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What Does A Gluten Allergy Look Like

Managing Food Allergies In Children

What does 20ppm gluten really look like?

Because fatal and near-fatal wheat allergy reactions, like other food allergy symptoms, can develop when a child is not with his or her family, parents need to make sure that their childs school, day care or other program has a written emergency action plan with instructions on preventing, recognizing and managing these episodes in class and during activities such as sporting events and field trips. A nonprofit group, Food Allergy Research & Education, has a list of resources for schools, parents and students in managing food allergies.

If your child has been prescribed an auto-injector, be sure that you and those responsible for supervising your child understand how to use it.

Does My Baby Have A Gluten Allergy

Gluten hides in all sorts of foods — it can even be in your breast milk! If you’re worried that your baby might have a gluten allergy, here’s what you need to know.

Gluten is a protein that’s present in wheat and other grains, like barley and rye. Gluten helps dough maintain its shape and gives it an elasticity or a chewy texture. Although it’s commonly found in baked goods and pastas containing wheat flour, it can also be found in cereals, crackers, and sauces or in unexpected foods such as ice cream, pickles, and hot dogs.

But “a ‘gluten allergy’ is really a misnomer, because it’s really a wheat allergy, and gluten is one of the components,” says David Stukus, M.D. assistant professor of pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. “A wheat allergy is an immediate onset allergic reaction caused when the body’s immune system reacts against wheat proteins, and it usually occurs with every exposure.” Wheat is one of the eight most common food allergies the others are cow’s milk, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish together they account for more than 90 percent of allergic reactions. If your child has an allergy, he’ll likely experience immediate and reproducible hives or swelling whenever the food is consumed, says Dr. Stukus.

Babies can be exposed to gluten through breast milk before 6 months or when they start solids, around 6 months. First, determine if your baby is actually allergic to gluten.

May Relieve Digestive Symptoms

Most people try a gluten-free diet to treat digestive problems.

These include bloating, diarrhea or constipation, gas, fatigue and many other symptoms.

Studies have shown that following a gluten-free diet can help ease digestive symptoms for people with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (

Focus on eating plenty of whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, veggies and lean proteins.


A gluten-free diet can provide many health benefits, especially for those with celiac disease. It may help ease digestive symptoms, reduce chronic inflammation, boost energy and promote weight loss.

Despite having a variety of health benefits, a gluten-free diet can have some downsides.

Here are a few negative effects of a gluten-free diet:

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How Is Gluten Intolerance Treated

If a healthcare provider determines that you have gluten intolerance, avoidance of gluten is the best way to reduce and/or remove your symptoms. This can be tricky, since gluten is found in a very wide variety of foods and food products. Obvious offenders are things that contain wheat, barley, or rye, but what many people dont realize is how many other foods contain gluten.

See the table below for more examples of foods that contain gluten and ideas for appropriate substitutes.

Less obvious foods that contain gluten Gluten-free substitute
Certified gluten-free varieties
Other grain products like crackers, cereals, granola, baked goods, flour tortillas, croutons, energy bars, etc. Grains like rice, quinoa, corn tortillas, granolas and energy bars made with gluten-free oats and/or nuts, nut or rice crackers, baked goods made with gluten-free flours, and certified gluten-free cereals

Remember that just because something is labeled wheat-free does not automatically mean that it is gluten-free, since there are many other grains that contain gluten, as outlined in the table above. Look for the certified gluten-free label, which is regulated by the FDA and means that the food is either naturally gluten free or contains less than 20 parts per million of gluten.

Key Points About Celiac Disease

Symptoms of gluten sensitivity
  • Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.
  • In both gluten intolerance and celiac disease, the body mounts an immune response against gluten, leading to symptoms such as diarrhea, headaches, fatigue, abdominal pain, weight loss, nausea and vomiting, bloating and gas, and constipation.
  • Celiac disease is the most severe form of gluten intolerance.
  • In people with celiac disease, repeated exposure to gluten damages the small intestine lining, which compromises its ability to absorb certain nutrients.
  • The intestinal damage in celiac disease caused by repeated exposure to gluten can lead to long-term problems beyond immediate digestive symptoms, such as malnutrition, decreased bone density, infertility, nervous system damage, and skin rashes.
  • Adhering to a gluten-free diet should mitigate symptoms of gluten intolerance and prevent further intestinal damage for those with celiac disease.

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What Is A Gluten

This is essentially a diet that removes all foods containing or contaminated with gluten. However, since gluten-containing whole grains contain fiber and nutrients including B vitamins, magnesium, and iron, its important to make up for these missing nutrients. Along with consuming naturally gluten-free foods in their whole form like fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, fish, eggs, and poultry, the following whole grains are also inherently gluten-free:

Its also key not to rely on processed gluten-free foods that may be high in calories, sugar, saturated fat, and sodium and low in nutrients, such as gluten-free cookies, chips, and other snack foods. Often, these foods are made with processed unfortified rice, tapioca, corn, or potato flours.

Lactose Intolerance Symptoms And Gluten Symptoms Can Be Similar

Lactose is a sugar found in milk. Lactase is an enzyme that is used to digest the sugar. The enzyme is found on the very tip of the villi of the small intestine.

