Top 3 Symptoms of Wheat Allergy in Baby
As a mother, shifting your baby from exclusive breast milk to solid food is a crucial stage. This time calls for absolute care to what you feed your baby. Besides that, you need to observe any reactions.
Most baby food experts recommend cereals as the best first solid food for babies, but some cereals like wheat might be potential triggers for allergic reactions in your baby. Wheat allergy is one of the most common childhood food allergies. But sometimes it affects even adults. A person is said to be allergic to wheat when he has developed a specific antibody to one of the wheat proteins. In this post, we will go through the top 3 symptoms of wheat allergy in the baby.
An allergic reaction occurs when a person either inhales or consumes wheat. The reaction may occur within a short time after consuming or inhaling wheat or it can take hours to develop. In children, wheat allergy is caused by an immune response to any of the following four wheat proteins:
Your baby’s immune system will decide that these proteins are a threat to your baby’s health. As a result, it will produce antibodies against them to fight them. If you feed your baby with wheat and its products and your baby starts to vomit, develops stomach complications or develops skin rashes, it might be signs that your baby is allergic to wheat.
Wheat allergy in a baby is likely to trigger a number of symptoms that are related to his digestive system, skin, respiratory system and brain. After feeding your baby for the first time on wheat, keep an eye on it. These symptoms are usually by the baby’s body producing antibodies to specific wheat proteins. However, as your baby grows bigger, he may outgrow them.
Generally speaking, your child is at a high risk of developing allergies if you as the parent has any kind of allergies. Moreover, if both parents are allergic, then the chances are even higher as compared to a baby with one parent with allergies.
Putting your baby on a wheat/gluten free diet is not an easy task. This is because wheat is a major component in most foods even those that you might not suspect such as soy sauce. For this reason, it is absolutely necessary to have a proper diagnosis before coming to such a conclusion. However, if you feed your baby wheat and he is allergic, you can seek medical attention.
In some cases, babies with wheat allergies will only develop symptoms after engaging in activity after the intake of wheat. This is known as exercise-induced anaphylaxis. The exercise acts as a trigger for allergic reaction. Sometimes the exercise worsens the body’s immune response to wheat. The exercise-induced anaphylaxis most result in fatal reactions which are life-threatening.
Wheat Allergy Triggers
There are a number of wheat allergy triggers which you need to be on the look-out and further, we will cover the top 3 symptoms of wheat allergy in baby.
- Most backed foods such as bread, cakes, muffins, doughnuts, cookies, waffles, pasta, crackers to Soy sauce, sauces, condiments, gravies to mention just but a few.
- Ice cream and cones
- Vegetable Gum
- Processed meat like hotdogs
- Natural flavorings
- Breakfast cereals
- Barley, oats, rye
- Monosodium glutamate
- Modified food starch
The following factors may put your baby on a higher risk of developing wheat allergy:
- Age – allergic reaction to wheat is most common to toddlers and babies. At this age, their immune and digestive systems are not mature enough to protect them against allergies. However, by age 16 most children will outgrow the wheat allergy. For adults who develop it, it is mostly against grass pollen.
- Family history – your baby is at great risk of developing a wheat allergy if you as the parents have allergies. If you have food allergies or any other allergy, in that case, your baby is likely to be allergic.
- Check reactions after meals – if your baby is allergic to wheat, he is likely to show symptoms of allergic reactions either immediately or a few hours after feeding. Some serious signs such as anaphylaxis are likely to occur a few minutes after the meal. But in some cases, it might appear after two hours.
- Check respiratory signs – if after feeding your baby it starts to wheeze or gets difficulties in breathing, he might be having allergic reactions. Also, if he starts to swell in the mouth or throat, it is a pointer to an allergic reaction. There are other milder signs such as runny or stuffy nose and sneezing. However, if your baby develops serious breathing problems, it might be a sign of anaphylaxis. Call an ambulance immediately. If your child develops a blue tint on the skin or cannot breathe, call the hospital or medical supervision immediately.
