If you have a wheat allergy, you may experience symptoms such as a runny nose, itching, and hives. An allergic response is your body's way of trying to get rid of something perceived as an antigen or threat to your well-being. Vaginal itching may be caused by sensitivity to foods like wheat. This condition, known as vaginitis, is caused by an imbalance of "good" bacteria in the urinary and reproductive tracts, allowing infection to develop. See your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment recommendations, if you are experiencing vaginal itching.
A wheat allergy, according to the Mayo Clinic, occurs when your body develops a heightened sensitivity to antibodies it forms when wheat is ingested. The antibodies are produced, the Mayo Clinic explains, because the wheat is erroneously identified as a threat to your system. Wheat is found in a wide variety of foods such as soy sauce, beer and pasta, and if you have an allergy to wheat, you may also be allergic to other grains.
Immune System Connection
Food sensitivities, including food allergies, can weaken your immune system with chronic exposure to an allergen like wheat, explains Columbia University. A portion of your immune system lies in your digestive tract, in the form of "good" bacteria or intestinal flora that prevent bacteria, fungi and viruses from multiplying out of control. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, if your bacterial balance succumbs to the effects of chronic exposure to an antigen, opportunistic infection can occur in the genital area. This can cause itching in and around the vaginal opening. This may be accompanied by vaginal discharge, inflammation and pain.
Vaginal Itching Caused by Wheat Allergy
The itching caused by a wheat allergy, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, can be attributed to dermatitis on the surface of your skin. This condition, known as atopic dermatitis, may be characterized by sores on the skin of the vaginal area. These sores may be accompanied by itching, redness and inflammation. Left untreated, atopic dermatitis can cause the affected skin to thicken and darken to a brown color. A wheat allergy may also cause you to develop hives in the genital area. Hives are caused by a release of histamines by your body and are generally accompanied by itching and swelling.
A wheat allergy can be inherited and your risk of developing this kind of allergy increases as you age. Allergy testing, explains the Mayo Clinic, may help reveal wheat as the source of your allergy, but this can also be determined simply be avoiding foods that contain wheat. According to Medline Plus, maintaining a clean, dry area in and around the vaginal opening while using prescribed antibiotic treatment can help get rid of vaginal itching and prevent it from recurring. Additionally, the Mayo Clinic explains that reading nutritional labels, consuming wheat-free products and requesting wheat-free foods when dining out can help reduce your risk of an allergic reaction.
- MayoClinic.com: Wheat Allergy
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vaginitis
- Columbia University; A Fungus Among Us; Candida (Yeast)
- Medline Plus: Vaginal Itching
- Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: Wheat Allergy
- Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
- Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: Chronic Urticaria
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Genital Sores - Female
- MayoClinic.com: Wheat Allergy
- Medline Plus: Vulvovaginitis