I am allergic to wheat. How can I avoid a wheat-related reaction?
Reading the food labels continues to be the best way to avoid foods with wheat/wheat products in them. When dining out, always ask the staff about their allergen policy, and if the dish you’re ordering contains wheat or wheat derivatives.
Celiac Disease and Allergies to Wheat
The is a difference between Celiac disease and wheat allergy. Celiac disease is the body’s reaction to gluten, the main protein found in grains like wheat. The walls of the small intestine are damaged by gluten, which can lead to malabsorption of nutrients and discomfort after eating.
An allergy to wheat includes a reaction to ALL wheat proteins, not just gluten. The allergic response will involve the immune system and can induce rash, headaches, nausea, or sometimes the more severe reactions associated with allergies such as anaphylaxis.
Speak with an Ottawa allergy specialist to help determine the specific condition you may have.
Avoiding wheat and its derivatives
Remember manufacturers may occasionally change their recipes or use different ingredients for varieties of the same brand. Avoid food and products that do not have an ingredient list and read labels every time you shop. Make sure you read product labels carefully to avoid products that contain wheat and wheat derivatives. Wheat can also be found in many foods you’re unaware of, such as beer, soy sauce, ketchup, candies, hot dogs, crackers and food starches. It can also be found in body care items!