I admit it: the term event gets misused on this site.
This article will explain what a gluten allergy is, what its close cousin, the gluten intolerance is, and celiac disease. I’ll also touch on the term “wheat allergy”.
The fact is though, that the term “gluten allergy” is pretty convenient. When you tell someone you have a gluten allergy, you are telling them not to feed you gluten or it will make you sick.
Does it really matter if in fact you are actually intolerant to gluten or have celiac disease, but instead say you have a gluten allergy?
It does to some people, those who have a medical background or are sticklers for semantics.
When it comes to your health though, the main goal is to stay physically healthy, not semantically correct. Most people get it when you say you have a gluten allergy, no matter what the underlying cause.
I suggest you don’t confuse people by giving them exactly and precisely the correct term.
Having said that, you can certainly use the term “celiac disease” if that’s what you have. More and more people understand what that means. It is a more specific term, so I suggest you do not use it unless you are celiac.
More broadly, allergic reactions to food include:
- Angioedema: soft tissue swelling, usually involving the eyelids, face, lips, and tongue. Angioedema may result in severe swelling of the tongue as well as the larynx (voice box) and trachea, resulting in upper airway obstruction and difficulty breathing.
- Itching of the mouth, throat, eyes, skin
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and/or abdominal pain. This group of symptoms is termed gastrointestinal hypersensitivity or anaphylaxis.
- Rhinorrhea, nasal congestion
- Wheezing, scratchy throat, shortness of breath, or difficulty swallowing
- Anaphylaxis: a severe, whole-body allergic reaction that can be fatal.
(The above courtesy of wikipedia.com)
Gluten Allergy – Delayed Reaction
Where as the classic allergy symptoms occur within minutes of ingesting gluten, delayed reactions can effect you up to several days after ingesting gluten. Those who adhere to the strict definition of an allergy may not agree that this is an allergy, but it certainly is an abnormal reaction to a normal food, and that gives you every right to avoid it.
This is a very challenging type of allergy to diagnose, since tests can be quite inaccurate for this type of allergy, and you are unlikely to discover cause and effect easily, especially for foods you eat every day.
Note: This article is in progress and will be added to soon.
Gluten Allergy – What is Your Experience?
Share your experience! What works for you? What are your challenges? Please add your comments below …