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"Is there an easy way to find out if I have a wheat allergy?"
I?m 24 years old and male. I have had stomach problems for the last few years that my doctor can?t seem to figure out.
A "wheat allergy" is a sensitivity to gluten, which is one of the proteins found in wheat and some related grains as well. The body reacts to the gluten, forming antibodies which attack the surface of the small instestine where the wheat gluten is concentrated. This reaction is called celiac disease, and it is a very common, but underdiagnosed, condition which can lead to a whole range of symptoms, including abdominal pain, weight loss, joint pain, and skin rashes. Your primary care doctor can look for celiac disease very easily. It just requires some simple blood tests that look to see if your blood contains the antibodies that are formed to the wheat gluten. If this test is positive, then you probably have celiac disease, although sometimes an endoscopy (small camera inserted down the throat into the small intestine) is necessary to confirm the diagnosis. An endoscopy is a procedure performed by a specialized doctor, a gastroenterologist. I would suggest that you ask your primary care doctor about the possibility of celiac disease. It is possible that they have already considered this. You may also ask your doctor if they think a referral to a gastroenterologist is necessary, given that your symptoms have been going on for some time.
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