All About Wheat Allergy

in Other Food Allergy
Published: September 2, 2010

How to Eliminate Wheat from a Diet

Eliminating wheat from a diet is not the easiest of tasks but the first step is to cut out regular breads and pastas, certain soups and sauces and many alcoholic beverages.

Like gluten, wheat can hide in any number of places, no matter how cost-effective and a good bulking agent, it can be found in ice cream and at least one brand of hot dog. Wheat’s in rice cakes, potato chips, play dough and deli meats as a filler.

But with studies showing that food allergies are on the rise in North America and other developed countries, there is now a large and growing range of wheat (and gluten-) free products available on grocery store shelves. Learn to read packaging carefully and take those warnings that state “may contain wheat” very seriously.

Shop and learn to cook and bake with alternate grains. Amaranth is a great choice, as are quinoa, barley, rye, rice and tapioca. And when dining out, be open about your allergy and ask specific questions with follow-ups. For example, don’t just ask what is in a dish.

While reeling off the list of ingredients – think something like “freshly picked chanterelle mushrooms with a hint of sage and butter churned on site this afternoon, ladled gently over a marinated beef and polenta” – like they are soliloquy, a waiter may forget a component as prosaic as mere wheat.

Are there treatments?

As with other food allergies, there no treatments for food allergies – except for an epinephrine auto-injector as the emergency drug. Epinephrine opens the airways back and regulates the blood pressure.

Benadryl, the antihistamine, is considered useful as a secondary drug, but leading allergists’ organizations say it’s the epinephrine auto-injector that should be used when a person is having a serious reaction that appears related to a food allergen. Epinephrine is the drug that’s needed in order to stop an anaphylactic reaction.