Villi are finger-like projections in the intestine where absorption occurs. These villi are damaged in newly diagnosed celiac patients and possibly in gluten sensitivity. When this happens, the enzyme is washed away and is not there to digest the lactose .

This creates symptoms of painful gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Often, after some time on a gluten-free diet , the enzyme comes back as the villi repair. Dairy products can once again be introduced into the diet.

Sometimes, however, this doesnt happen, and patients are forced to use a lactase supplement or avoid dairy altogether. Some patients find they can tolerate products such as yogurt or kefir in which the sugar is predigested.

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Understanding Wheat Allergy Vs Celiac Disease

Wheat is the most common of the grain allergies and affects about 0.4% of children. That is high enough to make it a top 8 food allergy. Wheat allergy is almost always an immune reaction to the gluten protein in wheat.

Wheat allergy, like cows milk allergy, can involve IgE antibodies and/or other immune cells. Celiac disease, on the other hand, is a non-IgE immune reaction that leads to severe inflammation of the small intestine.

Most people with celiac will react to wheat, barley, and rye. An IgE allergy to wheat is just to wheat, though people can also have IgE allergies to other grains.

Non-IgE allergy to wheat can also cause allergic eczema, EoE, FPIES, or other conditions just like milk allergy can.

Dermatitis Herpetiformis Rash Symptoms

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Dermnet/Creative Commons

Although dermatitis herpetiformis can form anywhere on your body, its most frequent locations include the elbows, knees, buttocks, lower back and the back of the neck. In most cases , it’s one of the itchiest skin conditions you can experience.

This photo shows a close-up of the rash, with its distinctive tiny reddish-purple bumps. The dermatitis herpetiformis bumps usually take several days to heal , and once healed, those bumps will leave behind small purple marks that last for weeks or months.

People with long-standing dermatitis herpetiformis usually have continuously reddened, purple-dotted skin where their rash occurs.

When dermatitis herpetiformis is severe, the lesions often are topped with clear, fluid-filled blisters that pop easily when scratched . The liquid in those blisters contains white blood cells, which are drawn to the area as a result of the autoimmune attack on the skin.

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Testing For Wheat Allergy

In babies who are showing symptoms of a wheat allergy, blood, or specific IgE testing for wheat can help identify if the allergy is real and if it is IgE-mediated. Many doctors will also test for other grain allergies at the same time.

Wheat allergy testing is less reliable than other foods because wheat proteins are similar to grass pollens. The only true test is an oral food challenge.

Finding A Good Doctor For Gluten Issues

If you would like to find a good primary care doctor to consult with about gluten intolerance, then let BASS Medical Group help. Our goal is to ensure that your health is in the right hands and you are happy with your care. Give us a call today at 925-350-4044 so that we can point you to the nearest location or schedule an appointment online.

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Celiac Symptoms: Skin Rash

For some people, celiac disease causes an itchy, blistering rash known as dermatitis herpetiformis. It may begin with an intense burning sensation around the elbows, knees, scalp, buttocks, and back. Clusters of red, itchy bumps form and then scab over. It often first occurs in the teenage years and is more common among men than women. The rash usually clears with a gluten-free diet but can also be treated with medication.

Gluten And Health Benefits

What Is Gluten Intolerance?

Gluten is most often associated with wheat and wheat-containing foods that are abundant in our food supply. Negative media attention on wheat and gluten has caused some people to doubt its place in a healthful diet. There is little published research to support these claims in fact published research suggests the opposite.

In a 2017 study of over 100,000 participants without celiac disease, researchers found no association between long-term dietary gluten consumption and heart disease risk. In fact, the findings also suggested that non-celiac individuals who avoid gluten may increase their risk of heart disease, due to the potential for reduced consumption of whole grains.

  • Many studies have linked whole grain consumption with improved health outcomes. For example, groups with the highest intakes of whole grains including wheat compared with groups eating the lowest amounts were found to have significantly lower rates of heart disease and stroke, development of type 2 diabetes, and deaths from all causes.

Gluten may also act as a prebiotic, feeding the good bacteria in our bodies. Arabinoxylan oligosaccharide is a prebiotic carbohydrate derived from wheat bran that has been shown to stimulate the activity of bifidobacteria in the colon. These bacteria are normally found in a healthy human gut. Changes in their amount or activity have been associated with gastrointestinal diseases including inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer, and irritable bowel syndrome.

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How Common Is Soy Allergy In Infants

Who can develop MSPI? Any baby can develop intolerance to cows milk and/or soy proteins. It does not matter if the baby is breastfed or formula-fed. As many as 2-7% of babies under one year of age have intolerance to cows milk, and in our area, 60% of those babies will also develop intolerance to soy proteins.

Testing Treating And The Gluten

When someone who has dermatitis herpetiformis consumes gluten, his or her immune system launches an attack by producing antibodies. In celiac disease, the immune system attack damages the absorbing lining of the small intestine. In DH, the attack primarily takes place in the skin as antibodies stimulated in the intestine circulate through the bloodstream.

Immunoglobulin A is deposited in the skin, triggering an immune reaction that results in the formation of the lesions.

