Wheat Allergies are one of the most common food allergies and are often confused with other food sensitivities and intolerances. Two other reactions, Gluten Allergies and Celiac Disease, are often confused with a Wheat Allergy. The importance of identification, definition and diagnosis by a medical doctor are very important to effectively treat individuals. An overview of the definitions of these three allergy areas will lead provide a start in better understanding the differences:
- Wheat Allergy: Wheat allergy is an allergic reaction to foods containing wheat. A wheat allergy generates an allergy-causing antibody to proteins found in wheat. The allergy is an immune response to one or more of the proteins found in wheat (can include gluten). Avoidance of wheat and products containing wheat is the treatment.
- Gluten Allergy: Gluten allergy is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. A person with gluten intolerance can experience digestive problems such as gassiness, abdominal pain or diarrhea. These symptoms are similar to, but not to be confused with Celiac Disease those of Celiac Disease. A gluten-free diet is the only treatment.
- Celiac Disease is an inherited autoimmune disorder that can damage the small intestine, UCLA Health* reports that Celiac Disease is one of the most common autoimmune diseases affecting roughly 1 I 133 people. This chronic condition is set off by eating gluten that results in inflammation of the small intestine. The autoimmune response is caused by protein fragments of wheat, rye and barley. Once again, avoidance of gluten is the treatment.
Gluten is used give elasticity to dough and to make bread chewy. Apart from the abdominal pain and related reaction, Celiac Disease can also cause fatigue, iron deficiency anemia, osteoporosis, weight loss and malnutrition. We referred to *UCLA Division of Digestive Disorders for information.