Know the Difference

Know the Difference: Wheat Allergy vs. Celiac Disease

There’s always more to learn when it comes to understanding food allergies. Our “Know the Difference” blog series tackles some of the most commonly misunderstood terms and concepts about food allergies and food allergy management. Read on – you just might learn something!

KNOW THE DIFFERENCEWheat Allergy vs. (2)

Wheat allergy vs. Celiac Disease

A wheat allergy should not be confused with “gluten intolerance” or celiac disease. Wheat allergy is a food allergy, which is an overreaction of the immune system to a specific food protein. When the food protein is ingested, it can trigger an allergic reaction that may include a range of symptoms from mild symptoms (rashes, hives, itching, swelling, etc.) to severe symptoms (trouble breathing, wheezing, loss of consciousness, etc.). A food allergy can be potentially fatal.

Celiac disease (also known as celiac sprue), which affects the small intestine, is caused by an abnormal immune reaction to gluten. IgE, the antibody responsible for life-threatening reactions (anaphylaxis) does not play a role in this disorder. Usually diagnosed by a gastroenterologist, it is a digestive disease that can cause serious complications, including malnutrition and intestinal damage, if left untreated. Individuals with celiac disease must avoid gluten, found in wheat, rye, barley and sometimes oats. Learn more about celiac disease>

People who are allergic to wheat often may tolerate other grains. However, about 20 percent of children with wheat allergy also are allergic to other grains. Be sure to ask your doctor whether foods containing barley, rye, or oats are safe for you or your child to eat.

4 thoughts on “Know the Difference: Wheat Allergy vs. Celiac Disease

  1. Wow! This is a very useful page and I really enjoyed reading article and all users’ comments. BG Bakes is an online store which provides Gluten Free and Allergen Free products. We use high quality ingredients. Our customer’s health is our first priority. Thank you for sharing valuable information.

  2. The food allergies are truly the subjects of complete understanding. Awareness and sufficient knowledge keeps us prevented from allergy triggers. Wheat allergy and celiac disease must be recognized with differences studied. Allergy is certainly a subject of great prevention and management care!

  3. I find it very frustrating, even with my family, to say I am allergic to wheat, not to Gluten! (plus I have another 5+ major food allergens) but I can have barley and rye but not wheat. I have a celiac sister, and she has digestive issues; I have rashes and itching and hives and can’t breathe, oh my!. Others in my family have food allergies, too. But I’m glad my digestion is pretty ok- though I’ll get blotchy and ugly. I always have benadryl and charco caps in my purse in case I am convinced that I should go out for eats rather than cooking a tasty meal for myself and company. Just hang with me and a beverage and I’m happy to make conversation and food. Plus to be honest, I prefer my own food to anything but a great sushi venue (where I sit at the counter and have control over each ingredient). I know my sushi friends :))

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