Reviewed & edited by Julie A. Cerrato, PhD
Wheat allergies are among the top eight food allergies in the United States and are most often seen in children. Although some children outgrow this allergy, approximately three-quarters of all grain products contain wheat flour, making allergies to wheat increasingly difficult to manage.i
Being allergic to wheat is different than having a sensitivity to wheat gluten or celiac disease. While the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness estimates that 18 million Americans have a gluten sensitivityii, wheat allergies are more rare and result from a local or systemic immunological reaction against various proteins found in wheat, but do not necessarily interfere with digestion. Individuals with a wheat sensitivity react non-specifically to gluten protein and individuals with celiac disease suffer from an antibody-specific abnormal immune reaction to gliadin, a type of gluten protein found in wheat, that results in a change in the intestinal villi and interferes with nutrient absorptioniii.
An individual with a wheat allergy may notice symptoms within minutes to hours after ingesting something containing wheat or if their skin comes in contact with a product containing wheat. Wheat allergy symptoms may include swelling, itching, or irritation of the mouth or throat, itchy or swollen skin, nasal congestion, headache, itchy or watery eyes, difficulty breathing, cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and digestive disturbances. In some cases, more severe allergic reactions like anaphylaxis, characterized by swelling of the airways, may occur. While the conventional approach of dealing with a wheat allergy involves avoidance of the allergen, it is possible that one can use homeopathy to treat wheat allergy flare-ups.
Homeopathy, an alternative medical system developed in Germany more than 200 years ago, employs the “law of similars,” a healing principal that uses “like to cure like.” Subscribing to the philosophy that a substance that produces symptoms in a healthy person can be used to cure the same symptoms in an ailing person, homeopathic practitioners treat patients with minute doses of natural remedies to induce immunity. These substances, typically diluted to include one part remedy to approximately 1,000,000,000,000 parts water, are given to patients to promote a low level immune reaction. The body then responds in moderation to the antigen and builds up a tolerance over time, instead of having an immediate, full-blown, allergic reaction with potentially severe or life-threatening symptoms. In essence, homeopathy views the individual’s specific pattern of response to an allergen, both at the physical and psychological level, as more important than the identity of the allergen.
Under the care of a homeopathic provider, sufferers of wheat allergies may develop immune tolerance to wheat proteins and lessen or eliminate their response to wheat. Some common homeopathic remedies for treating wheat allergies include arsenicum album and histaminum hydrochloricum.
Arsenicum album has been used as a remedy to treat the symptoms of restlessness, exhaustion and digestive upset, and may help alleviate these symptoms experienced by individuals who are highly sensitive to foods such as those with a wheat allergy. Homeopathic formulas of arsenicum album are created from the processing of arsenic and a physician should be consulted prior to its use. Arsenicum album is often taken at a 30c potency every 30-60 minutes during an acute attack, or twice a day during an ongoing allergic reaction. Administration of the remedy is ceased once signs of improvement are noticeable.
The homeopathic remedy histaminum hydrochloricum is made from histamine dihydrochloride and is primarily used to treat various allergies, including those from food, and may be useful for individuals with a wheat allergyiv. Histaminum hydrochloricum is also an ingredient in the brand Zicam Allergy Relief Nasal Gelv and is often used to treat respiratory disorders such as asthma, bronchitis, or colds and sinusitis. According to Boiron USA, their histaminum hydrochloricum product is available for adults and children two years of age and older at 3X to 30X- 3C to 30C HPUS and is used by dissolving five pellets under the tongue three times a day until symptoms are relieved or as per a physician’s directionvi.
If suffering from wheat allergy, consider homeopathy as a way of treating symptoms that range from swelling and itching to nausea and digestive disturbances. Use arsenicum album and histaminum hydrochloricum to increase your tolerance of gluten protein, and be mindful of food triggers that may stimulate wheat allergies.
Written by Nicole Kagan
- Haskins, M., & Bailey, H. (2014, September 13). What Is histaminum hydrochloricum?. WiseGeek. Retrieved September 15, 2014, from http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-histaminum-hydrochloricum.htm
- Introduction to homeopathy. (n.d.). WholesomeONE. Retrieved September 12, 2014, from https://www.wholesomeone.com/quote/introduction-homeopathy
- Nortman, D. (n.d.). The Homeopathic Treatment of Allergies | Homeopathy Zone. Homeopathy Zone. Retrieved September 15, 2014, from http://www.homeopathyzone.com/blog/news-articles/the-homeopathic-treatment-of-allergies
- Rost, A. (2009). Homeopathy. Natural healing wisdom & know-how: useful practices, recipes, and formulas for a lifetime of health (p. 106). New York, NY: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers.
- Wheat allergy. (2014, May 17). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved September 15, 2014, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/wheat-allergy/basics/symptoms/con-20031834