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How can wheat allergy be managed?

Q: I am a 40 years old man diagnosed with wheat allergy 2 years back. Is there any treatment for this?

A:Wheat allergy has more than one form. Some patients experience acute allergic reactions, ranging from nettle rash and itching skin up to full-scale anaphylactic reactions, with breathing problems and/or collapse. This type of reaction in some patients is only seen if they exercise within a couple of hours of eating wheat, which is otherwise tolerated well. Coeliac disease is a different type of allergy, in which the gut lining reacts to gluten in wheat and some other cereals, leading to chronic diarrhoea or loose stools, with consequent malabsorption of fat and weight loss. Gluten avoidance solves the problem, which can relapse with reintroduction of the gluten-containing food. No cure is available other than avoidance for either of these forms of wheat allergy, so avoidance is necessary. In some cases a long period of avoidance may lead to loss of the first type of wheat allergy mentioned above, but caution is needed in reintroducing wheat, particularly if reactions have been severe.


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