Whats interesting in DH is that these immune cells, once armed, leave the battlefield and go to the skin.

Although the effect is seen on the skin, touching gluten-containing foods or lotions, creams and other body products has not been shown to trigger a DH rash.

Those who have DH dont always have classic intestinal damage, but the condition is still considered full-blown celiac disease, Fasano says, noting that in 25 percent of DH cases only the skin is affected. The remaining 75 percent have damage to the villi that line the intestine, but this is generally limited and patients may have no obvious gastrointestinal symptoms.

DH is diagnosed through the anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody blood test and a skin biopsy. When the biopsy is done, a sample is taken from the area next to a skin lesion to determine if IgA occurs in deposits that appear in a granular pattern. When DH is diagnosed this way, the intestinal biopsy used to diagnose celiac disease is not needed.

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Diagnostic Tests For Celiac Disease

If you experience digestive symptoms or signs of poor vitamin and nutrient absorption, such as unexplained weight loss, an NYU Langone gastroenterologist can perform diagnostic tests to determine whether celiac disease may be the cause. For adults, doctors typically recommend both blood tests and biopsies, in which tissue samples are examined under a microscope, to confirm the diagnosis.

Symptoms Of Gluten Allergies In Dogs

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While some dogs are able to tolerate gluten just fine, others can have a severe reaction to it. Symptoms of a gluten allergy may include

  • Poor hair coat
  • Inflammation of the intestines


Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other cereal grains and classified into two groups known as prolamins and glutelins. Cereal grains include oats, rye, barley, and buckwheat. Grains that are gluten free include corn, quinoa, rice, amaranth, and millet. There are natural sources of gluten as well as genetically modified sources. It is believed the GMO glutens can cause more health problems and long term genetic mutations than the natural glutens.

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Celiac Damage In The Intestine

In people with celiac, the body’s immune system is triggered by gluten in food. Antibodies attack the intestinal lining, damaging, flattening, or destroying the tiny hair-like projections in the small bowel. Damaged villi can’t effectively absorb nutrients through the intestinal wall. As a result, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals get passed through the stool. Over time, this can lead to malnutrition.

There Are Many Symptoms Of Gluten Intolerance And Celiac Disease

Most people wonder if they have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance because of gastrointestinal symptoms like gassiness, diarrhea, constipation or excessive bloating. But other symptoms might not be so obvious. And while gluten intolerance and celiac disease are different, many of the symptoms can be similar. Here are some signs of celiac disease and gluten intolerance you might not be aware of.

  • Digestive issues
  • Tingling or numbness in hands and/or feet
  • Bone and joint pain

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Managing A Severe Food Reaction With Epinephrine

A wheat allergy reaction can cause symptoms that range from mild to life-threatening the severity of each reaction is unpredictable. People who have previously experienced only mild symptoms may suddenly experience a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis. In the U.S., food allergy is the leading cause of anaphylaxis outside the hospital setting.

Epinephrine is the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis, which can occur within seconds or minutes, can worsen quickly and can be deadly. In this type of allergic reaction, exposure to the allergen causes the whole-body release of a flood of chemicals that can lead to lowered blood pressure and narrowed airways, among other serious symptoms.

Once youre diagnosed with a food allergy, your allergist will likely prescribe an epinephrine auto-injector and teach you how to use it. Check the expiration date of your auto-injector, note the expiration date on your calendar and ask your pharmacy about reminder services for prescription renewals.

If you are uncertain whether a reaction warrants epinephrine, use it right away, because the benefits of epinephrine far outweigh the risk that a dose may not have been necessary.

Your allergist will provide you with a written emergency treatment plan that outlines which medications should be administered and when . Be sure that you understand how to properly and promptly use an epinephrine auto-injector.

Symptoms Of Gluten Sensitivity

What is gluten

Compared to people with celiac disease, people with NCGS have more symptoms that are not gastrointestinal in nature. The symptoms may also appear hours to days after consuming gluten. Here are some of the symptoms of gluten sensitivity:

  • “Brain fog.” This is the most common characteristic of gluten sensitivity. Kids with brain fog may often feel tired, or like they just got out of bed. They may be especially forgetful, and may have trouble focusing or completing tasks.
  • Headaches or migraines. Its not normal for children to experience chronic headaches or migraines. If your child is experiencing these symptoms, he should be taken to a doctor for an evaluation. It could be a sign of gluten sensitivity.
  • Dizziness
  • Acne or rashes. Itchy elbows, knees, buttocks and the back of the neck has been associated with gluten sensitivity.
  • Joint pain or numbness. Chronic joint pain and tingling and numbness in the fingers, arms or legs are clear signs of a health issue. In those with a gluten sensitivity, it happens frequently for no apparent reason.
  • Diarrhea, gas or constipation
  • Distended stomach or bloating

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Celiac Or Wheat Allergy

Celiac disease and wheat allergy both involve the immune system but the reaction within the body is different. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that causes damage to the lining of the intestine. It is a lifelong disorder. Symptoms of wheat allergy can include a skin rash, wheezing, abdominal pain, or diarrhea. Wheat allergy is often outgrown.


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