Wheat germ is packed with a number of vital nutrients, including B vitamins, magnesium and zinc, and can be a healthy addition to your diet. Despite these nutritional benefits, wheat germ can be dangerous if it is consumed by people who are hypersensitive to this substance. If you develop wheat germ allergy symptoms, talk with your doctor for further evaluation and care.
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If you are allergic to wheat germ, you may develop a severe skin rash after consuming a food item that contains wheat germ, such as certain breads or cereals. Hives are a wheat germ allergy symptom characterized by the appearance of red, swollen welts across your body, MayoClinic.com explains. The affected skin region typically itches profusely and may be tender or painful to the touch. Your skin may also appear unusually dry, scaly or flaky—a condition called atopic dermatitis. If these wheat germ allergy symptoms persist or become severe, seek care from a medical professional.
Oral exposure to wheat germ can cause uncomfortable irritation if you are hypersensitive to this substance. You may notice that your tongue or throat itches or begins to swell. Excessive swelling of the mouth or throat can interfere with your ability to breathe normally and requires emergency medical attention.
Inhalation or ingestion of wheat germ can cause breathing difficulties, such as shortness of breath or wheezing. These breathing problems often mimic an asthma attack and arise because your respiratory tract swells and narrows upon exposure to wheat germ, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports. A narrowed respiratory tract makes it harder for oxygen to reach your lungs. If you experience severe breathing difficulties after eating wheat germ, contact an emergency medical provider immediately.
Eating wheat germ can irritate your digestive tract if you are allergic to this substance. Stomach discomfort symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping or diarrhea.
Nasal or Eye Irritation
After inhaling wheat germ, you may develop nasal or eye irritation as allergy symptoms, MayoClinic.com warns. Nasal irritation may cause sneezing or nasal itching or congestion. Your eyes may also begin to water, tear or itch and can appear unusually red or bloodshot. Rubbing or scratching your nose or eyes may exacerbate allergy symptoms, especially if your hands have also been exposed to wheat germ.
You may experience a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis if you have a severe allergy to wheat germ. Anaphylaxis requires prompt emergency medical attention and can cause chest pain, difficulty swallowing, dizziness, excessive oral or throat swelling, decreased heart rate, or pale skin.