Can wheat allergies be dangerous for your toddler?

  • By Team TDO

Celiac disease due to wheat occurs in one out of every 141 people in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health. So you thought gluten only gives wheat its texture? It can be dangerous to your toddler’s health sometimes.

Wheat causes an allergic reaction in some children. So when one is suffering from a ‘wheat allergy’ is basically an allergic response to the protein in the wheat. Gluten is a strain of protein found in wheat and it is what causes sensitivity to wheat in children. Most children outgrow ‘wheat allergy’ but sometimes gluten can pose some serious health hazards to children especially toddlers.

 

In a ‘gluten reaction’, what really happens is that the immune response in the body gets triggered and the body actually prepares to defend itself to ward off the ‘perceived threat’ from the gluten strain. In the bargain this releases certain very dangerous chemicals in the body like ‘Histamine’.

These reactions of course differ from children to children. In some it might show only mild discomfort while in others the general symptoms are:

  1. Wheezing
  2. Trouble breathing
  3. Coughing
  4. Hoarseness
  5. Throat tightness
  6. Stomachache
  7. Vomiting
  8. Diarrhea
  9. Itchy, watery, or swollen eyes
  10. Hives
  11. Red spots
  12. Swelling

So if your toddler shows any of the above symptoms you will need to get him checked by a medic for gluten related conditions which can be broadly categorized as gluten intolerance, gluten allergy and celiac disease.

Gluten also causes a severe type of reaction called anaphylaxis in children. This is an extreme reaction to the wheat protein and could prove to be fatal in children if not treated on time. Children who are diagnosed with this reaction treated with anti-allergic or antihistaminic drugs. These are available in the form of emergency injectors.

Gluten is mainly found in wheat but is also present in rye, barley and frequently in oats as well. Before getting any new feed for your toddler it will be wise to check the contents for gluten content and as far as possible avoid foods containing gluten even if your toddler shows any untoward reaction.


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