Wheat free diet Practice, Theory, and Evidence

safety

A qualified healthcare provider should be consulted before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.
Eliminating wheat from the diet often implies significant restrictions on dietary habits. It is important to substitute other sources of nutrition to ensure a balanced diet.
Because adhering to the wheat free diet is challenging, most physicians do not advise eliminating wheat from the diet unless it is medically necessary, such as the case with a severe allergy. No conclusive evidence exists on the benefits or consequences of eliminating wheat from the diet in non-allergic individuals. Products made from wheat are generally a good source of fiber, so if an individual decides to adopt the wheat free diet he or she must ensure they are meeting nutritional requirements recommended by the American Dietetic Association.
Some children outgrow wheat allergies as they become older, however, before wheat is reintroduced into the diet, a qualified physician should be consulted and allergic skin testing should be performed.
The accidental consumption of wheat in an allergic individual can be extremely dangerous. A physician should be notified in any case, and if trouble breathing develops the individual should seek immediate medical attention.
Based on a case report, caution is advised when using cosmetic products in those with wheat allergy as some may contain wheat products. Immediate contact allergy from hydrolyzed wheat occurred in one person following use of a cosmetic cream.
Planning is necessary to ensure a safe and enjoyable dining experience when those following the wheat free diet visit restaurants and homes of others. Prior to consuming any food specially prepared by the individual, it is advised to contact the restaurant or chef to alert them of any dietary restrictions or allergies to ensure that they can accommodate those following the wheat free diet.
If you are preparing a meal for a child with a wheat allergy, it is generally recommended to contact the parent or guardian of the child so they can communicate the severity of the allergy and provide possible cooking instructions.
Some people choose to manage symptoms of wheat allergy with homeopathic remedies. As with the use of any drug or supplement, this may result in additional health consequences.
"Bakers' asthma" is a wheat allergy that causes asthma. It results after inhaling small quantities of wheat flour. Bakers' asthma is specific to the respiratory tract. People with this allergy do not have to avoid eating wheat foods, as long as they are not in the room when flour is "flying." Scientists are not certain why people with an asthma reaction to wheat are able to eat wheat without having a reaction, but they suspect that the proteins in wheat are altered when they are cooked or digested.

theory/evidence

Infants and children are more likely to be allergic to wheat than adults. In many instances, allergies can be outgrown and wheat products can be tolerated later in life. Some evidence exists suggesting that infants who are not fed wheat products until after six months of age are more likely to develop an allergy to wheat.
Benefits and consequences of eliminating wheat from the diet in those without wheat allergies are unknown. The wheat free diet has only been studied in allergic individuals. Products made from wheat are generally a good source of fiber, so if an individual decides to adopt the wheat free diet he or she must ensure they are meeting nutritional requirements recommended by the American Dietetic Association (ADA).
Many, but not all, wheat allergies are IgE mediated, which often renders skin testing an unreliable method of detecting sensitized individuals.
A study published in early 2006 by Scibilia et al. found that wheat can be the cause of a real food allergy in adults, however no form of allergy testing is completely accurate in diagnosing such an allergy. More than a quarter of the patients allergic to wheat reacted to less than 1.6g wheat. Specific IgE testing was more sensitive than skin testing; however, specificity and predictive values were low for both tests. Thus, the authors concluded these tests should not be used to validate diagnosis of wheat allergy.
Some people choose to manage symptoms of wheat allergy with homeopathic remedies. As with the use of any drug or supplement, this may result in additional health consequences. Currently, the only effective method of managing a true wheat allergy is avoidance of any product containing wheat.
The accidental consumption of wheat in an allergic individual can be extremely dangerous. A physician should be notified in any case, and if trouble breathing develops the individual should seek immediate medical attention.
People who are allergic to wheat are sensitive to one of the proteins found in wheat. Exposure to wheat dust can cause respiratory symptoms including asthma in susceptible people. In rare cases, application of hydrolyzed wheat in body cream has caused hives.
Type I wheat ingestion allergy is a special type of food allergy because the patient usually is not aware of his allergy. The unawareness comes from two reasons; one is that the clinical symptom appears not immediately after ingestion of wheat products but occurs sometime (30-60 min) later, and the other is that it may not appear if the patient does not exercise at this particular time. Therefore, the reaction does not always follow wheat ingestion. The study of enzymatically digested gluten antigens in the patients disclosed that the allergenicity to wheat was reinforced by peptic digestion but abolished by further tryptic digestion, indicating that allergen activity was most potent in the stomach. Anaphylaxis may occur in some patients after wheat ingestion and exercise. Therefore, in exercise-induced anaphylaxis without apparent allergy, one should consider wheat allergy.