Wheat Allergy

This food allergy is an immune system response linked to wheat. It happens when your immune system treats harmless wheat proteins as if they're a danger to your body. Wheat allergy is most common in children, but it can also develop in adults. It's not the same as celiac disease.


What happens when a person with this allergy is exposed to wheat? Well, they can have a wide range of reactions. Their face, lips, mouth or throat may swell. They may have red spots on their skin. They may itch and break out in hives. They may have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.


If the reaction is severe, they may have trouble breathing. They may go into shock and lose consciousness. We call this "anaphylaxis." It's an emergency. Get medical help as soon as possible.

Managing this allergy

To manage a wheat allergy, avoid all foods that contain wheat. A lot of foods fall into this category, so you need to read food labels carefully. While things like bread, pasta, cereal and crackers may be obvious sources, watch for wheat where you may not expect it. Wheat may be used in soy sauce, hot dogs, ice cream and flavorings. For a full list, ask your doctor.

Other tips

And finally, know that a person who has a wheat allergy may also be allergic to other grains. They could be allergic to barley, oats and rye. Your doctor can help you find out if you need to avoid these.