To address a gluten allergy, one must first identify the source of this allergy. Is it wheat or is it the gluten within wheat? Is it both? There are differences, and understanding those differences may play a significant role in the overall course of your health.
The first gluten allergy to discuss is a wheat allergy. This is a histamine response similar to a peanut allergy or a pollen allergy. Like gluten intolerance, a wheat allergy is an immune response. However, unlike a gluten intolerance, when you experience a wheat allergy your body is actually trying to attack that allergen, not your body. During the course of this immune response, your body gets caught in the crossfire and you experience unpleasant symptoms.
If you want to treat your allergy to wheat, just stop eating wheat. If you accidentally eat something with wheat, you can try to take a strong antihistamine like Benedryl. Just recognize that you are suffering from an allergic reaction, not an autoimmune disease.
A gluten intolerance often manifests itself in a far more subtle fashion. Despite having literally hundreds of different symptoms, sometimes it can take years for an intolerance to gluten to make itself apparent. When a person with celiac disease consumes gluten, his or her body attacks itself. This is called having an autoimmune disease. This is very different from an allergic reaction. Despite the subtlety, the consequences can be severe, so just because you do not experience an immediate response does not mean it is not serious.
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Other examples of autoimmune diseases include diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. All of these share with celiac disease the attributes with of a raised level of an unusual antibody and a leaky gut or permeable intestinal wall.
You can’t just take an antihistamine if you are gluten intolerant. You must strictly adhere to a gluten-free diet. This is the only way to treat your celiac disease. This means avoiding all traces of gluten, which is not just in wheat but also spelt, barley and rye. It can also make it into things like barbecue sauce as a binder and into supplements as a filler.
Now you should better understand the difference between an intolerance to gluten and an allergy to wheat. If you believe you might be suffering from gluten allergy symptoms of any form, please visit with your primary care physician right away.
An allergy isn’t always innocent. Serious allergic reactions can have dire consequences. Gluten intolerance can have even more dire consequences if left undiagnosed and untreated for long.
Visit Sarah Patrick’s free and comprehensive guide to gluten allergy symptoms:
Gluten Allergy Symptoms
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