An Introduction To Gluten Or Wheat Intolerance
References to wheat and gluten intolerances are frequently used interchangeably but they are in fact often two separate issues.
Wheat intolerance without being sensitive to gluten is relatively rare but can occur. Around 15% of the population is thought to be intolerant to gluten, which also means they will have to avoid wheat. It is important to understand what this means for you and how it can be managed through diet.
Will There Ever Be A Drug For Celiac Disease
Unfortunately, 83 percent of people with celiac disease are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. That’s largely because signs and symptoms can vary widely. “These fall into two categories, called GI and extra-GI,” says Mukherjee.
GI symptoms include chronic diarrhea or , abdominal pain, , and weight gain or loss. “Extra-GI” symptoms refer to those that are seemingly unrelated to your GI tract, like joint pain, difficulty concentrating, brain fog, fatigue, muscle cramps, unexplained , and issues in women, she notes.
It can be tough getting a diagnosis. “If a physician doesn’t suspect celiac, it can be years before a patient is diagnosed,” she says.
These symptoms, along with a personal history of autoimmune disorders or a family history of celiac or autoimmune disorders, should tip off your physician that celiac may be a possibility, and you should be tested, she says. Testing is done through a tissue transglutaminase IgA antibody and IgA antibody test. Stay on a regular diet while having the test done, because cutting gluten before testing can give you a false result.
If you’re diagnosed with celiac, the only treatment available right now is a strict gluten-free diet, which will allow your small intestine to heal, relieving symptoms and preventing nutritional deficiencies that can arise from problems absorbing food when you have the disease.
How Does It Differ From A Gluten Allergy
The main difference, to repeat foremphasis, is that a wheat allergy is an allergic reaction, ranging from mild tosevere, to the whole wheat grain, protein and all. And a gluten allergy is anallergic, ranging from mild to severe, to the gluten-or Protein- in wheat,barley, rye and sometimes oats.
A gluten allergy is more extensivein its reaction and can seem more restrictive. It is important that if yoususpect having any type of allergy when it comes to food, you ask for specifictests to be taken. For example, you would ask to be tested for a wheat allergyAND a gluten allergy.
How Are These Disorders Diagnosed
Wheat allergy is diagnosed by an allergist after a careful history is taken. An allergist may perform skin or blood tests to confirm a suspected diagnosis.
Gluten intolerance is best diagnosed by a gastrointestinal specialist. This specialist looks for characteristic loss of absorptive properties in the small intestine. Blood tests and genetic studies may also be performed to support the diagnosis.
Comparison With Other Staple Foods
The following table shows the nutrient content of wheat and other major staple foods in a raw form on a dry weight basis to account for their different water contents.
Raw forms of these staples, however, are not edible and cannot be digested. These must be sprouted, or prepared and cooked as appropriate for human consumption. In sprouted or cooked form, the relative nutritional and anti-nutritional contents of each of these staples is remarkably different from that of the raw form, as reported in this table.
In cooked form, the nutrition value for each staple depends on the cooking method .
What Is Gluten Sensitivity
Also known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten sensitivity is not a condition that is currently well-defined within the medical community. It is neither an autoimmune reaction like celiac disease or an allergic reaction in which the immune system produces antibodies. As such, diagnosis of gluten sensitivity is usually made by ruling out other conditions – there is no test or biomarker that can be used to identify this condition. If celiac disease and wheat allergy have both been ruled out, switching to a gluten free diet may be warranted and, if that results in a reduction of symptoms, a diagnosis of gluten sensitivity can then be confirmed. At this time, a gluten free diet is the only known treatment for gluten sensitivity.
Whats A Food Sensitivity
Let’s start with the concept of food sensitivity.
If you’ve heard of antibodies , then perhaps you’ve heard of IgG antibodies. They are a type of antibody that will attach itself to undigested food proteins that sneak into your body due to leaky gut .
