Wheat Allergy: Common Food Allergies in Children

A wheat allergy is a very common food allergy in children and can be a hard allergy to deal with because of the abundance of wheat in most people's diets. Since it is so common, it is a very difficult food to eliminate. Over the past five years however, a large amount of wheat free products have become available, making the wheat free diet more manageable. Wheat is found in many common foods including bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, snack foods and baked goods. Here is a great wheat free meal planner: Click here to view more details.

Symptoms of Wheat Allergy

This allergy can present in a number of different ways. Abdominal pain and loose stoops usually begin 12-72 hours after eating wheat in an allergic person. In children this pattern may also indicate a cow's milk protein allergy, so it is important to carefully observe and undergo allergy testing to eliminate only the offending foods and not limit the diet unnecessarily.

Wheat is also known to cause asthma and eczema, and may provoke hives and swelling of tissue. Although anaphylactic reactions to wheat have been reported in young infants, it is extremely rare.

Wheat Proteins

Although wheat is known as a source of carbohydrates, people do not commonly think of wheat as a high protein food. Proteins do, however, make up 12% of the dry wheat kernel.

The four classes of proteins are gliadins, glutenins, albumins and globulins. No single protein found in wheat is responsible for wheat allergy. Therefore it is usually recommended all wheat in all forms be avoided.

Wheat Allergy vs. Celiac Disease

People with gluten-sensitive enteropathy (gluten disease), react to the alpha-gliadin component of gluten. Symptoms include diarrhea, weight loss, and malabsorption, signs of iron or folate deficiency and rickets.

Celiac disease is diagnosed by a jejunal biopsy. A number of blood tests are available to detect the presence of antibodies whose present is indicative of celiac disease. Suspicion of celiac disease should always be confirmed before the diet is started. Results are not reliable if the person eliminates wheat before the tests are complete.

Treatment consists of strict avoidance of all gluten containing grains including wheat, rye, oats and barley. It is important to realize not all wheat intolerance, grain intolerance or gluten intolerance is due to celiac disease.

Terms Indicated Presence of Wheat on a Food Label

bread http://www.flickr.com/photos/41061319@N00/3195546454/
  • Bread crumbs
  • Bran
  • Bulgar
  • Gluten
  • High-gluten flour
  • Vital gluten
  • Protein flour
  • High-protein flour
  • Graham flour
  • Graham crackers
  • Crackers
  • Matzoh
  • Cereal extract
  • Farina
  • Flour
  • Cracked wheat
  • Cracker meal
  • Duram
  • Duram flour
  • Enriched flour
  • Self-rising flour
  • Pastry flour
  • Bread flour
  • Unbleached flour
  • All-purpose flour
  • Phosphated flour
  • White bread
  • Sourdough bread
  • Multigrain flour
  • Multigrain bread
  • Seitan
  • Semolina
  • Spelt
  • Triticale
  • Kamut
  • Couscous
  • Wheat
  • Wheat starch
  • Wheatena
  • Wheat gluten

For more information on wheat allergy, please visit the-gluten-free-chef.comThis site contains information and recipes to make following a wheat free diet easier and more pleasurable. For more suggestions or for a nutrition assessment, make an appointment with us. We will help you ensure your child is receiving a balanced diet free of wheat.