Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Signs of being allergic to wheat and other gluten grains

More and more people are finding out they are allergic to gluten and I've been asked more and more often to teach classes to help folks learn to cook and handle these allergies better.  I thought I should share with you some of the signs that you may be allergic to what you are eating.

Here is a list put out by the Mayo Clinic:
  • Swelling, itching or irritation of the mouth or throat
  • Hives, itchy rash or swelling of the skin
  • Nasal congestion
  • Lethargy
  • Headaches
  • Coughing
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Cramps, nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anaphylaxis


For some people wheat allergy may cause a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. In addition to other signs and symptoms of wheat allergy, anaphylaxis may cause:
  • Swelling or tightness of the throat
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Severe difficulty breathing
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Pale, blue skin color
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Fast heartbeat
Eating something you are allergic to can effect your whole body.  It will most certainly effect your Gastro-intestinal system causing stomach bloating and pain, diarrhea, flatulence, constipation and diarrhea, etc.
Neurologial conditions including headaches, memory loss, behavioural difficulties and depression.
Immune condition: Frequent infections like colds, flu and bacterial infections, mouth and stomach ulcers.
Skin rashes: Hives, Eczema, Psoriasis, itching flaky skin.
Inflammation & Inflammatory diseases: Stiff joints, allergies, Arthritis, colitis, thyroidities, etc.
General: Food cravings, tiredness, Chronic fatigue, unwell feeling

 Now as you can tell, you can go a long time before it might click in your doctor's head to check for food allergies.  I know I was treated for all kinds of garbage before someone suddenly said I should get allergy tested.  They can do a simple blood test now that will list every food you are allergic to.  The problem with the list is that it won't tell you how allergic you are.  When I got my list (5 pages long!)  I frankly didn't think life was worth living any more!  I basically could eat meat and sugar the 2 things I was no longer eating.  I went ahead and went off everything and instantly felt better than I had for years!   I also started losing weight!   I then went to an allergy doctor and got tested.  I found out I was very, very allergic to gluten and soy.  But I could have corn and dairy. Even shell fish was back on my good list.   That made it much more livable.  I have reduced my dairy but Having it scattered in my diet makes life worth living again.  I am making a cheese substitute that seems to work well in casseroles, etc made out of cashews.  I am also learning how to use non-gluten grains in our meals.  

So if you are having any of the above problems and can't seem to improve go get allergy tested to see if you have food allergies.  If you prefer to avoid doctors then start cutting out things like wheat/gluten or dairy and see if it helps you out.


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