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Son diagnosed with wheat allergy at 15 mos
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Son diagnosed with wheat allergy at 15 mos

Hi everyone! I've never been to t his board before, but am on the maternal forum frequently. Hopefully someone  here can help! My almost 15 month old son (Max) was diagnosed with a wheat allergy on Monday via scratch testing. I took him in due to 7 months worth of BRIGHT red and dry cheeks and chin. I was sick of hearing from the ped that this was due to teething and was glad to get an answer from the allergist!

I noticed a remarkable difference already yesterday with his cheek coloring. I was so relieved. BUT, today his cheeks are on fire again...along with his little hiney! He has never, in his life, had diaper rash and is now blood red and literally bleeding! Did anyone (or their children) experience anything like this when first diagnosed with a wheat/gluten allergy and switched to the gluten free foods?

I am also curious, as I'm just beginning to research everything...I realize there is a difference between wheat allregies and celiac disease. BUT, if he were to have celiac would it show up on a scratch test? Should he undergo the bloodwork to test for celiac? I'm lost here! lol Any info would be much appreciated!

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Hi Ruby,

I've always heard that the scratch test doesn't work for detecting celiac.  They are both related to wheat, but celiac causes different immune responses.  I can't remember all the names, but celiac causes IGE, TTG, and IGA responses, and I think they say that the allergies like wheat hayfever etc cause a different version of immune response.  Celiacs respond to gluten, the protein containing molecule in wheat, rye, and barley grains.  The proteins in these grains are similar enough that it causes a reaction.

You will need to do some learning about wheat though, and where it hides in our foods.  Wheat is a very common ingredient in foods, and can be in modified food starch, textured vegetable protein (TVP), natural flavorings, etc.  There are gluten free foods in most stores these days, which should help.  The gluten free mall is another place to look. Some celiacs stick to mostly whole foods, and give up eating processed foods entirely.  It is simpler than reading every label on a package and then checking the ingredients on line each time you want to eat something.  There aren't many processed foods that are gluten free, but there are some.  I eat lots of rice dishes that I make myself.

Some celiacs also do a house cleaning to make sure there are no wheat crumbs hiding around.  Spots they like to hide and get you un-awares are toasters (usually full of crumbs), wooden dishes with little crevices in the wood grain, shampoos, toothpaste, salad dressings, pet foods, candy, and on and on.  Some people throw out all their cookware and start over, although I think that is unneeded with metal or porcelain items.

Another thing to watch out for is using a knife to butter a piece of wheat toast.  You can spread the stuff from your knife to the butter container or the peanut butter jar and contaminate it.  This is called cross-contamination or cc.  Wheat flour is also bad because it is a fine powder and can get air borne and be very hard to get rid of all of it.  It should probably be illegal!  But there are gluten free flours available like Tom Sawyer brand or Bob's Red Mill.

I had a more distinct reaction to gluten after I had stopped eating it for a while.  I've read that other celiac people feel that too.  I don't know if wheat allergies act like that though.

There are several celiac support groups around, and I think they would be willing to help out a kid wheat allergies also.
Thank you so much for the information!

This is really quite difficult with him being so young! Other than his red cheeks, I don't know his symptoms at all. I don't know HOW he really reacts to wheat, other than the swelling with the allergy testing. He has begun refusing GF waffles, bread, muffins, etc. He began doing this with wheat products and I believe he did it as a reaction to stomach pain, but who knows!

It is all just so frustrating with such a little guy! I feel like he's going to turn into eggs and potatoes if he doesn't eat something else soon! Thanks again for your information!
If he is celiac, you'll have to make sure all wheat, rye, barley and oats are taken out of the diet. You also need to make sure he's not cross-reactive to casein (the protein in diary) as some with celiac are.

It takes some practice, but it gets easier with time.
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