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Celiac or wheat allergy?

I apologize this is lengthy- any insight is greatly apreciated!

I have hade strange allergic reactions for several that I have somewhat recently pinpointed to wheat. I was wondering however, whether what I have is simply a food allergy, or potentially celiac disease.

As a teenager, I started getting what I thought was acne on my neck and jawline. By college it was permanent and getting gradually worse. Last year, it was almost all the way down my neck and highly unsightly. I always thought it was rosecha or something. I was also having severe congestion and and red itchy watery eyes about an hour or so after eating (which is what made me start thinking food allergy). My face would also occasionally get really itchy and tingly after eating. I read about it and saw gluten/wheat as well as eggs could cause this, both of which I would eat a lot of. I gave up eggs for a week with no change. I gave up wheat for a week and the strange symptoms went away and my neck almost immediately began clearing up! Since I have gave up wheat, I would say the symptoms are over 95 percent gone.

I have noticed that I am also more mentally clear and have lost a little weight.

Side note, I did not have much intentional trouble associated with wheat. Now that i have been without, i do a little since my body is not used to it. However, I have always had an iron stomach that can take a lot of abuse without getting upset so i do put much weight on that lack of a symptom.

Rarely,I will treat myself to a brownie or homemade bread, mainly not to be rude to a host, and just deal with the reaction however, I wonder if it's safe. Does this sound like an allergy or celiac? I hear celiac is genetic and as far as I know, no one in my family is celiac. I did have a perfectly "healthy" as far as diet and lean grandmother die of colon cancer- an obesity and poor diet related disease, so it makes me wonder if it went undiagnosed with her.

I really do not want to go to a doctor because that will require me to go back on a diet that I know makes me miserable for at least four weeks in order to get a proper diagnosis. Should I continue as I am and assume allergy, or get it checked out?
2 Responses
Avatar universal
Hello and hope you are doing well.

If there is an improvement in your symptoms on withdrawing wheat from your diet, then it could be a trigger factor. Maintain a food diary and note down and monitor your symptoms. This may help to narrow down the search. The diagnosis of allergy is difficult to prove or refute. Clinical suspicion and trial of elimination diets are used. An allergy specialist might be able to help you.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
Avatar universal
I honestly would not worry about it; if you find you feel better and your symptoms have subsided I would continue eating that way, as I personally have began to the beginning of this year. You have to remember too, the doctor can run a simple blood test to check if you have Celiac, but this test does not determine a lower allergy such as an intolerance or sensitivity to gluten- only a specialized lab can test those variances.

With your grandma- she was having colon issues POSSIBLY because of gluten. The colon is a big part of the intestines which are lined with villi, which are what absorb nutrients from your food. Gluten damages and wears down villi in many people over time, thus giving them intestinal issues and malabsorption problems.

As far as what you have? I don't think you have gluten intolerance as your said your intestines feel/act/work fine, but that you most likely have a wheat allergy. Also, "cheating" and having a wheat product here or there may be fine if you can handle the consequences from a wheat allergy, but, is drastically different if you have gluten intolerance or Celiac; in this case once incidence of gluten in a person's system can cause symptoms/reactions for up to six months after the occurrence.

So, get checked by the doctor, but also listen to your own body first and foremost.
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