The realities behind Celiac Disease and other levels of gluten or wheat intolerances go far beyond recent diet trends. Understanding some of these differences is essential to identifying the best approach toward a healthy diet.
The Basics Behind Wheat Allergies
Wheat (Triticum aestivum) is the most widely grown crop worldwide and is one of the staple foods in the diet of individuals across the globe. The grain’s ability to be produced in various climates in a short time frame allows it to be an accessible food source for many people. Additionally, due to the widespread availability of wheat, it has been introduced into foods in every region.
Individuals who have an allergy or intolerance to the grain are at an increased disadvantage in receiving proper nutrition. This is why it is crucial to understand the differences in sensitivities for people so that you can determine which foods you should utilize as a routine part of your healthy diet.
For some individuals, a wheat allergy can be a life-threatening issue. This occurs when people have a problem with their immune response to wheat. The wheat allergy is characterized by T helper type 2 activation that affects the immunoglobulin E, or IgE reactions. In contrast, the non-IgE responses are typically not life-threatening but can have a chronic impact on the gastrointestinal tract, including diarrhea, upset stomach, and vomiting.
Working Around an Allergy or Sensitivity
Regardless of the specific impacts of wheat on your body, consuming wheat when it irritates your immune system is not a healthy approach to your diet. The first step is identifying the various areas where wheat is present. Typically, we find wheat in most types of bread and pasta. This includes whole wheat varieties. Wheat can also be found in some rice blends, couscous, and even many kinds of beer.
If you have been diagnosed with a wheat allergy or intolerance, it is essential to begin working to identify foods that you can substitute for wheat. Fortunately, various options are focused on helping people with wheat sensitivities. Many grocery stores now offer “gluten-free” sections that have a variety of bread and pasta created without wheat.
If you have wheat sensitivities, you may consider doing additional research or enlisting the help of a dietitian specializing in gluten-free diets.