- Check food labels – you might be able to identify that your baby is allergic to specific wheat protein and not others. Ensure you take your baby for a wheat allergy test. In most cases, people that are allergic to wheat are also allergic to other allergens.
- Trace non-food reactions – if your baby shows signs of allergic reactions between meals, the allergic reaction might be due to other allergens. Check the objects that your baby handles. Some play items and bath products might contain wheat.
- Test your baby for celiac disease – if your baby is allergic to wheat, it is advisable to have him tested for celiac disease also. Children do not outgrow the celiac disease. It is a lifelong condition. According to NCBI research about celiac disease, If celiac disease is not treated it can lead to loss of bone density, malnutrition and reproductive problems including infertility.
There are a number of ways through which you can determine whether your baby is wheat allergic. The following are some of the tests:
A. Keep a food diary
In order to know the cause of the allergy, it is recommended by health professionals to keep a food diary. The food diary will contain a list of all the foods that are consumed by the baby. It also includes the time consumed and a detailed description of symptoms developed.
B. Food testing
A food test is usually done at a specialized allergy center or hospital. The patient is fed with food capsules that contain the suspected allergens. Usually, the patient is fed with small doses of the allergens and increased over a span of days. As the patient is fed with the allergens, signs and symptoms are closely monitored.
C. Finding the Source
After the tests, wheat will be completely removed from the patient’s diet. After a while, the wheat is re-introduced at different intervals. With the help of the food diary kept earlier, it will be easy to identify which foods are causing the allergic reaction. After the problematic food has been identified, they can be replaced with others that do not produce reactions. This must be done under the supervision of a qualified health professional.
D. Skin –prick test
Dilutes of food will be prepared and placed either on the patient’s back or arm. After that, the patient’s skin will be pricked through where the food is placed thus introducing the food into the patient’s blood system. If the patient develops itching, swelling or redness, it is an indication of a possible allergic reaction.
However, this method alone is not effective. For this reason, it must be used together with another diagnostic procedure.
E. Blood test
This test is carried out to detect the presence of any specific antibodies against some foods. If there are any antibodies present, then it indicates the likelihood of an allergic reaction against some wheat proteins.
If you are allergic to wheat, exposure to any wheat protein is likely to trigger an immune response which will lead to an allergic reaction. When the baby’s immune system mistakes a wheat protein for a pathogen and produces antibodies against it, the allergic reaction will occur.
Whenever your baby who is allergic to wheat eats a wheat protein more especially gluten, its immune system produces an attack on the protein as if it were a pathogen. An allergic reaction to wheat protein involves the antibodies reacting to one of the four proteins found in protein. The fours proteins are listed above.
People have different reactions to all fou proteins. Some people are allergic to only one protein and mostly gluten while others can be allergic to more than one.
Most of the wheat allergies are against globulin and gluten. Allergic reactions towards gliadin and albumin are not very common. In most cases, an allergic reaction against gluten is often confused with celiac disease.
Symptoms of Wheat Allergy
The symptoms of wheat allergy are mostly mild. However, in some cases, they might be severe and fatal. This calls for proper diagnosis and management of the allergic reaction. Generally speaking, your child is at a high risk of developing allergies if you as the parent has any kind of allergies. Moreover, if both parents are allergic, then the chances are even higher as compared to a baby with one parent with allergies. These symptoms of wheat allergy in baby can be seen also on an article by American college allergy, asthma, and Immunology.
The following are some of the most common top 3 signs of wheat allergy in babies:
1. Symptoms Related to the Breathing System
A baby that is allergic to gluten will develop visible signs, such as difficulty in breathing after eating wheat. If the baby is too young to talk, keep an eye on his breathing system after a meal.
