A physical exam, detailed medical history and some tests will help your doctor make a diagnosis. Tests or diagnostic tools may include:
May 17, 2014
Skin test. Tiny drops of purified allergen extracts — including extracts for wheat proteins — are pricked onto your skin's surface, either on your forearm or upper back. After 15 minutes, your doctor or nurse looks for signs of allergic reactions.
If you develop a red, itchy bump where the wheat protein extract was pricked onto your skin, you may be allergic to wheat. The most common side effect of these skin tests is itching and redness.
- Blood test. If a skin condition or possible interactions with certain medications prevent you from having a skin test, your doctor may order a blood test that screens for specific allergy-causing antibodies to common allergens, including wheat proteins.
- Food diary. Your doctor may ask you to keep a detailed record of what and when you eat and when symptoms develop for a time.
- Elimination diet. Your doctor may recommend that you remove certain foods from your diet, particularly those that are common allergens. Under your doctor's direction, you will gradually add foods back and note when symptoms return.
- Food challenge testing. You eat doses of food suspected of being the allergy-causing agent while being monitored for allergy symptoms. Under supervision, you begin with a small amount of the food and gradually increase the amount you consume.
- 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.
- Burks W. Clinical manifestations of food allergy: An overview. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 10, 2014.
- 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.
- Nolte H, et al. Overview of skin testing for allergic disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 10, 2014.
- 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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