Causes and Symptoms

Published on Sunday, 24 June 2012 12:45


There are four proteins that can cause the immune system to respond: albumin, globulin, gliadin and gluten.  When wheat is consumed the immune system treats one of these proteins as a threat to the body.  Immunoglobulin E, or IgE, is an antibody that is produced by the body to attack the food protein (the antigen).  IgE signals an attack on the protein by releasing histamine and other chemicals once the antibodies come into contact with the antigen. These chemicals cause the allergic symptoms that develop.


  • Wheezing, difficulty breathing
  • Runny nose, congestion
  • Hives
  • Swelling of the lips, eyes, face, tongue and/or throat
  • Mouth tingles or is itchy
  • Skin rash (note: eczema is a common skin condition often associated with food allergies, see your doctor for proper diagnosis)
  • Diarrhea
  • Loose stools
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness
  • Cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Coughing
  • Asthma
  • Anaphylaxis (can occur in some severe cases) Anaphylaxis is when the throat swells making breathing difficult because the airways constrict.  Other symptoms may include a rapid pulse, dizziness, shock, and lightheadedness.  This is life threatening and needs to be treated immediately by a clinician.