These food proteins do not belong inside your body in their current state. They should have been digested properly and then absorbed by your GI tract, but that’s not what happened. The union of these food proteins with the IgG antibodies triggers an immune response cascade associated with proteins naturally produced in your body called complements.
These complements in turn trigger inflammation and all the other symptoms you experience associated with a food sensitivity which can be delayed for hours up to days after eating something to which you are sensitive.
Living With Wheat Allergies
Once you’ve confirmed that you have a wheat allergy, you’ll need to change your diet to avoid eating wheat protein. The most obvious change is to avoid anything with wheat in it. You can also look for gluten-free foods, but keep in mind that these foods may still have other wheat proteins in them. Make sure you read labels thoroughly.
There are a lot of foods that have ingredients with alternative names to wheat as well as pre-processed foods that contain ingredients that secretly have wheat proteins. You should become familiar with them and avoid them also.
The Bottom Line On Gluten
If you’re suffering from symptoms that you suspect may be gluten-related, continue your normal diet. Make an appointment with your doctor and outline your symptoms and discuss your family medical history. Ask if testing is appropriate. Then work with your doctor to devise a treatment plan that’s best for you.
Impaired Breathing Or Anaphylaxis
Impaired Breathing or Anaphylaxis is one of the most lethal manifestations or symptoms of a wheat allergy, as well as many other food-induced allergies. It has also been observed to be exercise-induced, after the consumption of wheat products.
These symptoms can begin to manifest from within minutes of consumption up to two hours after you’ve eaten food that contains gluten. Aside from wheat-based foods such as bread or pasta, wheat allergies can also be triggered by non-food items as well that contain wheat-based components .
Is There A Wheat Intolerance Test
The symptoms of a wheat intolerance are much less extreme than those of an allergic reaction, however they are still extremely unpleasant and can still be very disruptive to a person’s life. After your doctor has ruled out any underlying medical conditions, you can get a food intolerance test* designed by YorkTest.
There isn’t a specific wheat intolerance test, and food intolerance tests in general are not currently available on the NHS. However, YorkTest has been offering food intolerance* tests directly to consumers for more than 35 years. These tests analyse your IgG antibody reactions to up to 208 food and drinks, including wheat and gluten.
With this simple home-to-laboratory finger-prick test, you can identify whether or not your body is producing IgG antibody reactions to specific elements of your diet. Reactions to food and drink vary a great deal from person to person, and an ingredient that causes a problem for one individual could be completely okay for another. Fortunately, YorkTest’s team is on hand to identify your own personal “food fingerprint”.
What Happens When The Diagnosis Is Confirmed
Patients with wheat allergy must avoid consumption of wheat. However, other grains are often tolerated. Patients should carry an epinephrine pen in the event that a severe allergic reaction occurs. Wheat allergy is often outgrown, so regular follow-up visits with the allergist can assess for resolution of this allergy.
Patients with gluten intolerance must avoid gluten indefinitely. These foods include wheat, rye and barley. A gluten-free diet must be strictly followed to allow the return of normal intestinal functioning. The prognosis is good as long as a life-long gluten-free diet is followed.
What Is The Difference Between A Wheat Intolerance And A Gluten Intolerance
Gluten proteins are found within wheat. That means that those who are gluten intolerant are also wheat intolerant. However, it doesn’t work the other way around.
Gluten is found in other grain substitutes such as barley and rye, so those with a specific wheat intolerance who do not react to gluten proteins can still eat these foods without experiencing a reaction.
Supermarkets have continuously expanded their range of gluten and wheat-free produce in recent years to cater for those who are following a gluten-free diet or avoiding wheat.
Avoiding Wheat Is Challenging
Wheat allergies are one of the nine more common causes of food allergies, along with eggs, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, shellfish, sesame, and milk. Unfortunately, avoiding wheat is difficult if you eat packaged foods. Items you might not suspect, including baking powder, beer, sauces, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, salad dressings, and more contain wheat. Even non-food items can contain enough wheat to cause a reaction if you’re very sensitive. So, you have to be well-educated about wheat allergies and what to stay away from or avoid packaged foods entirely.
