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Gluten And Facial Flushing

by
author image Diane Marks
Diane Marks started her writing career in 2010 and has been in health care administration for more than 30 years. She holds a registered nurse license from Citizens General Hospital School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Arts in health care education from California University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in health administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
Gluten And Facial Flushing
A lightheaded feeling can be another symptom of a gluten allergy. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

While most people can enjoy foods that contain gluten, such as pasta, cookies and bread, some cannot. If your face becomes flushed after you've eaten gluten, you may have an allergy to the protein. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology says that facial flushing is a common sign of anaphylaxis, a severe, whole-body reaction that can be life-threatening. Get help right away if you become flushed after you've eaten gluten.

Gluten

Gluten is a protein in grains that is safe for most people but can cause an adverse reaction in some. Two conditions that are related to gluten consumption are gluten allergy and celiac disease. A gluten allergy occurs when your immune system overreacts to the protein by attacking it with disease-fighting chemicals, according to the Mayo Clinic website. Celiac disease is an auto-immune digestive disorder that causes permanent damage to the lining of the digestive system. A gluten allergy can have a number of symptoms, including facial flushing, which is the result of a sudden drop in blood pressure.

Symptoms

Not everyone with a gluten allergy has an extreme reaction after consuming the protein. Most people with a gluten allergy experience minor symptoms, such as trouble breathing, nausea, skin irritation, nasal congestion or diarrhea. In rare cases, a gluten allergy may cause you to go into shock, a potentially life-threatening situation. You may also develop mental confusion, swelling in your face or throat, an increased heart rate that causes a faint pulse, a sudden drop in blood pressure, a metallic taste in your mouth or a feeling that you’re going to pass out.

Treatment

Because facial flushing is a sign of anaphylaxis, you may need an injection of epinephrine to prevent further health complications. Epinephrine is synthetic adrenalin that restores normal blood pressure, reduces swelling and allows the lungs to relax. If you have a known severe gluten allergy, your doctor may prescribe an injector, which you need to carry with you at all times. If you don’t have an injector, call 9-1-1 at the first sign of a severe allergic reaction, such as facial flushing.

Consideration

You will need to work with a registered dietitian and a doctor to develop a gluten-free diet plan. The only way to prevent a severe allergic reaction is to avoid all foods that contain the protein. Naturally gluten-free foods include fruit, vegetables, fresh meats and rice.

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