ZocdocAnswersCould a wheat allergy cause stomach pain?

Question

Could a wheat allergy cause stomach pain?

I have had pain after eating some foods, notice pasta especially.

Answer

The list of conditions that can cause abdominal pain is very long and broad. It does include Celiac Disease, a condition in which the ingestion of foods containing gluten (such as wheat and barley) leads to damage of the lining of the small intestine. If you notice that your symptoms are particularly bad after eating pasta, then a work-up for Celiac Disease may be warranted. The reaction of the body against gluten leads to a flattening of the villi (small folds) on the lining of the intestine that aid in the absorption of nutrients. When this occurs, absorption is reduced and symptoms such as diarrhea and abdominal discomfort and bloating may occur. With less effective absorption, poor nutrition may also develop. If you are having abdominal pain, then you should seek out the care of your primary physician. He or she can gain a good deal of information from your history and physical exam which can aid in the diagnosis of your problem. If there is concern for Celiac Disease, then screening blood tests (anti-tissue transglutaminase antibiodies and Immunoglobulin A levels) can help detect this problem. If this is ultimately found to be the correct diagnosis, then a gluten-free diet will eventually lead to resolution of symptoms.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.