It is important to note that severe abdominal pain that occurs after eating wheat might be due to celiac disease, wheat allergy or wheat intolerance. These three conditions are usually confused with one another since they manifest similar symptoms. If the individual experiences severe abdominal pain after consuming wheat-based products, a doctor must be consulted. The doctor will usually carry out tests to determine the exact cause of the abdominal pain. Remember not to self-diagnose based on the symptoms alone.
What is wheat allergy?
When an individual is diagnosed with wheat allergy, it is hypersensitivity to one or more of the proteins present in wheat. Once an individual eats wheat, the immune system recognizes the proteins as a threat and starts to defend the body. As a result, the immune system produces IgE antibodies that focus on the wheat proteins and attacks them. The generation of these antibodies can cause a chemical chain reaction that releases chemicals in the body. The histamines released in the intestines can cause inflammation which leads to vomiting, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting.
What is celiac disease?
The exact cause of celiac disease is still unknown and there is no cure. Celiac disease is known to cause damage on the small intestines in which essential parts of food are not properly absorbed.
Gluten which is a protein present in wheat, rye and barley is capable of triggering the condition and damages the intestinal lining. The usual symptoms of celiac disease include constipation, weight loss, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, diminished appetite and floating stools.
What is wheat intolerance?
If an individual has intolerance to wheat, it involves the inability of the body to properly digest the food. The small intestines are covered with membranes that produce certain enzymes for the breaking down of specific foods. An individual with wheat intolerance might not produce the adequate amounts of a particular enzyme to fully digest the wheat, thus resulting to abdominal pain.
Identifying an allergy
Even though wheat intolerance and celiac disease can be difficult to determine, an allergy to wheat can be easily identified due to the multiple symptoms involved. Unlike with the two conditions, wheat allergy is capable of triggering symptoms that are not linked to the digestive system. These symptoms include eczema, hives, nasal congestion, itchiness, difficulty breathing as well as sinus pain, coughing and wheezing. If a family member is diagnosed with wheat allergy, it is best to enroll in a course on first aid today so that the symptoms can be managed.
Until the condition is properly assessed by a doctor, the individual must avoid all wheat products in order to prevent the symptoms of severe abdominal pain. Remember that wheat intolerance and wheat allergy usually do not trigger any lasting effects while celiac disease can lead to chronic complications.