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Is Wheat Sensitivity the Same as Gluten Sensitivity?

If you have an intolerance to wheat (defined by YorkTest as a food-specific IgG reaction) this means that your body could be producing an inflammatory response to wheat proteins present in your diet.

A wheat intolerance, otherwise known as a wheat sensitivity, should not be confused with gluten intolerance. The two are closely related but are not the same thing.

What Is The Difference Between A Wheat Intolerance And Gluten Intolerance?

Gluten proteins are found within wheat. That means that those who are Gluten Intolerant are also wheat intolerant. However, it doesn’t work the other way around.

Gluten is found in other grain substitutes such as barley and rye, so those with a wheat intolerance who do not react to gluten proteins, can still eat these foods without experiencing a reaction.

Supermarkets have continuously expanded their range of gluten and wheat-free produce in recent years to cater for those who are following a gluten-free diet or avoiding wheat.

What is the difference between wheat intolerance and celiac disease?

Celiac disease is a lifelong intolerance to gluten, which is classed as an autoimmune disease. It is estimated that 1 in 100 people have the condition where the body’s immune system actively attacks its own tissues when gluten is consumed. It’s important to know that celiac disease is neither a food allergy or food sensitivity.

A wheat intolerance, on the other hand, could be reintroduced after eliminating the food trigger for a few months.  If you feel that you might have celiac disease, it’s important to discuss your concerns with your doctor where they can take a simple blood test to check for antibodies which can indicate celiac disease. yorktest food sensitivity tests do not test for celiac disease.

What are the symptoms of wheat intolerance?

Wheat intolerance symptoms do not present themselves immediately. It is thought that they can be delayed for up to 72 hours. The signs of a wheat intolerance may vary in severity and can affect a person both physically and mentally. Typical Symptoms of a food intolerance could include:

IBS
Stomach ache
Bloating

Severe headaches
Migraines

Eczema
Acne
Itchiness
Rashes

A lack of energy
“brain fog”
Lethargy

Persistent aching
Swelling of the joints

Anxiety
Depression

Respiratory complaints

Can you outgrow wheat intolerances?

It is possible to no longer be intolerant to wheat by eliminating it from the diet and then reintroducing it later in life.

This task should always be carried out with the support of a nutritional professional, who can advise on healthy alternatives and ensure that your diet remains balanced.

Step one – Have you visited your doctor to discuss the symptoms you are experiencing? If not, you should consult with them so they can rule out any underlying medical conditions and celiac disease.

Step two – Take a Full Yorktest Programme, which identifies the individual foods and/or drinks your body is reacting to (both wheat and gluten are tested for). Typically, those with intolerances* react to 4 or 5 ingredients. You should therefore be aware that wheat may be just one of your “trigger foods”.

Step three – With the help of a yorktest nutritional therapist, carry out a 12-week elimination diet by cutting out your food intolerances* and substituting healthy alternatives into your diet.

Step four – If you wish to reintroduce your trigger food(s) back into your diet, we advise that this should be a gradual process in order to monitor how your body responds and to look out for a return of any symptoms.

* YorkTest define food intolerance as a food-specific IgG reaction.

Is there a test for wheat intolerance/sensitivity?

The symptoms of a wheat intolerance are much less extreme than those of an allergic reaction. However, they can still be very disruptive to a person’s life. After your doctor has ruled out any underlying medical conditions, you can get a Food Sensitivity Test from YorkTest.

YorkTest have been offering food sensitivity tests directly to consumers for more than 40 years. These tests analyze your IgG antibody reactions to up to 200 food and drinks, including wheat and gluten.

With this simple home-to-laboratory finger-prick test, YorkTest can identify whether or not your body is producing IgG antibody reactions to elements of your diet.

Our reactions to food and drink vary a great deal from person to person and an ingredient that causes a problem for one individual could be completely okay for another. Fortunately, YorkTest’s team are on hand to identify your own personal “food fingerprint”.

It is thought that 45% of people have an intolerance of some kind and usually it is more than one ingredient that the body is reacting to. We find that the average person who is intolerant* reacts to 4 or 5 ingredients and it can often be an unexpected food or drink, which is causing an IgG reaction.

