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Allergy To Gluten Vs Intolerance? Histamine Reaction
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I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance in April 2012 after a biopsy. But I'm beginning to wonder if I may be allergic to gluten instead of intolerant. I'm very careful about cross contamination. It seems if I'm in the store by the bakery I get a headache between my eyes and start getting watery eyes and sneezing. I think this week as well as one other time since going gluten-free I've been cross contaminated. I get a really bad post nasal drip that causes an intense sore throat. Took claritin d based on drs advice for 5 days and it completely disappeared. It seems to be a histamine reaction. Could it be an allergy to gluten, or maybe an allergy to milk or nuts? I can usually tell when I've been glutened, I have intense stomach pain. Both times didn't have the stomach pain. Could I be having a histamine reaction to milk? Is blood test a good way to check for allergies? Anyone else have a histamine reaction?

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Go to an allergist and get a scratch test done. That is the best way to start. The only time it is unconfertable is when you have a positive reaction to something (ie: a hive).

It is possible to have both by the way.

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It is wise to have both allergy blood and skin scratch tests if you are experiencing allergy symptoms - these symptoms can worsen at any time to become quite serious. That said, intolerances can lead to allergic-like reactions as well. Here is a breakdown I wrote a while back trying to explain the difference between Allergy, Celiac and NCGI:

Gluten Allergy = IgE / Histamine reaction to gluten which can cause allergy symptoms - flushed skin, itching, rashes, breathing problems, etc. Allergy is diagnosed by blood &/or skin tests.

Celiac Disease = IgA and/or IgG antibodies are produced in reaction to ingestion of gluten proteins - these antibodies are in reaction to the proteins of gluten, but damage the tissue of the small intestine - as the villi or the small intestine are damaged/flattened/atrophied the body has difficulty absorbing nutrients. Items can pass into the bloodstream through the damaged intestinal barrier - rather than properly broken down and absorbed thru the villi. Over 300 symptoms to all systems of the body result from the lack of proper nutrient absorption. Celiac Disease is diagnosed by positive celiac blood work &/or positive biopsy of intestinal tissue.

Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance = not enough research. Many of the same symptoms and body systems malfunctioning without measurable immunologic response. There are no current medical tests that can determine intolerance. The only test is elimination of all sources of the gluten proteins found in wheat, barley, rye and sometimes oats.

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I seem to have both. My GI symptoms started with gluten intolerance, backed up by a high anti-gliadin iga test. Later, I did a one-time gluten challenge and had a severe histimine-type reaction in addition to the GI stuff. Scratch test confirmed it.

So you can have both.

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I would also second a scratch test. I would NOT agree that they are only uncomfortable when you have a reaction. (I've had two full scratch test/subdermal tests run - one as a child, one as an adult. I dislike them. It's not awful, but it's not pleasant. Well worth it, though, and not a big deal. Annoying, mostly, I'd say.) But it has a good shot at giving you the information that you are looking for.

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