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Wheat Allergy

(757) 668-7000


Patients with a wheat allergy should avoid all products labeled as containing wheat in order to avoid allergic reactions. Symptoms of wheat allergy can range from mild such as hives to severe such as anaphylaxis. If your child has wheat allergy your child needs to keep an epinephrine autoinjector at all times. Epinephrine is the first line of treatment for anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction).

Diagnosis of wheat allergy is based on detailed medical history and confirmed by a skin prick test or blood test. These tests look for the presence of allergic (IgE) antibodies to wheat protein. If these tests are not definitive your child’s allergist may order an oral food challenge. Under medical supervision, your child will eat small amounts of wheat to see if a reaction develops.

Once diagnosis of wheat allergy has been confirmed, the key to prevent allergic reactions is avoiding foods that contain wheat. Wheat is one of the eight major food allergens that must be listed in all packaged foods sold in the US.

Always read food labels and ask questions about ingredients before eating foods that you did not prepare.

Avoid foods that contain wheat or any of these ingredients:

  • Bread
  • Bulgur
  • Cereal extract
  • Club wheat
  • Couscous
  • Cracker meal
  • Durum
  • Einkorn
  • Emmer
  • Farina
  • Flour (all purpose, bread, cake, durum, enriched, graham, high gluten, high protein, instant, pastry, self rising, soft wheat, steel ground, stone ground, whole wheat)
  • Gluten
  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein
  • Kamut
  • Matzoh, matzoh meal (also spelled as matzo, matzah or matza)
  • Pasta
  • Seitan
  • Semolina
  • Spelt
  • Spouted wheat
  • Triticale
  • Vital wheat gluten
  • Wheat (bran, durum, germ, gluten, grass, malt, sprouts, starch)
  • Wheat bran hydrolysate
  • Wheat germ oil
  • Wheat grass
  • Wheat protein isolate
  • Whole wheat berries

Buckwheat is not related to wheat and is considered safe to eat

Wheat is sometimes found in the following:

  • Glucose syrup
  • Soy sauce
  • Starch (gelatinized starch, modified starch, modified food starch, vegetable starch)
  • Surimi

Some unexpected sources of wheat:

  • Ale
  • Asian dishes can feature wheat flour flavored and shaped to look like beef, pork and shrimp.
  • Baked goods
  • Baking mixes
  • Batter fried foods
  • Beer
  • Breaded foods
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Candy
  • Country style wreaths are often decorated with wheat products
  • Crackers
  • Hot dogs
  • Imitation crab meat
  • Ice cream
  • Marinara sauce
  • Play dough
  • Processed meats
  • Rice cakes
  • Salad dressings
  • Sauces
  • Soups
  • Turkey patties

Allergens are not always present in these foods and products, but wheat can appear in multiple processed foods. So always make the habit of reading packaged food labels in order to avoid allergic reactions.

Visit Food allergy research and education (FARE), American College of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) and American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) websites for more information on food allergies.

Disclaimer:This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.

Reviewed: 11/2017

(757) 668-7000