What’s the Real Difference between Wheat and Gluten?


Two terms that people use interchangeably are gluten and wheat. While you may think that both allergies are the same, they aren’t. There are differences between gluten and wheat allergies and the type of allergy you have can affect what you can and can not eat. Let’s take a closer look at the difference between wheat and gluten.

What Are Wheat and Gluten?

Wheat is a grain – plain and simple. It’s used to make bread, cakes, and anything else that contains wheat or white flour. Gluten is a protein that binds the dough in bread and baked goods. While wheat does have gluten, so does barley, rye, and malt. What does this mean? It’s means that while you may be allergic to wheat, you may not be allergic to gluten. However, if you’re allergic to gluten, you will need to avoid wheat.

Symptoms of Allergies and Intolerances

Allergies and intolerances are different from one another, but are the same for wheat and gluten. Allergy symptoms include digestive problems (vomiting, nausea, bloating, gas, and indigestion), chest pain, hives, eczema, and possibly anaphylaxis. However, an intolerance to wheat and gluten may include irritability, vomiting, headaches, heartburn, fatigue skin irritations, and digestive problems that are similar to those found in allergies. This can make it harder to determine if you have an allergy or intolerance. One way to determine the difference is that allergy symptoms usually occur quickly, while intolerance symptoms may be delayed or never show up at all.

How to Handle Allergies and Intolerances

In some cases, those with an intolerance may be able to enjoy wheat or gluten in small amounts. However, those with an allergy should cut wheat and/or gluten from their diet immediately. An allergy is not something to play around with and can lead to dangerous reactions. The good news is you don’t have to live with the symptoms that occur from either an allergy or an intolerance. Today’s restaurants and food manufacturers are making it much easier for those with wheat and/or gluten allergies and intolerances to enjoy food that meets their dietary guidelines.

Don’t be confused when your doctor says that you are allergy to wheat or gluten. The truth is while you may be allergic to wheat, you may not be allergic to gluten. This can have a huge difference on the foods you’re able to eat. However, if you are allergic to gluten, you’ll need to avoid wheat. Also, it’s important to know whether you have an allergy or intolerance. This can have a huge impact on the lengths you need to go to in order to avoid wheat and/or gluten.

About the Author: Thaddeus Vergeer has worked in the healthcare industry for 15 years and has seen a wide variety of different allergies. He’s currently researching information on ultrasountechnician.info and plans to go back to school to become an ultrasound tech.

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