• Wheat and Gluten Food Intolerance vs. Food Allergy

    Many people who deal with an inability to eat wheat and other grains may think that they are dealing with a simple allergy but this isn’t always the case. While if taken at face value, allergies to wheat and gluten food intolerance may appear to be the same condition there are many things that separate them. Below are two lists of the many differences and similarities between these two very important diet changing food limitations.

    Differences:

    • Gluten intolerance (also known as celiac disease) means that the sufferer has an extreme sensitivity to the protein known as gluten in wheat based products and their body is literally unable to process it. Allergies to wheat mean that your immune system wrongly considers wheat an invader and reacts accordingly to get it out of your system, if your body didn’t form these antibodies you could eat it.
    • Wheat allergy is an abnormal immune response to a protein in food. Gluten intolerance is an inherited autoimmune disease which can damage the small intestine and its ability to absorb nutrients causing malnutrition ( it can also raise the risk of developing diseases like osteoporosis and anemia.
    • Gluten intolerance can be diagnosed in people of any age and is life long while wheat allergies are generally a childhood allergy that is grown out of.
    • Intolerance doesn’t trigger the immune system and a food allergy is caused by that trigger.
    • Allergic reactions are within a 2 hour period of the ingestion. Food intolerance can take as long as 24 hours to develop.
    • Those who are allergic to wheat may be able to eat other forms of grain, those who have food intolerance must avoid all grains.

    Similarities

    • Both are reactions to the ingestion of wheat which isn’t digested normally and risks making the person ill.
    • Sufferers of both are best helped by avoiding wheat and products that could contain wheat in their diet.
    • Both what allergies and gluten intolerance cause the sufferer to be sick only when they’re eating wheat.
    • On a diet without wheat both types of sufferers feel much better and unaffected by their condition.
    • Eating out and traveling are both hard for the person allergic to wheat and the person who is intolerant of gluten, many foods contain these ingredients and could bring on a reaction at any time.

    The best way to treat either of these conditions is to cut wheat and foods that may contain it in any way from your diet. There are many types of food that are made for those with these conditions and so the change doesn’t have to be as drastic as it was for sufferers even ten years ago. There are also starting to be gluten free restaurants that cater to those who can’t eat without having a reaction. Avoiding these foods may seem difficult in the beginning but over time you will learn that there are many delicious meals that don’t require the presence of wheat or other grains to be filling and nutritious.

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