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Can I be Allergic to Wheat as a Food Allergy, in Addition to Pollen?

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I have been dealing with an ezcema flare up. I have been skin allergy tested for inhalants. I am allergic to wheat, rye and corn, most grasses. If I am allergic to those in that form would I also be allergic to wheat as a food allergy, in addition to the pollen?

This is a common question that patients ask their allergist. You have an inhalant allergy to the pollen from many common types of grass. Upon airborne exposure, these pollens trigger allergic symptoms. These symptoms are typically in the upper respiratory tract and eyes. It is commonly referred to as β€œHay Fever”.

These pollens do not cause food allergy reactions. In other words, people allergic to the pollen can eat grains such as wheat, rye, and corn without any problems. The proteins in grass pollen and edible forms of grains are different.

If a person has a food allergy to wheat, rye, oat, barley, and/or corn, they have allergic reactions after eating the proteins in these foods. Symptoms can occur in the skin, gut, and lungs. Therefore, a person who has a respiratory allergy to grass pollen will not necessarily have a food allergy to grains such as wheat, rye, and corn.

Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema), Food Allergy, Wheat Allergy
Answered by

John M. James, MD, is a board-certified allergist. He is also President of Food Allergy Consulting and Education Services, LLC. He has worked as a medical specialist in the field of allergy, asthma, and immunology for over 30 years. Dr. James received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee. He is board certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.

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