Real Stories – True stories from people who came to YorkTest to identify their intolerance* and then optimized their diet.

Our tests do not detect allergic reactions to wheat, if you feel that you may have a wheat allergy, please consult your doctor or medical professional.

egg-free pancakes for pancake day

Which foods contain wheat?

Wheat is a common ingredient in many baked products, as well as being present in flour as a thickening and bulking agent. It is also found in many processed foods from soups and sauces to processed meats. If you have a wheat intolerance, you should be careful to avoid the following foods:

  • Wheat-based baked goods such as bread, pastries, doughnuts and pies
  • Cereals and crackers
  • Falafel
  • Condiments, salad dressings, sauces and gravies
  • Processed meats, deli meats, hot dogs etc
  • Pasta, including couscous, gnocchi and filled pasta
  • Fried, breaded chicken, fish or other deep-fried foods
Wheat Intolerance

What other names does wheat have on food labels?

On food packaging, wheat is often given other names which can make avoiding it difficult. If you have a wheat intolerance, you should also try to avoid products which contain the following ingredients:

  • Bulgur
  • Durum
  • Einkorn
  • Emmer
  • Enriched, white and whole wheat flour
  • Farina
  • Flour (all purpose, cake, enriched, graham, high protein, pastry)
  • Farro
  • Kamut
  • Semolina
  • Spelt
  • Sprouted Wheat
  • Wheat (bran, germ, gluten, grass, malt, starch)
  • Wheatgrass

What are wheat-free foods?

To ensure you maintain a balanced diet which provides you with the carbohydrates and fibers you need, you can supplement your meals with a variety of alternatives to wheat such as:

  • Buckwheat
  • Quinoa
  • Amaranth
  • Oats
  • Corn

Wheat Sensitivity FAQs

  • Can Wheat Sensitivity Cause Constipation?

Yes, wheat sensitivity can cause constipation. When someone is sensitive to wheat, their body may react negatively when it’s consumed, resulting in a range of digestive symptoms which can include constipation.

However, it’s important to note that constipation can also be caused by numerous other factors such as inadequate fluid or fiber intake, a lack of physical activity or certain medications. Wheat sensitivity symptoms can vary significantly from person to person, and what one person experiences might be different from another. If you suspect that wheat is causing constipation, you should take a food sensitivity test.

  • Can Wheat Sensitivity Cause Weight Gain?

Weight gain doesn’t tend to be directly associated with wheat sensitivity, but it can occur indirectly. Some individuals with wheat sensitivity might experience bloating or inflammation which can lead to a temporary increase in weight.

Also, some people may overeat or choose less healthy food options if they’re not feeling satisfied or if they’re trying to soothe digestive discomfort, which could contribute to weight gain. It’s important to remember that individual responses to food sensitivities can vary greatly, so it’s always best to consult a healthcare professional if you’re concerned about weight gain related to wheat sensitivity.

  • What Causes Wheat Sensitivity?

Wheat sensitivity is believed to be caused by an adverse immune response to the proteins found in wheat, but the exact cause remains unclear. Unlike celiac disease, wheat sensitivity doesn’t involve damage to the small intestine, and it isn’t triggered by an autoimmune response.

People with wheat sensitivity can experience a range of symptoms when they consume wheat, such as bloating, abdominal pain, or diarrhea, and these symptoms usually improve or disappear when they eliminate wheat from their diet. The mechanisms behind wheat sensitivity are still being researched, and factors like genetics, environment, and the health of the gut microbiome may all play a role. As always, if you suspect you have wheat sensitivity, it’s recommended that you consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

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Premium Food Sensitivity Test

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The Premium Food Sensitivity Test measures your IgG reactivity to 200 foods and drinks. Get answers on which foods could be triggering your IBS symptoms, headaches, bloating, tiredness, and more.  Simply collect your finger-prick blood sample at home. Mail it to our laboratory for testing. Then receive your results online within 7 days!

  • 200 ingredients tested
  • Tests are HSA and FSA accepted
  • Analyzed in our accredited laboratory
  • Clear, color-coded results show your IgG reactivity score for each ingredient

Customers must be aged 18 years or over to take this test. For under 18s, take our
Junior Food Sensitivity Test. This test is not available to customers who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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