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Wheat Allergy Facts and Information: What is Wheat Allergy, How to Avoid Wheat, FAQs about Wheat Allergies

Wheat Avoidance Handout COFAR

Wheat Allergy FARE

Wheat Allergy Avoidance List KFA


Need help finding foods that are wheat-free? See this Wheat-Free Listing of Products

Wheat Allergy is a very common food allergy seen in childhood around the world. Symptoms of wheat allergies can include rash like eczema or hives, itching, or other severe allergy reactions (anaphylaxis) like difficulty breathing, lightheadedness (due to low blood pressure). IgE mediated wheat allergies can be diagnosed with a skin prick test or with a blood test (e.g. “RAST testing”). Fortunately, most children who are diagnosed with wheat allergies can outgrow this food allergy over time. However, as long as wheat allergy is present, treatment of wheat allergy is avoidance and being prepared to act in case of a food allergy reaction.

A wheat allergy reaction can also be triggered in other less common situations. Baker’s asthma is casues by inhalation of wheat allergy triggering respiratory symptoms. There is also allergic reactions that can seen when a person exercises after eating wheat-containing food – this unusual condition is known as wheat-dependent exercised induced anaphylaxis. There also may be non-IgE mediated wheat allergies that cannot be detected by standard allergy testing, such as in eczema or certain GI-allergy conditions. If a wheat allergy is suspected, you should consult with your health care provider.

Wheat Allergy and Celiac Disease: A common misconception is that celiac disease is a wheat “allergy.” Although celiac disease is an immune disorder it is not caused by an allergy mechanism. So other types of tests, NOT RAST or skin testing, are needed to diagnose celiac disease. Furthermore, in celiac there is a hypersensitivity to gluten, not just wheat. Gluten is found in wheat, barley, rye and in some cases oats. Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity is not addressed in this site, although concepts of reading ingredient labels for gluten is also essential in this disease.


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