Whats a gluten allergy
If your symptoms are severe and long-lasting, especially if you own blood in your poo (stools), vomiting or painful stomach cramps, see your doctor to law out a medical condition.
If you own bloating or other minor symptoms after eating bread, Dr Skypala recommends trying an elimination diet. This is where you completely cut out wheat from your diet for 4 weeks, then gradually bring it back in to see if symptoms reappear.
«When you bring wheat-based foods back in, I recommend trying Weetabix or pasta first for a few days before starting on bread. It’s better to start with wheat in a more pure form, as bread has so numerous other ingredients,» Dr Skypala says.
Is it wheat intolerance or sensitivity?
If your symptoms return, it confirms you’re sensitive to wheat and will also show you which foods are especially troublesome.
Some people may only own problems with pasta, for example, while others are fine until they eat bread.
If you are sensitive to wheat, or you own trouble digesting it, the main way to relieve your symptoms is to embark on a wheat-free or partially wheat-free diet.
Foods that contain wheat
Foods with wheat in them include:
- cakes and pastries
- hydrolysed vegetable protein (HVP)
- soy sauce
These foods are a grand alternative to wheat-based ones:
- buckwheat pasta
- porridge, Rice Krispies and cornflakes
How to go on a wheat-free diet
Cutting out bread and other foods containing wheat should not harm your health, if you do it properly.
Wheat is one of our staple foods, and lots of wheat products, such as breakfast cereals, are fortified with vitamins and minerals.
In the past, there was a harm of running short of essential nutrients love B vitamins and iron if you cut out wheat.
But there’s now a excellent range of widely available wheat-free alternatives that will not compromise a balanced diet.
Read more about vitamins and minerals.
«There are grand wheat substitutes you can purchase off the supermarket shelf now. Go for gluten-free bread, and attempt other types of grains, such as quinoa, corn and rice,» says Dr Skypala.
«Just make sure you substitute other equally nutritious foods for the wheat-based ones you’re cutting out.»
Be certain to cut out every wheat from your diet. Some sources of wheat are obvious, such as bread, but others are less so, such as soy sauce.
The health problems caused by wheat
There are 3 key health problems caused by wheat:
- Coeliac disease – a condition where the intestine lining can’t absorb and is damaged by gluten-containing foods including wheat, barley, oats and rye.
See your GP for a blood test.
- Wheat allergy – reactions generally start within minutes and include itching, sneezing and wheezing.
See your GP for referral to an NHS allergy clinic.
- Wheat sensitivity – symptoms love bloating, cramps, diarrhoea and sickness come on fairly slowly, generally hours after eating wheat. There’s no diagnostic test.
Bread-related gut symptoms
«Probably a third of patients in my allergy clinic complain of digestive symptoms such as bloating, diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach pain after eating bread,» says Isabel Skypala PhD, specialist allergy dietitian at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust.
She says allergy is unlikely to be the culprit, but bread-related symptoms are genuine, and wheat could be to blame.
«Some people discover certain foods are simply hard to digest, and wheat appears to be one of those,» she explains.
Read more about food intolerance.