Fortunately, it’s gotten easier to avoid wheat. Federal law now requires all packaged foods in the United States must list “wheat” on the ingredient list if any is in the product. Even though you can eat whole grains that are free of wheat if you have a wheat allergy, some whole grains are cross-contaminated with wheat, so it may be easier and safer to go completely gluten-free.
Another way gluten intolerance and wheat allergies differ is, unlike non-celiac gluten intolerance, testing is available. Blood tests and skin tests are used diagnostically to determine if you have a wheat allergy. You can also get blood tests for celiac disease although the most accurate test is a small intestinal biopsy. There is no blood or skin testing for gluten intolerance. The best way to find out if you have a non-celiac gluten sensitivity is to remove all gluten from your diet for three weeks and see if your symptoms improve.
Europe And The United States
Early in the 20th century in the United States, a movement developed, aiming to prevent mental disorders. and social work developed as professions. saw a massive increase of conditions that came to be termed “”.
saw the development in the U.S. of a new psychiatric manual for categorizing mental disorders, which along with existing systems for collecting census and hospital statistics led to the first . The International Classification of Diseases also developed a section on mental disorders. The term , having emerged from work in the 1930s, was increasingly applied to mental disorders.
, , and the “” came to be used by mid-century. In the 1960s there were many challenges to the concept of itself. These challenges came from psychiatrists like Thomas Szasz who argued that mental illness was a myth used to disguise moral conflicts; from sociologists such as who said that mental illness was merely another example of how society labels and controls non-conformists; from behavioral psychologists who challenged psychiatry’s fundamental reliance on unobservable phenomena; and from gay rights activists who criticised the APA’s listing of homosexuality as a mental disorder. A study published in Science by received much publicity and was viewed as an attack on the efficacy of psychiatric diagnosis.
Are Gluten Intolerance And Celiac Disease The Same Thing
Gluten intolerance and celiac disease are different. People with celiac disease have an autoimmune response to gluten. This means their bodies try to fight against gluten as if it were a virus. This reaction causes inflammation and damage to their digestive tracts. Celiac disease is the result of an abnormal gene. People with celiac disease also have high levels of certain antibodies in their blood, which are substances that fight gluten.
Gluten sensitivity and celiac disease cause a lot of the same symptoms. But people with gluten sensitivity don’t have an abnormal gene or antibodies in their blood.
Can You Outgrow Wheat Intolerances
It is possible to outgrow a wheat intolerance by eliminating it from your diet and reintroducing it later in life. This should always be carried out with the support of a nutritional professional, who can advise on healthy alternatives and ensure that your diet remains balanced.
Step one – Have you visited your doctor to discuss the symptoms you are experiencing? If not, you should consult with them so they can rule out any underlying medical conditions or coeliac disease.
Step two – Take a Premium Food Intolerance Test with YorkTest, which is a cost-effective indication of whether or not you are suffering from a food intolerance.* We’ve found that on average people show an intolerance* to between 2 and 8 food or drink ingredients. You should therefore be aware that wheat may be just one of your “trigger foods”.
Step three – With the help of a YorkTest nutritional therapist, carry out a 12-week elimination diet by cutting out your food intolerances* and substituting healthy alternatives into your diet.
Step four – If you wish to reintroduce your trigger food back into your diet, we advise that this should be a gradual process in order to monitor how your body responds and to look out for a return of any symptoms.
How To Know If You Have Celiac Disease A Gluten Sensitivity Or A Wheat Allergy
5 min Read Time
Odds are, someone you know has gone gluten-free. Perhaps they’re trying to drop some pounds, or simply believe it’s healthier for them. Or, maybe they suspect they have a gluten-related medical problem, since they’ve linked eating it to uncomfortable or distressing symptoms like nausea, fatigue or even joint pain.
It’s possible, of course. Millions of people have disorders, such as celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, involving negative reactions triggered by gluten intake. Plenty of others have a wheat allergy, a potentially life-threatening immune response that’s often confused with gluten-related illnesses.
