You can take steps to avoid exposure to wheat proteins and ensure prompt treatment when you're accidentally exposed to wheat.
May 17, 2014
- Keep others informed. If your child has wheat allergy, make sure that anyone who takes care of your child, including the principal, teachers and nurse at school, know about the allergy and the signs of wheat exposure. If your child carries epinephrine, make sure school personnel know how to use the pen, if necessary, and that they need to contact emergency care immediately. Inform friends, relatives and co-workers of your own food allergy.
- Wear a bracelet. A medical identification bracelet that describes the allergy and need for emergency care can help if you experience anaphylaxis and can't communicate.
- Always read labels. Don't trust that a product is free of what you can't eat until you read the label. Wheat proteins, especially gluten, are used as food thickeners, and they appear in many unexpected places. Also, don't assume that once you've used a certain brand of a product, that it's always safe. Ingredients change.
- Shop for gluten-free foods. Some specialty stores and supermarkets offer gluten-free foods, which are safe for people with wheat allergies. However, they may also be free of grains that you can eat, so sticking to gluten-free foods may limit your diet for no reason.
- Consult wheat-free cookbooks. Cookbooks specializing in recipes without wheat can help you cook safely and enable you to enjoy baked goods and other foods made with substitutes for wheat.
- Dine out cautiously. Tell restaurant staff about your allergy and how serious it can be if you eat anything with wheat. Order simple dishes prepared with fresh foods. Avoid foods that may have hidden sources of wheat proteins, such as sauces, or deep-fried foods that may be cooked with other foods containing wheat.
- Wheat allergy. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. http://www.acaai.org/allergist/allergies/Types/food-allergies/types/Pages/wheat-allergy.aspx. Accessed March 10, 2014.
- Sicherer SH. Food allergens: Overview of clinical features and cross-reactivity. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 10, 2014.
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- Wheat allergy. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=20&cont=519. Accessed March 10, 2014.
- Burks W. Diagnostic evaluation of food allergy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 10, 2014.
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- Pietzak M. Celiac disease, wheat allergy and gluten sensitivity: When gluten free is not a fad. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. 2012;36:68S.
- Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of food allergy in the United States. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/_LAYOUTS/NIAID.Internet.Controls/SearchResults.aspx?getfields=description&q=Guidelines%20for%20the%20Diagnosis%20and%20Management%20of%20Food%20Allergy%20in%20the%20United%20States. Accessed March 10, 2014.
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