If you’ve ever eaten an off-plan meal and indulged in a calzone, cake or pie (or all three), you may have noticed some discouraging symptoms erupting as a result within minutes, and some within hours. You may have developed a runny nose, bloating, headaches, and restless legs. Or maybe you suffered other frustrating and uncomfortable symptoms you don’t normally feel when following a healthy, whole foods plan.
What you don’t know is that you might have just erupted a resting beast in the form of a wheat allergy.
What is a Wheat Allergy?
Not to be confused with celiac sprue (is a genetic disease that sets off an autoimmune response causing damage to the small intestine), wheat allergies tend to run the symptom gamut, erupting from topical allergies (touching) to ingestion, to inhalation of certain parts of the plant itself, but are all generally caused due to the proteins in wheat.
Wheat allergies include the following symptoms, ranging from niggling symptoms associated to hypersensitivity to wheat, to more frustrating and potentially life-threatening side effects:
joint and muscle aches and pains
irritable bowel syndrome
swollen throat or tongue
tiredness and lethargy
watery, runny or itchy eyes
Foods and ingredients to watch out for:
Becoming an ardent label reader will ensure to a large degree that wheat isn’t sneaking its way into your body. Following is a list of more obvious forms of wheat:
whole wheat flour
Less obvious sources of wheat could be:
hydrolized vegetable protein
modified food starch
soy bean paste
vegetable gum (specifically beta glucan)
People with wheat allergy who are gluten sensitive may also need to avoid related cereals, rye and barley, which have similar glutinous proteins.
Seek medical attention when symptoms either cause restriction in breathing or shock (serious) or other uncomfortable effects which hamper quality of life (restless legs, depression).
How you spell relief: With a medical partner, once a diagnosis is made through testing, determinations for dietary/lifestyle changes can be recommended. Many will simply avoid all wheat products or wheat protein derivatives as a precaution.