If you or your child has wheat allergy, you or your child will likely experience symptoms within a few minutes to a few hours after eating something containing wheat. Wheat allergy symptoms include:

  • Swelling, itching or irritation of the mouth or throat
  • Hives, itchy rash or swelling of the skin
  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Cramps, nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis

For some people wheat allergy may cause a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. In addition to other signs and symptoms of wheat allergy, anaphylaxis may cause:

  • Swelling or tightness of the throat
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Severe difficulty breathing
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Pale, blue skin color
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Fast heartbeat

Age of onset

A wheat allergy may not be a lifelong disorder. Whether you outgrow it may depend, in part, on when the allergy first appears.

  • Young children. Wheat allergy in children usually develops during infancy or early toddler years. Most children with wheat allergy have other food allergies. Children usually outgrow wheat allergy between ages 3 and 5.
  • Adolescents and adults. Wheat allergy isn't as common in adolescents and adults.

When to see a doctor

Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate care. People who already know they can have an anaphylactic reaction to wheat or another allergy-causing substance should carry two injectable doses of a drug called epinephrine (adrenaline). The second dose is a backup in case emergency services aren't immediately available.

If someone has signs of anaphylaxis, call 911 or your local emergency number. Emergency care is essential even if the person has just used an epinephrine shot.

If you suspect that you or your child is allergic to wheat or another food, see your doctor. A number of conditions can cause signs or symptoms associated with wheat allergy. So, an accurate diagnosis is important.

Jul. 07, 2011