Another type of food allergy is wheat, though it is not as common as other food allergies.  Four specific groups of proteins (albumin, globulin, gliadin, gluten) cause wheat allergies.  However, most children will eventually outgrow it.

Gluten intolerance, also called celiac disease, and wheat allergies are two distinctly different conditions.  Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder, not a food allergy, and is much more common than wheat allergy.  Those with celiac disease do not lose their sensitivity to gluten.  Therefore, they require a lifelong restriction from wheat and other grains containing gluten, such as rye, oats and barley.  Yet, an individual with a wheat allergy needs only to avoid wheat, not other grains.

Typically, celiac disease symptoms manifest themselves at 6 to 24 months of age, following the introduction of cereal into the diet.  Symptoms include poor absorption of nutrients by the intestines, impaired growth, abnormal stools, abdominal distension, poor appetite, or irritability.  In adults, the symptoms may be quite varied from severe weight loss and diarrhea to subtle abdominal complaints. Wheat allergies and celiac disease are two separate conditions requiring unique treatment options presenting different outcomes.  Obtaining an accurate diagnosis cannot be overemphasized.

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