Wheat intolerance is not the same as a wheat allergy. A wheat allergy is a very severe and sudden allergic reaction to a particular protein component of wheat. It is an autoimmune response; in other words the body’s immune system has released certain chemicals to get rid of a relatively harmless substance which it has mistaken for harmful. The normal allergy symptoms will include sudden coughing, asthma, difficulty in breathing, and vomiting. A wheat allergy can definitely threaten the life of an allergic person. Anyone with a wheat allergy must remain on a very strict wheat-free diet to keep healthy. Few people have a wheat allergy since it is rare with less than one half of the population having this allergy.
When most people speak about wheat allergy they actually are talking about wheat intolerance. Wheat intolerance is caused by a substance known as gluten which is a complex protein that is found in wheat and other grains. Approximately 15 percent of people or one in seven are affected by wheat intolerance. Actually wheat intolerance is also known as gluten intolerance and it causes difficult in digesting wheat or wheat products. This may seem less important than a wheat allergy; however, the intolerance also involves the body’s immune system. It is believed among those who eat natural foods that human beings are unable to completely digest modern foods. If the body cannot fully digest a food then there is the food is only partially digested. This partially digested lump of food may begin to cause problems since the body will not “see” them as harmless. Then this may result in inflammation and also interrupt the body’s functions until many different symptoms begin appearing. Untreated, the symptoms will eventually grow into disease. Some of these symptoms are chronic, meaning constant, and they are as follows: aching joints, eczema, low blood iron levels, gastro-intestinal problems, even depression, and some other symptoms, as well.
Furthermore, many serious health risks are associated with wheat intolerance. Diabetes, osteoporosis, anemia, and bowel cancer are all linked with the disorder. Since gluten can also be found in rye barley and oats, these may also cause the intolerance in individuals. There are also other food intolerances as well, such as dairy intolerance (includes lactose intolerance), yeast sensitivity (Candida), and fructose or sugar sensitivity. These food intolerances are indeed food sensitivities. Actually, until 10,000 years ago, people mainly ate seafood, fruit, non-starchy vegetables, and lean meats. Then people began including wheat once the agricultural revolution had occurred. Basically, this is the primary reason that most people’s digestive systems have trouble with digesting wheat and gluten. Another reason people may have wheat intolerance is the factor of heredity. When people eat wheat a chemical called zonulin lets toxins go through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream, which is known as “leaky gut syndrome.” This syndrome can result in many different health problems.
Since 75 percent of people in America are affected by some kind of food intolerance, more people are seeking answers to ending their symptoms and getting well again. It may be difficult, however, for doctors to diagnose the disorder since the symptoms for wheat intolerance are varied and usually are delayed in their onset up to 2 or 3 days. It may even be misdiagnosed, confused for other disorders. However, once diagnosed, treatment must begin immediately. Fortunately, the wheat intolerant individual can simply avoid eating any food that has gluten included. The individual must practice gluten “abstinence” and completely divest his or her diet of the offending food. As an individual begins eating a gluten-free diet he or she may begin to feel so much better than he or she once had. The difference is dramatic. Other benefits in avoiding the wheat is improvement in the person’s appearance, with less signs of aging, wrinkles, and with better skin tone and texture. Who needs wheat in their diet if that’s the case?