There are many types of food intolerance and allergies, and wheat intolerance is one of the most common. But all wheat sensitivity is not created equal. Gluten intolerance – otherwise known as coeliac disease – is an inflammatory condition of the digestive tract, caused by gluten – a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. It is not a contagious illness but is often genetic.
Wheat is a major diet constituent for much of the world. It is an ingredient for a wide range of foods. Using wheat in food manufacture has advantages that make its continued mass growth vital to manufacturers. Its a cheap bulking agent that often takes the place of better quality ingredients in a product. Typically the allergy is limited to the seed storage proteins of wheat, some reactions are restricted to wheat proteins, while others can react across many varieties of seeds and other plant tissues.
One of the decisions you may wish to make is whether or not the entire family should go wheat and gluten free, this is a decision that is entirely up to each family and it is not necessary – although it might make things a little easier and less prone to mistakes. Coeliac disease affects one person in every thousand. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 30 and 45. Classic symptoms include lethargy, weight loss, vomiting and diarrhoea.
So if wheat is considered one of the most wholesome, nutritious foods, then why is wheat one of the most common foods that people become allergic to? Wheat is now listed in the top 8 food allergens along with peanuts, tree nuts, milk, fish, shellfish, eggs and soy. Wheat allergy may be a misnomer since there are many allergenic components in wheat, for example serine protease inhibitors, glutelins and prolamins and different responses are often attributed to different proteins. When it comes to talking about celiac disease and wheat intolerance with your kids, the best results have ever seen are when parents start talking to them about their diet right away whether they are three years old or 13 years old.