Your baby will develop some symptoms that are related to breathing is he is allergic to wheat. Some of the symptoms that he is likely to exhibit include:
- Runny nose
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Breathing noisily
- Inflamed throat
- Nasal congestion
- Difficulty of breathing
- Asthmatic allergies
- Inflammation of nose, throat and lungs
- In severe cases, anaphylactic shock
If your baby develops one or more of the symptoms listed above after a wheat meal, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Note that if your baby develops serious breathing problems, it might be a sign of anaphylaxis. Ensure that you take your baby to the emergency room immediately. Furthermore, if your baby develops a blue tint on the skin or cannot breathe, call 911 immediately.
2. Symptom-related to Skin Eczema
If your baby is allergic to wheat and he consumes it, it is likely to cause a skin reaction. This is known as eczema. The affected parts on your baby’s skin include the mouth, face, behind the legs and ears, neck, cheeks and lips. The allergic reactions will appear as red spots, hives or rashes soon after consuming gluten.
Eczema will appear as:
- Inflammation which oozes fluids
- Dry patches on the skin surface
- Reddish swollen and crusty appearance
- Reddish itchy spots or rashes
- Blisters that look like pimples
- Clusters of welts or hive
If your baby develops any eczema after eating wheat, it is an indication that your baby has a wheat allergy. Once the rashes develop, ensure that you prevent your baby from scratching them because it will worsen the irritation.
Your baby may also develop reddish raised spots also known as hives. Soon after consuming the wheat, the baby starts to develop reddish raised rashes which in most cases are itchy. These spots will disappear after a few hours. The hives will appear on different parts of the body such as behind the legs and ears, hands, arms, chest among other parts after a wheat meal. If your baby has serious allergic reactions towards wheat, these rashes will develop almost immediately after the meal.
However, the blisters and rashes might be an indication of possible celiac disease. Ensure that your baby if properly diagnosed.
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3. Symptoms Related to the Digestive System
If your baby is allergic to wheat, it is likely to manifest various symptoms that are related to the digestive system. Most of these signs will show up two hours after eating. Some of the symptoms of the digestive system include the following:
- Abdominal pain which will make your baby to cry most of the time. You can be able to notice this by your baby flexing his legs and clenching the wrists.
- Digestive problems such as gas, bloating, indigestion and diarrhea
- The baby may also develop cold feet
- The baby might also develop stomachache after consuming gluten
If your baby is too young to explain what he is feeling, look out for fussing or uncontrolled crying.
This is a very good and informative video which will educate you more about symptoms of wheat allergy in baby.
Within two to three hours of feeding your baby with wheat and you realize he has wheat allergies if you have gone through the post –htttp://smartmommies.in/symptoms-of-wheat-allergy-in-baby then you should consult a doctor. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the way forward.
The following are some of the things that you can do when you realize that your baby has a wheat allergy:
- Ensure that you eliminate wheat and its products from your baby’s food
- Monitor the number of days it takes for the signs of allergy to disappear
- When you go shopping for your baby’s food, avoid all foods that contain gluten as their ingredient. Therefore, make sure that you read the food labels before you purchase.
- Make sure that you keep a food diary for your baby. This will help you identify those foods that trigger allergic reactions in your baby.
- Some babies are able to outgrow a wheat allergy as early as 3 years. It is advisable to take your baby from time to time to an allergist for testing. This will help you know when to include wheat in your baby’s diet.
- Before you start the elimination diet on your baby, ensure you consult a professional dietician for help. A dietician will walk you through the process to be able to prepare wheat-free foods for your baby which will not only be healthy but your baby will like.
- Breastfeeding your baby is considered the natural protection of your baby against celiac disease.
Apart from that, if your baby shows signs of gluten allergy make sure that he is tested for celiac disease. If celiac goes untreated, it is likely to affect your baby’s growth and development, cause damage to the small intestine and increase the risk of the development of certain kinds of cancers.
On top above, Relax and see a good practitioner and walk step by step. Believe in God he has a solution to every problem.