Wheat allergy, the most prevalent food allergy, is most common in young children, usually developing in the infancy and toddler years. Some infants and young children will appear to lose their wheat allergies between the ages of three and five, however some will merely be in remission until their 20s or 30s. Some children will continue to experience wheat allergies throughout their lives. While wheat allergies that develop in adolescence or adulthood are rare.
Many wheat allergy symptoms are similar to those reactions a person has to airborne allergens like pollen and dust. You may notice your infant or young child experiencing an itching and swelling of the mouth, throat, or skin when products containing wheat have been ingested. Itchy or watery eyes and congestion may also be present. Because of this, it may be easy to mistake a wheat allergy for regular airborne allergies.
Food allergy is increasing throughout Asia and is reported to affect approximately 4% to 5% of Singaporean schoolchildren. Over a 15-year period between 1990 and 2005, there have been 6 published series of food-related anaphylaxis in children from 4 different countries (UK, USA, Sweden and Germany) recording 31 deaths and 132 severe life-threatening reactions. The triggers of fatal reactions were peanut (48%), milk (17%) and egg (7%).
Allergic reactions are generally treated one of two ways: with antihistamines or with epinephrine. For mild reactions, taking an antihistamine at the first sign of a reaction will reduce your symptoms and relieve pain or discomfort. For anaphylaxis, an epinephrine shot will need to be administered through an auto-injector or by a medical professional.