In layman terms, wheat allergy refers to adverse reactions involving your immune system to one or more protein elements in wheat.
Wheat contains many elements in its total makeup. You are familiar with them already because they give bread dough and bread itself many of its characteristics. Elasticity and stickiness to the dough for instance and the sponginess to a cake and the nice crisp crust to a loaf of french bread. They have names like albumin, gluten, and gliadin. Without them dough would have the consistency of modeling clay and a muffin would look like a hockey puck when it was done baking. The good news is that wheat allergy is considered to be a very uncommon as allergies go. For people who work with, or are in constant contact with wheat flour, statistics have shown that they can be at higher risk for occupational asthma caused by the inhaling of wheat flour.
Wheat flour has been shown to be a substantial contributor to the cause of occupational asthma for people working in the baking industry. However; for the general public there appears to be very little risk in eating wheat based food products. Many processed and snack foods contain wheat derivatives like gluten and albumin. The majority of people allergic to wheat are allergic to the albumin and globulin in the wheat. The most common allergic reactions are stomach cramps and vomiting after eating the food containing a wheat product. They commonly occur in a few minutes but can take up to a few hours to manifest themselves. Other common reactions are skin rash and eczema.
The allergic reactions to breathing wheat flour or flour contain wheat derivatives can be life threatening. It can cause heart complications and extreme breathing problems if they manifest themselves while the person is exercising. In rare instances these complications have been life threatening. Because wheat and other grain products are so common in our diet, wheat allergy can be difficult to diagnose. If the person who is suspected of suffering from wheat allergy eats them occasionally it can make the diagnosis a little easier. If they get sick following the occasions the person eats the food contain wheat then that’s a very strong indicator.
For the person who is eating wheat regularly as a part of their daily diet and is constantly sick, it can be more difficult to sort out the cause. Elimination-challenge testing is the most reliable method of allergy diagnosis. The first step in treating wheat allergy is to eliminate it from the diet or from the environment if the allergy is caused by breathing the dust or flour. This can be a difficult regimen to adhere to because wheat and wheat products are so common in our diets. For children it can be particularly difficult because it is in so many snack products. Albumin and gluten can even be found in candies. Children often lack the ability to read the and understand the contents labels of food and snack products. There are alternative food products available in health food stores such as soy based food and snack products.