It’s hard for me to believe, but I have been living without wheat for a number of years. I never knew I had food allergies and sensitivities until after going through a Standard Process Purification Cleanse.
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After 3 weeks of food elimination, I began to reintroduce food groups one by one. It was time for me to add wheat back into my diet. After eating some bread, my throat felt a little tight.
Hoping it wasn’t true, I tried eating wheat again the next day. Shortly after eating it, my throat starting swelling up again – this time it was a little worse.
My days of eating whole wheat bread, pasta, cake, and a list of many other items (which I never knew included wheat until this happened!) came to an end.
Never wanting my throat to swell up again, I began the process of figuring out which foods and restaurants were safe. Fortunately for me, celiac disease is more mainstream and the term “gluten-free” is a little more common. Even though a wheat allergy and celiac disease are 2 different things, I feel safe eating gluten-free food.
What is a Wheat Allergy?
With a wheat allergy, your immune system mistakenly identifies a protein found in wheat as something that could harm you (like a virus or bacteria).
Your body creates an allergy-causing antibody to the protein.
According to the Mayo Clinic,
Once your body develops an allergy-causing antibody to a particular agent (allergen) — in this case, a wheat protein — your immune system is sensitive to it. When you eat wheat, your immune system mounts an attack.”
Is a Wheat Allergy the Same as a Gluten Allergy?
First off, there are so many terms that relate to similar challenges when it comes to wheat but in actuality are different. It can really be confusing! Let’s take a look at the different terms here:
- Gluten Allergy – There is no such thing as a gluten allergy.
- Gluten Intolerance/Gluten-Related Disorders – This is not an allergy. However, you may experience a reaction when exposed to all grains of the Pooideae subfamily, including wheat, barley, rye, and oats.
- Celiac Disease – An autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine.
- Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity – Your test results do not show Celiac, but you cannot tolerate gluten and experience symptoms similar to those with celiac disease yet lack the same antibodies and intestinal damage as seen in celiac disease.
- Wheat allergy – Your body has an abnormal immune system response to a protein found in wheat.
- Non-Celiac Wheat sensitivity – People without a diagnosis of either celiac disease or a wheat allergy, but have symptoms that are related to either wheat or gluten.
- Wheat Intolerance – People who do not have the enzymes needed to digest wheat.
Gluten is different from wheat in that it is a protein found in grains such as wheat. Gluten is likened to a glue that holds food together.
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Wheat Allergy Symptoms
Wheat is one of the most common food allergies in the United States. Typical symptoms can include:
- Hives, or swelling of the skin
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Cramps, nausea, diarrhea and/or vomiting
- Difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing or runny nose
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Swelling of lips, tongue, or throat
- Chest pain, fast heartbeat
- Dizziness or fatigue
I had been experiencing some of these symptoms previous to my throat swelling, but I didn’t think much of them or realize that they were food-induced.
More People Are Avoiding Wheat
It’s unfortunate, but many people today are having greater digestion challenges and increased inflammation throughout their bodies. It seems like everyone I talk to has some digestive issues or ache and pain in their body. I believe there are a few different reasons for this, however, one thing that might be contributing to it is today’s wheat.
You see, today’s wheat isn’t the same wheat as your great-grandma grew up eating.
Many things with wheat have changed. “The way we grow it, the way we process it and the way we eat. The very wheat itself. Since industrialization, everything has changed, and it has happened in two distinct “technology revolutions”. The first was in milling, the second in cultivation and farming. Both have had a profound effect, yet most people have no idea.”
Modern-day wheat is also doused with Roundup. The active ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate. Glyphosate is very problematic for our gut health.
I don’t have any affiliation with this doctor, but I believe he does a good job explaining the difference between ancient and modern-day wheat.
Don’t let the challenges of eating a diet without wheat scare you. If you experience any of the above symptoms, try eliminating wheat for a time and see if you notice a difference. It might be just the thing to make you feel better!
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