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.
The prevalence of wheat flour allergy is increasing, ranging from 2 to 3.6%, depending on diagnostic methods and geographic areas2. Wheat is also one of the most frequent allergenic foods associated with food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis3 . Another type of wheat IgE-mediated hypersensitivity is baker’s asthma, an important occupational disease, caused by inhalation of wheat and other cereals flours.
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.