>U Mom Knows Best: Wheat Allergy Vs Gluten Sensitivity, Knowing The Difference

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Wheat Allergy Vs Gluten Sensitivity, Knowing The Difference

 Is a wheat allergy the same as gluten intolerance? Is there a difference between an allergy to wheat vs a gluten allergy? The answer may surprise you, keep reading to discover the difference. 

 A gluten allergy is a misleading term commonly confused with wheat allergy, or sometimes celiac disease. There is no such thing as a gluten allergy but there are wheat allergies. The difference between a wheat allergy and gluten intolerance is huge. So how do you know if you have a wheat allergy or need to follow a gluten-free diet?

Most people don't understand the terms gluten-free and wheat allergy. They often think that someone who can't have gluten is allergic to wheat or they think someone who is allergic to wheat must follow a gluten-free diet. The truth is being sensitive to gluten is very different than being allergic to wheat and knowing the difference is important.

Could I be allergic to wheat?

 Most everyone has heard the term gluten-free and knows that people who have to avoid gluten can not eat wheat. People may know that gluten sensitivity may cause stomach distress. The question is "Is a wheat allergy the same as being gluten-free?"

The answer is NO. An intolerance and a food allergy aren’t the same. A food allergy, such as a wheat allergy, is when your immune system overreacts after you eat a certain food. A wheat allergy is way different than a gluten intolerance and knowing some of the common symptoms of both may help you get the proper diagnosis.

Wheat Allergy Symptoms

+ Hives or skin rash

+ Nausea, stomach cramps, indigestion, vomiting or diarrhea

+ Stuffy or runny nose

+ Sneezing

+ Headaches

+ Asthma

+ Anaphylaxis 

 Gluten Intolerance Symptoms

+ Abdominal pain

+ Bloating or gas

+ Diarrhea or constipation

+ Brain fog, or trouble concentrating

+ Fatigue

 The above symptoms are some of the ones that most people experience when they have problems eating wheat. If you have any of the above symptoms after eating wheat, you should make an appointment with a doctor. There are allergy tests that can confirm if it is a wheat allergy or celiac disease but the best way to confirm a gluten sensitivity is through an elimination diet.

How I discovered that I had a wheat allergy

 I discovered my wheat allergy through an allergy skin test. I made an appointment with an allergy doctor as I was experiencing severe asthma symptoms. The testing revealed that I was allergic to many things like weeds, plants, pets, dairy, and wheat. 

 The doctor suggested allergy shots and eliminating wheat from my diet. I already knew about my dairy allergy and was not consuming any milk products. The allergy shots and not eating wheat took away my asthma problems.

 Several months later when I ate something with wheat, I had a severe asthma attack. The allergy doctor tested me for a wheat allergy again and it was worse. That reconfirmed my food allergy to wheat.

Treatment for a wheat allergy

 The treatment for a wheat allergy is to avoid eating wheat and anything made with wheat. So reading food labels is important to make sure no wheat is present. Consuming wheat may cause a severe reaction that may be life-threatening for me. Since I have experienced major breathing issues with my food allergies, I also carry an Epi-pen with me. 

Treatment for a gluten sensitivity

The treatment for a gluten issue is to avoid eating gluten. Gluten can be present in wheat and other grains like oatmeal and barley. So eating gluten-free products is important. Eating gluten may cause stomach issues or other symptoms but it is not life-threatening. 

Is gluten-free food safe for those with a wheat allergy?

While gluten-free food may make it easier to shop for food if you have a wheat allergy, you still need to read the ingredients as a product may contain wheat. Advances in food manufacturing have allowed companies to take the gluten out of wheat, making the product gluten-free but the wheat in the product can still cause a severe reaction or allergy for someone who is allergic to wheat. 

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Food products to avoid with a wheat allergy or gluten issue

The most common food to avoid with either a wheat allergy or gluten problem is anything made with wheat like bread or baked goods. Gluten is also in grains like barley, rye, and sometimes oats. The best thing is to read food labels as wheat is in many things like soy sauce, beer, and processed food. 

 It may be difficult at first to manage your diet with having to be wheat-free but over time it will be easier. 


Jen H said...

Ok... I legitimately just learned SO much! A food allergy is when your immune system overreacts after you eat a certain food? How crazy is it that I never thought about the immune system being part of allergies!? And now I actually know the difference between wheat allergies and gluten sensitivity! Thanks so much for this post!

Laura JL Books said...

I was amazed tp learn about the wheat allergies and gluten sensitivity is part of the immune system is part of the problem of your allergies.

Jen said...

This article is very informative! I have a relative with celiac disease and a friend with a gluten sensitivity.

AiringMyLaundry said...

I didn't know about this. I have some family members with celiac disease so I always have to watch what I make around them.

Ramil Hinolan said...

Thanks for clarifying that gluten-free foods aren't automatically safe for those with wheat allergies since they can still contain wheat itself. Reading ingredient labels carefully is clearly crucial.

Yufi Rizkianti said...

I didn't know that wheat could also cause allergies. this is an excellent post. Thank you for the explanation, and how to treat wheat allergies.

Ckrusch said...

I had no idea that gluten-free foods aren't automatically safe for those with wheat allergies since they can still contain wheat itself! Reading ingredient labels carefully is clearly crucial. I will recommend that to a few friends with food sensitivity.

Gust si Aroma said...

As someone who has been navigating the confusing world of food sensitivities and allergies, it's refreshing to see such a clear distinction made between gluten intolerance and wheat allergy.

Lady In Read said...

oh i did not realize or know about these two as separate.. but having awareness is important since i do know that gluten and allergy issues can crop up anytime at any age

Beautiful Touches said...

Thank you for clarifying the distinction between wheat allergy and gluten sensitivity. Your concise explanation helped me understand the nuances between the two conditions.

ShomaPat said...

This is such great information. I know many people with Celiac disease and this really helps me understand it.

Gervin Khan said...

This is great information and you explained it very well. Glad to know the difference and distinction between the two. Thank you!

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