If you suffer from digestive problems when you eat products that contain wheat, you are not alone. A growing number of individuals are allergic to wheat and experience bloating, constipation, flatulence, reflux, upset stomachs, and other digestive problems after consuming wheat.
Additional wheat allergy symptoms may include:
- Skin rashes including hives or eczema
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Swollen tongue, lips, eyes, or face
- Red, watery, itchy eyes
- Severe systemic reaction (anaphylaxis)
Anaphylaxis is a severe reaction to the consumption of wheat. It is important to seek medical attention immediately if you believe that you are suffering from anaphylaxis. There are some individuals who experience anaphylaxis after they consume wheat products and perform exercise.
What Causes Wheat Allergies?
A healthy immune system will produce antibodies on a regular basis in order to safeguard against viruses, bacteria, and other harmful substances. If you are allergic to wheat, your immune system mistakenly identifies the protein in wheat as a toxic substance. Your body will then produce antibodies to fight off this “toxic substance” resulting in a wide variety of symptoms. The four classes of proteins found in wheat that can cause an allergic reaction are gluten, globulin, gliadin, and albumin.
Beginning a Wheat-Free Diet
By taking a proactive approach to your health you will be able to avoid wheat allergy symptoms while still enjoying a great variety of foods. Learning how to eat a wheat-free diet takes time but will eventually become second nature. Consider carrying along a wheat-free ingredient list in your wallet or purse wherever you go. This will ensure that you know what items are safe to purchase at the grocery store and when dining out.
Since so many people suffer from wheat allergies these days, you will find that more and more food establishments and grocery stores now carry products and menu items that are labeled “wheat free” or “gluten free.” While you may not have to suffer from intolerance to the full gamut of gluten products, choosing gluten-free items and meals will guarantee that you are not being exposed to wheat. Gluten-free food items never contain wheat. That said, gluten-free diets are more limiting than wheat-free diets. If you suffer from gluten intolerance, it is important to seek advice on gluten-free diets.
Experiment with New Foods
Many wheat-intolerant individuals discover an extensive array of new ingredients and recipes once they seek alternatives to wheat products. When you discover that you are allergic to wheat, you may believe that you’ll never eat pasta, bread, or baked goods ever again. These days, there are pastas, breads, and many baked goods made from wheat-free ingredients such as buckwheat, millet, corn, rice, amaranth, and oats. If the local grocery stores, bakeries, and restaurants leave much to be desired when it comes to wheat-free products, you may have to sharpen up on your cooking skills. By stocking your kitchen with wheat-free ingredients, you will find that you can live a healthy, allergy-free life that includes an array of delicious meals.