But, while these serious medical issues demand the avoidance of certain foods, avoiding gluten isn’t necessary for many people. There’s no proof that it helps you lose weight, for example — and cutting it out of your diet unnecessarily may trigger a different set of health issues.
So, what is gluten, and how do you know if you have a serious problem with it? What’s the difference between conditions linked to gluten and wheat? And when is it a good idea to keep gluten as part of your diet?
Here Are A Few More Common Foods That Might Contain Wheat:
As you can see, many of the foods/ingredients aren’t even grains. Living with a wheat allergy requires a good bit of research and dedication. You should also keep an Epinephrine pen in case of an anaphylactic emergency. Of course, you should consult your doctor before getting an EpiPen.
Getting Started With A Gluten Free Diet
The first step in switching to a gluten free diet is learning to identify foods that contain gluten. The next step is to begin incorporating gluten free foods into your diet. The best way to identify gluten free foods is to simply look for the “gluten free” label on the package, as you’ll see on every single product. Another way to identify gluten-containing foods is to check the allergen warning on the food label – if it lists wheat, there is a good chance that the product also contains gluten. There are, however, gluten-containing ingredients that do not contain wheat, so you’ll have to be very careful when choosing foods that aren’t labeled “gluten free”.
Here are some of the different words that suggest a food contains gluten:
General Guidelines For Wheat Allergy
The key to an allergy-free diet is to stay away from all foods or products containing the food that you are allergic to. Wheat is found in many foods. To stay away from foods that contain wheat, you must read food labels.
The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act is a law that requires U.S. packaged foods to state clearly on the label if they contain wheat. Always read the entire ingredient label to look for wheat. Wheat ingredients may be in the ingredient list. Or wheat could be listed in a “contains wheat” statement beneath the ingredient list.
Note on gluten-free foods: Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and sometimes oats. People with celiac disease must stay away from all grains with gluten. People with wheat allergy often only need to stay away from wheat and can eat the other grains. So following a gluten-free diet may be limiting. But gluten-free foods should be safe for people with wheat allergy. Always read the ingredient list to double check.
Allergic Reaction To Wheat
A wheat allergy occurs when your body responds to a component of wheat as if it were a harmful substance. If you have a wheat allergy, an immune response similar to that which would normally fight off infections is mounted after exposure to wheat.
Like most food allergies, a wheat allergy involves immunoglobulin E , an immune protein made by your body. This protein triggers a rapid immune reaction that causes the symptoms that are commonly associated with allergies.??
What Is A Wheat Allergy
Simply put, it is anallergic reaction to wheat. The whole wheat grain is intolerable to a person’ssystem. This includes even the gluten. That is why it sometimes gets jumbled inwith having a gluten allergy and can lead to misdiagnosis. It, most of thetime, starts at a very early age and early testing can help alleviate anyfurther issues that this allergy can wreak on the body.
Celiac Disease Vs Gluten Sensitivity
Gluten refers to a family of proteins found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley. Celiac disease is an immune response against these proteins that involves damage to the lining of the small intestine. The disease can be confirmed by a blood test and upper endoscopy.
“Gluten sensitivity is less well-defined,” says Dr. Shirley Paski. “There may be symptoms that correlate with gluten exposure, but no measurable immune response or intestinal damage.”
Symptoms for celiac disease and gluten sensitivity can be similar and include:
- Itchy skin
Celiac disease can also cause migraines, itchy blisters, and fatigue. If celiac disease is ruled out, your doctor or dietician may recommend an elimination diet trial, which can reveal gluten sensitivity.
Can These Medical Conditions Be Treated
In one way or another, all three medical conditions described here can be treated and/or managed.
It is important that you don’t start treating yourself before you know for sure what your diagnosis is, because you do not want to end up harming yourself even more.
When learning to cope with any of these conditions, bear in mind that your life style may have to suffer drastic changes and that you will have to start with your diet.
