Living with a wheat allergy
If you are allergic to any wheat protein, strictly avoiding wheat and wheat products is the only way to prevent a reaction, which can include stomach upsets, eczema, hayfever, asthma and even anaphylaxis. But it is not always easy to avoid these foods since many unsuspecting products contain wheat.
In some cases, the reaction to wheat may only follow someone taking exercise, called exercise-induced anaphylaxis to wheat.
Some people who are sensitive to wheat may be OK eating it one day, but develop symptoms if they continue to consume wheat for several days.
Allergy to wheat may be diagnosed with skin prick testing. However, if this is inconclusive, an allergy specialist may recommend elimination of wheat from the diet for a period of time to see if symptoms go away. Another approach is eating wheat under medical supervision, known as food challenges.
Check the label
If you are concerned about wheat allergy, always check the label ingredients before you use a product. Many processed foods, including ice cream and tomato ketchup, may contain wheat flour. Manufacturers sometimes change recipes, and a trigger food may be added to the new recipe.
Examples of wheat products and foods that may contain wheat include:
Whole wheat or enriched flour
High gluten flour
High protein flour
Hydrolysed vegetable protein
Many breads, biscuits, cookies, cakes, and other baked goods