Wheat Allergy and Non-celiac Gluten Intolerance

Mama at The Liberated Kitchen

Mama with some home-canned goodness

In our Celiac Testing Myths series we exposed the fact that celiac disease is rampant. But not everyone who has a problem with gluten has celiac disease. Wheat is one of the top 8 allergens, and non-celiac gluten intolerance is on the rise as well. If you get negative test results for celiac disease, it’ll make sense to cut gluten out to make sure you don’t have an allergy or intolerance to it. If you feel better without gluten then react when you reintroduce it, you can be sure it’s a problem for you.

Wheat Allergy

People who are allergic to wheat have an IgE mediated reaction. This is what’s known as a “true allergy.” These reactions are usually more like hay fever – runny nose, itchy eyes, tight throat, hives, eczema, and can even include anaphylaxis. True allergies can produce GI issues, too.

These are the kinds of allergies that allergists test for with skin pricks or patch tests and RAST tests. Most allergists do not test for IgE reactions to food. We made the mistake of thinking that by visiting an allergist and getting skin pricks done, our son had been checked out for all common allergens. If you suspect food could be behind your “seasonal” allergies, make sure to tell your allergist!

People with a true allergy to it need to avoid wheat, but may not need to avoid all gluten-containing grains or other foods containing gluten. Unlike celiac disease, sometimes people outgrow IgE allergies or don’t react as much when their system is not already inflamed. If you think you might have outgrown a food allergy, be very cautious when reintroducing the food! Only do so with your doctor’s help, just in case you have an extreme reaction!

Gluten Intolerance and Sensitivity

Instead of getting celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis, you may see other diseases flare up when you have gluten. Arthritis, MS, thyroid conditions, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and neurological problems such as ataxia, neuropathy, anemia, ADD/ADHD, schizophrenia, and depression have all been correlated with gluten intolerance in some people.

Other common symptoms include brain fog, vertigo, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, pain, fatigue, anxiety, headaches, the list goes on.

Many of the symptoms people get from gluten are thought to be caused by intestinal permeability. The root cause of the permeability varies from person to person. SIBO, parasites, and certain autoimmune diseases can be some of the potential causes. However, a gluten intolerance can also be the root cause of this problem. When the space between the cells lining the gut increases, food molecules, bacteria, and toxins make it through. When this happens, you’ve got a “leaky gut.”

When gluten is only partially digested, gliadorphin (aka gluteomorphin) results. It is an opioid peptide. When it escapes a leaky gut it makes it across the blood-brain barrier. Opioids are highly addictive, which is why so many people suffer withdrawal symptoms when cutting out gluten.

Another effect of a leaky gut is that the body creates IgG antibodies to the proteins that enter the bloodstream. ELISA testing looks for these antibodies. It’s important to note that IgG antibodies don’t necessarily mean you are seriously allergic to a food. They mean that the food is getting out of the gut and your body is attacking it. This is why so many people score high for IgG antibodies to all their favorite foods, and respond well to rotation diets. Healing the gut will often resolve these kinds of food intolerances.

If you suspect leaky gut, you will want to sort out what the underlying causes are with the help of your doctor, so that you can actually heal!

Related posts:

6 comments to Wheat Allergy and Non-celiac Gluten Intolerance

  • Kathy Ellenberger

    I have diabetes and I do not have Celiac’s. I have IBS gas and diarrhea problems.
    I eat homemade yogurt and dry cottage cheese, hard cheese, and eggs. Does your diet use any dairy? They all seem to give me gas. What doesn’t?!?! Avocado, bell peppers, not to mention broccoli, cabbage, beans or the regular list.

  • Nalliah Thayabharan

    Some of the world’s most popular diets including Atkins, South Beach and the Dukan Diet have urged followers to ditch bread and other carbs to slim down, while a rising number of celiac and gluten sensitivity sufferers have dropped bread in the name of health.

    Modern wheat — including whole wheat — has become so uniquely destructive to multiple body functions that more than 80% of us could benefit from giving it up all together. 50% of us could see and feel results almost right away.

    When traditional wheat was genetically altered to become semi-dwarf wheat in the last century, it was assumed, without any testing, that the modifications would not change the way it affected those who ate it.

    Those genetic changes could be responsible for the rise in celiac disease and gluten sensitivity we are seeing today. Unique compounds in wheat such as gliadin, amylopectin A and others as triggers of hunger, sharper blood sugar spikes, behavioral disorders and destructive inflammation.

    Thousands of patients effortlessly lost weight, relieved joint pain, eliminated their need for inhalers and improved their blood numbers with the simple removal of wheat.

    Genetically altered form of wheat has been transformed into such a destructive “food” that any amount has the potential to trigger undesirable consequences.

    Due to the overwhelming inflammation-triggering effect of wheat gluten and lectins, or the appetite-stimulating effects of the gliadin protein unique to wheat even reduction does yield benefits, just not as dramatic as elimination.

    Spelt is one of the evolutionarily older forms of wheat, along with kamut, emmer and einkorn. They are better, since they lack the most destructive proteins. However, the older forms of wheat can still trigger many of the same phenomena as modern wheat, just not as severely. They are better … but they are not good.

  • Renae

    Gluten causes severe flare-ups of my fibromyalgia. Even though I have IBS, only wheat obviously caused gastrointestinal symptoms. When I got rid of other sources of gluten too, all my non-gastrointestinal symptoms lessened as well!

  • Another component of wheat that causes both IBS-type symptoms and non-digestive distress is the fibre “fructans” (aka fructo-oligosaccharide), which also occurs in rye and barley. it isn’t absorbed properly in the small intestine, so continues on to the colon, where the microflora present ferment it and cause gas and bloating, etc. Fructans is a FODMAP and is found in wheat, rye, barley, onions, garlic, cabbage etc; other FODMAPs include fructose (apples, pears), polyols (sugar alcohols i.e. avocado, sugar free gum), galactans (beans/legumes, broccoli) and lactose (dairy). Look into the research being done by Monash University, very interesting once you get your head around it.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Berkey Water Filter