An allergy to food products is a topic that we should have some awareness of—because many people suffer from this medical condition. Perhaps we know of a friend or family member who has a sugar or wheat allergy. With some knowledge, we can be sensitive toward their needs, give them support, and help in times of medical emergency.
A food allergy is the result of the immune system's negative response to certain food products. Up to 2 percent of adults and 8 percent of children, especially children under the age of six, are affected by allergies. Wheat allergies are a reaction to wheat proteins (various components in wheat) while a sugar allergy is a reaction to different types of sugar. Sugar and wheat allergies may be difficult to navigate since many food products contain one or both products.
Sugar Allergy Symptoms
The symptoms of a sugar allergy are various—including the intolerance to certain types of sugar. One person may have an intolerance for table sugar while someone else will be allergic to brown sugar or powdered sugar, while someone else may be allergic to all sugars. Symptoms of sugar allergy will include vomiting, rashes or hives (outbreaks), heartburn, headaches (migraines), fatigue, restlessness, and anxiety. A person may have one of these symptoms or may have all of them, depending on their type of allergy sensitivity.
Wheat Allergy Symptoms
Wheat allergies are triggered by different proteins contained in the wheat. One person's allergies can be triggered by glutelins (cereal and seed protein), while another person can be allergic to just prolamins (plant storage protein). Wheat allergy symptoms include: depression, chest pain, eczema, fast heart rate, skin hives, muscle and joint pain, vomiting, dizziness, irritable bowel syndrome, fatigue, itchy eyes, runny nose, and diarrhea. This is by no means a comprehensive list. Again, a combination of symptoms or just a singular symptom will be experienced. Diagnosis depends upon allergy tests conducted by a doctor.
Anaphylactic Shock and Treatment
Food allergy symptoms may develop into anaphylactic shock if left untreated. Even though this is a rare reaction to sugar and wheat allergies, it should not be taken lightly. A person suffering from anaphylactic shock could succumb and die in the span of several minutes due to restricted airways. An immediate treatment for this medical emergency is an adrenaline shot—which immediately opens up the airways in the body and keeps the heart pumping blood. If you witness what seems to be anaphylactic shock, call for emergency medical care immediately.
Preventive measures are best in dealing with sugar and wheat allergies. Developing a diet that does not include either wheat or sugar products may sound difficult, but it's necessary if you want to avoid negative reactions from food. Consulting a dietician is best in developing this specific diet and finding food substitutes.