Wheat has become quite a buzz word in recent years. Intolerance, Celiac disease, allergies... It seems like everyone everywhere is recommending taking a closer look at how your body reacts to wheat.

So what does it look like if your body is allergic to wheat?
Reactions can be varied and hard to track down. So pay attention to your body. If you see or feel any of the following symptoms, look to see if you’ve had any wheat lately.

“Airborne” – like Allergy Symptoms

Wheat allergies can sometimes mimic mold or ragweed allergies. Ichy, swollen, watery eyes, congestion- the usual “allergy season” suspects could all be involved. This could happen in adults, or in children, or infants. It’s easy to mistake these symptoms for airborne allergies, therefore be careful in just assuming that an allergic reaction is just something in the air.


If only this were something nobody had ever seen. But unfortunately, this symptom is not one anyone is likely to forget. When the throat swells and itches, it can make breathing difficult, at best. But in severe cases, it can cause swift and sudden death.

If your throat so much as itches after a piece of bread, ditch it and take immediate action to be tested for a wheat allergy.

Anaphylaxis induced by Exercise or Aspirin

This form of anaphylaxis is characterized by the reaction occurring during exercise, hours after wheat was consumed. Without exercise, anaphylaxis would have never occurred. This reaction can be unusually difficult to pinpoint the cause of, since time of reaction and the original cause of the reaction are so far apart.

Similarly, aspirin-induced anaphylaxis is when the reaction occurs when aspirin has been consumed hours after wheat has.

If either of these are true for you, make sure to absolutely avoid exercise or aspirin following meals containing wheat.

Gastrointestinal Symptoms

Common reactions to food allergies include a wide variety of gastrointestinal issues. Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and cramping can often happen to wheat allergy sufferers.
However, this is hardly an exhaustive list of possible gastrointestinal issues when suffering an allergic reaction. A good rule of thumb is that if you consume a meal, and later have weird internal problems, start looking to see if you can pinpoint if there were any of your known allergens in the food. If you have no known food allergens, it may be wise to speak with your physician.

Is it allergies? Or Celiac Disease?

There is a great deal of symptom overlap for wheat allergies and Celiac disease. With self-diagnosis, it is impossible to know for absolute sure. Talk to your doctor about getting tested for Celiac disease, as they will have the correct tools for diagnosis. Until then, if you are certain that wheat is causing a reaction in your body, avoid all foods that contain it.

Thankfully, since wheat allergies and Celiac are both becoming more common, foods are usually labeled to warn those who react to wheat. Wheat is considered an allergen, and since the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004, manufacturers must clearly label products containing food allergens. Check the back of your usual packaged foods to see if the products contain wheat.

Please visit healthstoriesforkids.com for additional topics on wheat allergies.

Author's Bio: 

Brian values the ability of all ages to learn from the power of stories. His mission is to write about health conditions, educational topics, and life situations in an entertaining way in order to help children understand their own health conditions and daily circumstances. See more at healthstoriesforkids.com

Brian Wu graduated with a Bachelor's Science Degree in Physiology and Neurobiology. Currently, he holds a Ph.D. and is an MD Candidate (KSOM, USC) in integrative biology and disease.