Wheat Allergy in Babies – Symptoms, Facts, What if Raising Allergic Child
Created by Urvashi Shah Updated on Jan 27, 2021
What is wheat allergy? Yes, you heard that right. The good old chapatis and other wheat based food that we've been eating for ages can actually cause an allergic reaction in some people and babies, children as well. You might have heard terms such as gluten intolerance and celiac disease in this context.
Read on to find out more about Wheat allergies, Gluten intolerance & celiac conditions here.
What Are Wheat Allergy Facts in Children?
Wheat allergy is a common allergy that a number of toddlers suffer from. Since wheat comprises of a larger portion of our daily food intake, it is tough to outrun this allergy. Here are some facts about wheat allergy in kids.
- Wheat allergy and gluten intolerance are different but yet inter-related to one another. When your child has an allergy to wheat, she must be allergic to one of the proteins in wheat.
- Gluten is one protein in wheat, but there are several other such proteins that can cause allergic reactions. Hence, an allergy to wheat does not necessarily imply a gluten intolerance.
- Some toddlers who are allergic to wheat may also be allergic to other grains such as rye, barley and oats. Usually, this allergy vanishes by the time a toddler grows but until then the best way to deal with it is by avoiding wheat-based foods for your little one
- Wheat allergies occur when the body's immune system malfunctions in the presence of wheat. Since the body's immune system protects from various viruses and bacteria, in case of malfunction it responds inappropriately to wheat. Thus, the body then produces chemicals called histamines in large numbers which lead to runny nose, itchy and watery eyes and swelling are the major sign of allergy.
What are Wheat Allergy Symptoms in Babies, Toddlers?
- Skin Rash
- Stomach ache
- Trouble in breathing at times
Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance? - Myths About Wheat Allergy in Babies
It is easy to be confused between these various terms used so commonly. Here are few of the myths about wheat allergy -
- Wheat allergy is not the same as Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance. Celiac Disease is a disorder that leads to inflammation and damage in the lining of the small intestine due to an abnormal response to gluten. Toddlers having Celiac Disease may have varying symptoms, which include stomach ache, bloating, gas, diarrhoea, constipation, vomiting and even nausea
- Gluten intolerance causes intestinal or abdominal discomfort for the toddler after consuming gluten
- Gluten intolerance is different from Celiac Disease as toddlers suffering from gluten intolerance may experience a reaction to gluten as severe as those having Celiac Disease
- In gluten intolerance no damage is caused to the lining of small intestine. Apart from gastrointestinal discomfort, toddlers suffering from gluten intolerance can complain of headache and fatigue
Wheat Free versus Gluten Free Allergy
When preparing meals for your toddler who has these allergies, please keep these points in mind-
Choose the right ingredients: Opt for wheat free food options for your toddler suffering from wheat allergies.
- At times choosing gluten free food products for your little one with wheat allergies may simply deprive him of other nutrients as well
Check labels: Check the label of the gluten free food products that you are opting for, which must contain carbohydrates, sodium, fat and fibres.
- Labels of food products have to be checked thoroughly to ensure that allergens aren't present
- Since the symptoms of all these allergies almost seem to be similar, it is best to consult your paediatrician for medical intervention and he may conclude if your child has wheat allergy, gluten intolerance or Celiac Disease
What If Raising A Child With Allergies ?
- Find Healthy Alternatives: To avoid your child from feeling any sense of deprivation, stock up lot of wheat or gluten alternatives such as corn crackers, rice cereals, quinoa pasta, and gluten-free cookies and snacks
- Keep Snacks & Treats Handy: Gluten-free snacks can be kept handy when your toddler feels hungry
- Bake with Your Child: Enjoy gluten-free baking with your child. You can buy ready to prepare baking mixes which do not contain gluten
- Choose Ingredients Carefully: A doctor will help you determine what allergy your child has, and you can accordingly avoid it
When your child has shown any signs of an allergy, make sure you consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis. Following this, a few lifestyle changes are all it takes to make sure your child eats healthy!
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