- Itchy skin rash
- Itchy and watery eyes
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Weight loss, lethargy and loss of appetite
- Mouth ulcers
- Tightness in chest and throat
- Difficulty in breathing
- Swelling, itching and irritation in the throat and mouth
- Congestion in the nose
- Nausea and vomiting
If neglected, wheat allergic reactions may even lead to death. Hence take extra care. As this allergy is more common in children than in adults, the parents need to be more cautious. Make your child aware about the problem and its solutions.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.