Do You Suffer From An Intolerance or Allergy To Wheat Products?

A sensitivity or intolerance to wheat is quite common. It is the proteins found within wheat which generally cause people to experience problems with food products containing this grain. Wheat proteins can be very difficult to digest and an inability to digest them can cause a person to suffer a sensitivity to foods which contain them. Gluten is the protein generally most responsible for this intolerance but the truth is that gluten is actually only one of a number of proteins found within wheat products which can cause digestive problems in people who may be more sensitive than others.

Could Your Current Health Problems Stem From a Food Allergy?
Wheat is the most likely grain to cause a negative immune system response. Although most negative reactions to wheat occur through either through direct ingestion or inhalation allergic reactions can also occur simply through skin contact. If you believe that the cause of your health problems may lie in an intolerance to this grain then it is very important to develop a wheat free diet. Eliminating it from your diet is the only way to effectively control an allergy to the proteins found within wheat.

Note that many grains are grown alongside each other so often cross contamination occurs between the various edible grains so safety must be taken in the consumption of all grain products. A food intolerance may include symptoms of fatigue, skin rashes, cramps, acne and boils, sweating, headaches or migraines, arthritis, eczema, anxiety, psoriasis, depression, and eczema. More severe reactions can also occur. It is believed that some cases of immune system illness such as Rheumatoid arthritis can be directly linked to food related allergies.

Baker’s Allergy: Although intolerance to wheat or wheat products is most commonly associated with consuming the grain, it does not have to be ingested orally for a negative reaction to occur. In fact an allergy to this grain can occur through three distinct courses of origin and depending on whether this exposure is through skin contact, inhalation or ingestion, the allergic reaction may present itself differently.

An allergic reaction that occurs from the inhalation of wheat or wheat products is known as Baker’s Allergy. This term originated because of the high incidence of health problems in those who worked within bakeries. These allergic symptoms were found to be associated with the inhalation of flour dust. The occupational health hazard of those who work in bakeries has been documented to back in the day of Roman slaves. Those involved with the farming and storage of wheat or in the milling processes of it are also documented as developing health problems due on the job exposure to wheat proteins. 

Baker’s allergy can also occur in individuals within the home who have sensitivities to these proteins. Simply inhaling flour dust or wheat particulate from other wheat products can bring on an allergic reaction. The symptoms of Baker’s Allergy include chronic cough, asthmatic symptoms, inflammation of the membranes of the eye, rhinitis, or inflammation of the skin.

Gluten and it’s Role in Wheat Allergies:
The allergic reaction that occurs from the ingestion of grain products is most commonly brought out by an intolerance to gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats and it is a protein which is very difficult for the human body to digest. Because the body will rebel when it encounters an intolerable substance an autoimmune response or inflammation can occur thus leading to an allergic reaction to the offending product. 

Although Gluten is a substance that is commonly a factor in wheat food allergies it is not always the reason that a negative reaction to wheat occurs. Common symptoms of a food allergy generally present themselves in the form of digestive problems such as bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, constipation, and pain. If exposure continues then an autoimmune response within the body can lead to further complications.

Exercise or Aspirin induced Anaplylaxis: Wheat related exercise or aspirin induced anaplylaxis’ occur when the wheat protein or its components enter the blood stream during exercise this generally initiating a severe asthmatic or allergic reaction within the body. Symptoms can include hives, hypotension, loss of consciousness, choking, nausea, headache and vomiting and acute symptoms will generally last between thirty minutes and four hours in duration. Studies have shown that aspirin and exercise both serve to increase the presence of gliadin ( a component of gluten) in the blood stream.

Fortunately today there are now a number of gluten free flours available for those with an intolerance. Studies also show that sourdough bread does not cause the same problems as other wheat breads. You can read the CBC news cast here. It has been discovered that sourdough bread does not cause symptoms of wheat allergy bringing new theories that it is the processing of our baked goods that cause the allergy issues.

You can also work around a sensitivity to wheat by using a gluten free flour created from coconut, rice, or corn. You will find many of these products at your local supermarket or available online.

Related Articles by Lorelei Cohen