What are the symptoms of a wheat allergy?

Nancee Jaffe, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

The symptoms of wheat allergy include hives or rashes, nasal congestion, headaches, watery itchy eyes, difficulty swallowing, some digestive issues such as nausea and vomiting, and in very severe cases, throat closure. A wheat allergy diagnosis is done through either a blood test or a skin prick test. Usually, the two are done in tandem, but the gold standard is an elimination diet, which should be done with the help of a trained dietitian because it's hard to do on your own.

Within minutes or hours after eating food containing wheat, a variety of symptoms can occur for an individual who has wheat allergies. The mouth and throat area can become itchy or swollen. As the wheat gets digested, you may experience vomiting, cramps, diarrhea, decreases in blood pressure, itchy or swollen skin, rashes or eye irritation. You may also experience problems with breathing. In very serious cases, people experience anaphylaxis, which causes throat swelling, chest pain, dizziness, difficulty breathing and change in skin color from lack of oxygen. Anaphylaxis is potentially fatal.

Wheat allergy symptoms should be discussed with your doctor. Symptoms can range from slight to severe and are life-threatening in some cases. A health care professional is the only one who can diagnose your allergies and give advice on treatment or any changes that need to be made to your diet. Be sure to speak with your doctor about the symptoms, causes, complications and treatments associated with wheat allergies.

The most common symptoms of a wheat allergy are abdominal pain, bloating, nausea and diarrhea. A substance in wheat called gluten can cause these symptoms. Allergies can get severe enough that weight loss may result. Rashes may also be a part of wheat allergy.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.