Severe stomach pain after eating wheat may be the result of a wheat allergy, celiac disease or a wheat intolerance. The three conditions are commonly confused because they each exhibit common symptoms. If you experience severe stomach pain after eating wheat-based products, call your doctor. Your physician may want to perform tests to determine the cause of the stomach pain. Do not attempt to self-diagnose based solely on symptoms.
About Wheat Allergy
A wheat allergy is a hypersensitivity to one or more of the proteins in what. MayoClinic.com explains that when you eat wheat, your immune system identifies the proteins as an unsafe substance and begins to defend the body. The immune system creates IgE antibodies that target the wheat proteins and attacks them. The creation of these antibodies causes a chemical chain reaction that releases various chemicals in the body. Histamines released in the intestines cause inflammation, leading to stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea.
Celiac Disease Consideration
The cause of celiac disease is unknown and there is no cure for the condition. Celiac disease is an immune system malfunction, much like an allergy, that damages the small intestine and causes it to not absorb essential parts of the food to maintain proper health. Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, triggers the condition and damages the lining of the intestines. Common symptoms for celiac disease are weight loss, constipation, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, stools that float and a decreased appetite.
An intolerance to wheat is the body’s inability to properly digest the food. The small intestines are lined with membranes that produce certain enzymes to break down specific foods. Someone with a wheat intolerance may not produce enough of the enzyme to fully digest the wheat, causing stomach pain, notes MayoClinic.com.
While wheat intolerance and celiac disease are difficult to decipher, a wheat allergy is easily to identify because of multiple symptoms. Unlike the other two conditions, a wheat allergy will produce symptoms unrelated to the digestive tract. These symptoms may include hives, eczema, itching, nasal congestion, sinus pain, difficulty breathing, wheezing and coughing, notes the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Until your condition is diagnosed, avoid all wheat products to prevent symptoms of severe abdominal pain. Wheat intolerance and a wheat allergy typically do not cause any long-term effects, while celiac disease can cause chronic complications.