It seems that more often than not, people have an allergy to gluten. Recently, people have identified as having a gluten allergy, and saying that eliminating gluten from their diets has helped with any stomach issues or abdominal pain. Gluten allergies are different from gluten intolerance and celiac disease and should not be confused, because they each have different side effects. Gluten is found in wheat products like bread. Gluten is also found in rye, barley, graham flour, and wheat germ. Gluten is mostly associated wheat products, so people usually try and avoid eating bread, or certain foods that have gluten, such as: french fries, cereals, ice cream cones, beer and oat products. There are many symptoms that come along with a gluten allergy, and if you experience any of these symptoms after eating a large amount of gluten, you should see a doctor so you can get tested for gluten related allergies, or something more serious, like gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
Some symptoms that come along with a gluten allergy are somewhat similar to that of celiac disease. These symptoms can point to more than just an allergy to gluten, and should be taken seriously as they may point to celiac disease. These symptoms include: abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, bloating, and heartburn. If these symptoms are felt, you should get tested for both a gluten intolerance and celiac disease.
There are many other symptoms that come along with having a gluten allergy. These symptoms include: hives or skin rash, stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, asthma, headaches, nausea, stomach cramps, indigestion, vomiting and diarrhea. One very rare but life-threatening symptoms of a gluten allergy is anaphylaxis, which is a reaction that can impair breathing and send the body into shock. Bread, pasta or any other food that contains wheat can trigger these symptoms. Along with food, non-food items with wheat-based ingredients, like Play-Doh, cosmetics or bath products can also trigger these symptoms.
A gluten allergy is most common in children. About two-thirds of children outgrow this allergy at a young age. About 65% of children who have a gluten allergy will outgrow it before they are 12 years old. A lot of gluten allergy patients can eat other grains, but this is not true for everyone. Always talk to your doctor about what foods you may have an allergy to, and which foods that contain gluten you are more sensitive to, and which ones affect you more than others.
In general, you are at a greater risk for developing an allergy to any food, including foods that contain gluten, if you come from a family in which allergies are common. If both of your parents had allergies to gluten, you are more likely to develop that allergy than someone who has one parent who has a gluten allergy.
You can get tested for a gluten allergy through a skin-prick test. In the skin-prick test, a small amount of a liquid containing a wheat protein is placed on the back or forearm, which is then pricked with a small sterile probe to allow liquid to seep into the skin. If a raised, red spot forms within 15 to 20 minutes, you probably have a gluten allergy. Make sure to get this test done if you experience any of the symptoms listed above after eating foods that contain gluten.