If you are allergic to wheat, then you will have to eliminate it completely from your life, and it will have to be the same in the case of the Celiac Disease or in the case of the gluten intolerance.
However, if you are just allergic to wheat, you will be able to eat certain grains that contain gluten .
Furthermore, do bear in mind that although there is no actual medicine to be prescribed for the gluten intolerance , you may be prescribed with antihistamines if you are diagnosed with wheat allergy.
Diagnosing And Treating Wheat Allergy
To diagnose a wheat allergy, doctors usually use what’s called “skin prick” tests, in which your physician will prick your skin with tiny needles containing a small amount of wheat protein. If you develop a red bump on your skin where it was pricked within 15 minutes, you’re likely allergic to wheat. Your doctor may also order IgE or other blood tests to help diagnose a wheat allergy, or possibly ask you to keep a detailed list of the foods you eat, along with a record of your symptoms, to aid in diagnosis.??
Treatment of wheat allergy usually involves staying away from foods that include wheat. However, your doctor may prescribe antihistamines to help you manage symptoms when you’ve been exposed. In addition, if your allergy is severe, or if it can result in potentially life-threatening symptoms, your doctor may recommend that you carry in the form of an Epi-Pen to treat yourself immediately upon exposure.
Wheat is considered one of the top eight food allergens in the U.S., so companies must, therefore, companies disclose when they include a wheat-containing ingredient in a food product.?? Since many gluten-free foods are also wheat-free, people with wheat allergy have benefited from the explosion in gluten-free food products in recent years.
Testing For Wheat And Gluten Intolerance
Understanding the presence of either of these conditions is thefirst step towards making changes. It can be done through an IgG gluten orwheat intolerance test, which is a blood sample test identifying the presenceof IgG antibodies created against gluten or wheat . This type of testing willnot show the presence or lack of coeliac disease.
Wheat And Gluten Free Alternatives
Avoiding wheat is much simpler compared to avoiding gluten.The list of foods made with wheat is still quite extensive and avoiding thisingredient can prove challenging for some.
Gluten and Wheat free alternatives include;
- Gluten-free Bread
- Fresh Vegetables
Avoiding wheat and gluten can be difficult if you rely on alot of pre-packaged goods such as sauces and snack bars. The simplest solutionto this is to make the majority of your meals from scratch. Not only will ithelp you avoid both wheat and gluten completely, it can offer various health benefitssuch as lower salt and sugar intake, more nutritionally dense meals and lessaccidentally ingested ingredients.
Symptoms Of Wheat Allergy
Wheat is one of the food allergens in the United States. A wheat allergy is an immune response to any of the proteins present in wheat, including but not limited to gluten. It’s most common in children. Around 65 percent of children with a wheat allergy outgrow it by the age of 12.
of wheat allergy include:
Gluten Intolerance Vs Wheat Allergy
When a person has a wheat allergy, their body reacts to a protein in wheat, and this protein is not necessarily gluten.
A wheat allergy can cause life-threatening symptoms. Anyone with this allergy who ingests wheat requires immediate medical attention.
A person with a wheat allergy may develop:
- breathing difficulties, including wheezing
In severe cases, may develop. This serious reaction causes the body’s blood pressure to fall, and the person may lose consciousness and stop breathing.
While an allergic reaction requires urgent care, an intolerance is not immediately dangerous. However, it can cause discomfort and may affect a person’s overall health.
Anyone who believes that they may have either an intolerance or an allergy should consult a doctor.
Learn more about a wheat allergy .
- some oat products
A person looking to avoid gluten should be sure to check food labels carefully. It may also be a good idea to make soups, sauces, and salad dressings at home.
Products with “gluten-free” on their labels do not contain enough gluten to trigger symptoms of celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Manufacturers may remove the gluten from wheat flour or use a substitute, such as oat or chickpea flour.
, learn more about what a gluten free diet includes.
Find out more about alternatives to wheat bread in this article.
Many fast foods contain gluten, but some major chains are now offering gluten-free options. Learn more about gluten-free fast food .