Difference between wheat allergy and gluten intolerance

In baking, many ingredients contain allergens such as wheat. We have therefore summarized the most important facts about wheat allergy for you. You can also find out how it differs from gluten intolerance (celiac disease).  

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Die Weizenallergie  

Eine Weizenallergie ist eine Reaktion des Immunsystems, die, wie jede andere Allergie, durch spezifische Immungobulin E-Antikörper ausgelöst wird. Diese richten sich gegen Bestandteile (Allergene) im Weizen und verursachen dadurch unterschiedliche Symptome. Die Beschwerden treten meist unmittelbar nach dem Verzehr von weizenhaltigen Lebensmitteln auf und machen sich häufig durch Hautausschläge oder Atemprobleme bemerkbar. Aber auch Verdauungsbeschwerden können (zeitverzögert) auftreten.  

Typical symptoms of wheat allergy

  • Swollen, itchy mucous membranes (nose, mouth, eyes)  
  • Reddened, itchy skin (hives)  
  • Breathing problems, asthma  
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms (cramps, bloating, diarrhea, etc.)
  • Allergic shock (rare, but life-threatening)

Tip: If you are allergic to wheat or other foods, they can easily be substituted in cooking and baking. We have summarized alternative ingredients for you in our advice article Allergens & Alternatives.

Wheat allergy versus gluten intolerance - what is the difference?

In contrast to allergies, gluten intolerance (celiac disease) is an autoimmune disease. Antibodies are also formed when gluten-containing foods are eaten (but IgA antibodies), but these are directed against the body's own mucous membrane of the small intestine.  

If symptoms occur when eating wheat or gluten in general, although the above-mentioned diseases have been medically ruled out, they may simply not be tolerated. One speaks then of a gluten sensitivity. Particularly due to various nutrition and diet trends, different types of grains repeatedly fall into disrepute and are therefore avoided. However, a strict diet should only be followed after medical consultation in order to avoid deficiency symptoms.  

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This article has been reviewed by unserem Medical-Team for accuracy of content.

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