The differences between gluten allergy and wheat allergy

Ronald Ferdman, MD, explains how gluten sensitivity and wheat allergy are different, including the differences in symptoms and the possibility of outgrowing the allergy.
The Differences Between Gluten Allergy and Wheat Allergy
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The differences between gluten allergy and wheat allergy

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A lot of people confuse gluten and wheat allergy. But actually, they’re two separate conditions. A gluten sensitivity is a disease called celiac disease, which is a very specific sensitivity to gluten in any form. Wheat is the major source of gluten, but other grains, such as rye and oats also have gluten. Celiac is a very serious disease; it has a lot of symptoms beyond just stomach symptoms. You’re at risk for cancer and other diseases if you continue to eat gluten. And celiac is a lifelong disease where you have to avoid gluten the rest of your life. Wheat allergy is no different than any other food allergy, milk allergy, egg allergy. Most children who have wheat allergy have no problem with other gluten containing grains, such as oats and rye. And wheat allergy usually just causes typical allergic reactions, such as hives or eczema, and the vast majority of people who have wheat allergy will outgrow it. And so they’re really two separate conditions – one is a true allergy, the wheat allergy, whereas the gluten sensitivity, or celiac disease is a much more serious gastro-intestinal disease.

Ronald Ferdman, MD, explains how gluten sensitivity and wheat allergy are different, including the differences in symptoms and the possibility of outgrowing the allergy.

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Ronald Ferdman, MD

Pediatrician, Allergy and Immunology, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Ronald Ferdman received his BA from the University of California at San Diego and his MD from Hahnemann University (now Drexel University) in Philadelphia.  He completed both his Pediatric residency and his fellowship in Allergy/Immunology at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, then obtained a Masters in Medical Education (MEd) from the University of Southern California (USC) School of Education.  He currently is an attending physician in the Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.  He is board certified allergy/immunologist, and is a fellow in the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.  His current interests include management of allergic and immunologic diseases in high-risk children and education for families and clinicians. He is a California native, where he currently lives with his wife Susan and their three of four children, and spends his spare time wishing for more.

 

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