Wheat Allergy In Children


Wheat allergy in children causes mild to severe allergy symptoms that can occur quickly, may not present for hours after ingestion of wheat or wheat products, or can occur at any time in between.

In rare instances, wheat allergy in children can cause life-threatening allergic reactions and/or anaphylactic shock, requiring emergency relief measures. In most cases, however, wheat allergy in children is not nearly so dangerous, and presents with one or more of the following lesser, yet still concerning, symptoms of wheat allergy.

  • Swelling or irritation of the mouth or throat
  • Hives or skin rash
  • Itching of the mouth/throat
  • Sinus/nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Inflammation of the airways
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Nausea or stomach upset
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Exercising can exacerbate wheat allergies and bring on an allergic reaction after wheat has been seemingly easily ingested; some children can have an allergic reaction simply by inhaling wheat flour.

True wheat allergies are allergic reactions to wheat proteins; wheat allergy in children is often confused with other conditions, including Gluten allergy/intolerance or Celiac Disease. For children with gluten allergy, wheat products are entirely off the list (because gluten is a protein in wheat and in other grain products), but children with wheat allergies may be able to eat foods with gluten other than wheat.

Four proteins can be responsible for wheat allergy in kids; they are:

  • Albumin
  • Globulin
  • Gliadin
  • Gluten

There are some factors that may exist in a child's history which can increase his or her chances of developing wheat allergy. Kids who have a family history of wheat allergy are at increased risk, as are kids with a family history of other food allergies and seasonal allergies or asthma. If hives and eczema seem to run in the family, the child's risk of developing wheat allergy also increases (eczema is sometimes caused by allergic food reactions).

Wheat allergy does develop in adults, but wheat allergy in kids is more common as mature immune systems are usually able to handle wheat proteins.

When To Take A Child To The Doctor

A child with a suspected wheat allergy should see his or her doctor when a fast reaction to wheat products is noticed, or when a pattern of wheat ingestion seems to precede allergy or gastrointestinal symptoms. If the child can get to the doctor while the reaction is ongoing, that speeds the diagnosis of wheat allergy in kids. Of course, if rare severe wheat allergy symptoms exist, medical help should be sought right away.

Even if you think a child's wheat allergy is nothing more than mildly discomforting, it is best to seek the advice of the child's doctor as wheat allergy in kids can progress and become more serious, and the doctor can either refer you to an allergist or treat your child and help you devise a plan for management of your child's wheat allergy.

Treating And Managing Wheat Allergy In Kids

There is little to be done in the way of treating wheat allergy in kids (although emergency measures and medications are available to treat rare severe wheat reactions). Antihistamines and decongestants do provide some relief of symptoms of wheat allergy in kids, but overall the only effective treatment is dietary management and avoidance of wheat food allergens. This is very difficult because wheat and wheat proteins are found in many food products, and cross-contamination (especially in processed foods) increases allergen exposure, but with the help of a good dietician, a plan for the management of wheat allergy in kids can be devised.

It is essential that parents of kids with wheat allergies learn all of the foods wheat and wheat products are found in, learn how to read labels, learn the warning signs of a reaction and reactive measures, and educate their children (including siblings) in all of these areas. The importance of avoiding wheat must be stressed in a way that makes the child respect his or her food allergy and need for avoidance without making the child feel abnormal or scared. Wheat allergy in kids is likely to last for a very long time and may last the child's entire life; good dietary control of wheat products is the only way to keep kids healthy when they have a wheat allergy.

One of the best approaches is to discover all you can about food allergies and take appropriate action to deal with these.

Comments 9 comments

donna smith 6 years ago

Hi my little 2 1/2 yr. old granddaughter is going to be tested for wheat allergies. She has had low iron. She is normal height for her age but the Dr. is worried because she is small weight for her age? Your article makes sense, skin rash etc. I guess we will have to wait for the results.

Theresa 6 years ago

My 4 year old grandson was diagnosed with a wheat allergy. The Dr. kept him wheat free for two weeks to monitor behavior. He indicated if behavior doesn't change positively we could feed him wheat. This concerns me because he is now wheezing and unable to get over bronchitis and congestion. Could this be due to ingesting wheat even if the reactions aren't severe?

kevin 6 years ago

hi everybody im a 14 year old kid with the wheat allergy and i just wanted 2 say that i feel very sorry for your siblings and loved ones if they get this allergy, it is a truly horrible thing to have and let me say i knnow exactly how everyone with the allergy is feeling.now i dont know if this is included in ''cramps'' but wheat allergy victims-if ingesting wheat on a regular basis- WILL get sharp pains in their joints and in some cases directly on the bone and again i feel bad 4 ur family and friends

Charlie 6 years ago

My 2 year old son has a severe wheat allergy. This was diagnosed at 7 months, after I had given him a rusk and he developed hives, With each episode of him ingesting wheat the reaction got worse. You need to ensure people understand your child's wheat allergy and that anaphylaxis can occur. We had a recent experience with this and it is a life threatening situation. We carry his Epipen at all times. So if your child has this allergy, please ensure you educate your family, friends and child care provider so that your child stays safe.

Lilly 5 years ago

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE...If you think you have a wheat allergy get a complete food allergy test. Chances are you will be allergic to more than just wheat/gluten. I am allergic to corn, wheat, rye, hops, rice, eggs, all nightshade vegetables, mold producing fruits and much more. Not knowing how to live avoiding all of these for 44 years, I just didn't. Now I have Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue and MARS (Multiple Allergic Response Synd). I am in pain all day everyday. For 6 weeks I have being seeing a DO that specializes in Natural medicine and I am actually feeling better. He discovered by avoiding all of these allergies I created a "toxic" environment in my body that was entering my blood stream. I get weekly infusions of all B and C vitamins (my body doesn't hold them right now) and I take various supplements. I was bedridden for over 4 months but can not have somewhat of a life and he promises me it will get better once I rid the toxins. Please take any allergy mild or not seriously and don't make your body continue to fight of the "enemy". If you do...it will shut down sooner or later. If you sneeze, get very tired, have cramps, bathroom issues, rashes, wheezing, racing heart, runny nose, etc. these are all signs of an allergy. To get a true test sometimes a biopsy of your stomach from an endoscopy or a stool test may be required. I was diagnosed 3 years ago and have done nothing but research, reading (when I wasn't sleeping) and I truly believe the natural approach is the way to go. I gave myself to the MD world for 44 years and I got continually worse. I was just given pill after pill to take care of the symptoms...no one ever tried to figure out the cause. This doctor did. Amen and Good luck to everyone that struggles with these issues and be thankful that most stores now carry Gluten Free options when years ago people never even heard of it. Someone asked if their baby can have an allergic reaction just by being around wheat. YES, I am. I am allergic to the spores that float through the air when people have wheat on them, breathing it, etc. Listen to your gut...literally!

Lilly 5 years ago

Sorry I meant to type "I can NOW have somewhat of a life" I didn't mean to type NOT.

sak 5 years ago

hi my name is sak and i am suffering from wheat allergy since 2years i always feel worried about my health. i feel too bad when i know that i am suffered from this type of allergy. i take advice from doctors but they told me that there is no any proper treatment of this allergy and they suggest me to stay away from wheat if i want a good health. but for how much time i will have to stay away from wheat?

anna 4 years ago

hi am 12 years old and my mum is suffering from a wheat allergy its just a hard thing to go through but thats life anyone that has it hope you get betterxxxx

Karishkn 4 years ago

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