Food allergies are a common problem, especially among children today. There are many different types of foods that can cause allergic symptoms, and these symptoms can range from very mild to severe, and even life-threatening in some cases. One of the top eight foods that can cause these types of allergies is wheat, which is an ingredient that is found in many of the foods that we eat today. Wheat allergies, like other food allergies, are most commonly seen in children and are often outgrown. However, some adults can develop wheat allergies as well.
The symptoms of wheat allergies can occur anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours after eating a wheat product. These signs can range from mild to severe. In more serious cases, immediate medical care may be required, since anaphylaxis (severe allergy symptoms) is a life threatening condition. Wheat allergy symptoms can include nasal congestion, airway inflammation and swelling, hives or other skin irritation, or gastrointestinal problems. More severe symptoms might also be airway constriction, rapid pulse, dizziness and shock. These are the symptoms that will require immediate medical care because they can become life threatening very quickly.
Treatment of wheat allergies will primarily include avoidance of wheat products once you have had an allergic reaction that can be attributed to wheat. Since wheat allergies can become more severe as you experience more reactions, it is important to see your doctor even if you’ve had a mild allergic reaction to wheat. Your doctor can test you to see if wheat was indeed the culprit of your allergies through a variety of methods. Once a wheat allergy is diagnosed, it will be up to you to ensure that you avoid all wheat products in the future. Fortunately, this has become easier in the United States since food manufacturers have been required to list wheat ingredients on their package labels.
If you have had a severe reaction with a wheat allergy, your doctor may advise you to carry an emergency treatment with you called an EpiPen. This is an injection that can be given if you are exposed to wheat, since it can be difficult to avoid this substance altogether. You may also wear a bracelet so that those around you will also know that you have a wheat allergy. For most wheat allergy sufferers, it is sufficient to try to avoid wheat products as much as possible, and to take an antihistamine if wheat exposure inadvertently occurs. And keep in mind that wheat allergies occur most often in children, and are often outgrown.