Can wheat cause headaches?

18 September 2015
Comments: 0
18 September 2015, Comments: 0

Once an individual develops headaches after consuming wheat products, it is likely linked to nasal congestion due to wheat allergy. If an individual is allergic to wheat, the elevated levels of histamine present in the sinus cavity can lead to irritation that causes swelling and inflammation. The swelling of the sinuses puts pressure on different parts of the head, resulting to headaches.

If the individual ends up with other symptoms after consuming wheat products, a doctor should be consulted for further assessment. Remember that the headaches might not be associated to wheat and simply an indication of a serious health condition.

Close look on wheat allergy

Wheat allergy mainly affects individuals below the age of 3 years old but can affect anyone at any age. This type of allergy develops once the immune system could not recognize one or more of the proteins in wheat as safe. Take note that the immune system perceives the proteins as a threat and triggers the defense system that attacks the proteins with antibodies and histamine. These chemicals cause the usual allergy symptoms.

Headache

Sinus headaches due to wheat allergy can be managed with antihistamines, pain medications and decongestants.

Effects of sinus headache

The usual symptom of wheat allergy is nasal congestion. The release of histamine in the sinuses causes the nasal passages become swollen, thus disrupting the ability to clear up mucus or breathe via the nose. Large amounts of mucus are confined in the sinuses as well as compressing the eyes, cheek bones, inner ear, upper teeth and forehead. The pain can range from mild to severe that manifest within minutes of eating wheat among those who are allergic to it.

Avoidance

Always bear in mind that the best way to prevent headaches due to wheat is to eliminate wheat from the diet. All pre-packaged foods should be clearly labelled if wheat is present in the product. There are some ingredients that are not evident such as spelt, cereal extract and couscous.

Management

Sinus headaches due to wheat allergy can be managed with antihistamines, pain medications and decongestants. Antihistamines work by reducing the amount of histamine present in the sinuses by limiting the mast cells from generating the hormone. The decongestants are utilized to minimize the inflammation in the sinuses by slowing down the flow of blood to the sinuses. As for pain medications, they are utilized to reduce the sinus pressure pain. A doctor should be consulted so that the right medications can be given.

Tips to bear in mind

Once the individual develops swelling in the forehead, around the eyes or in the throat, a doctor should be consulted right away since this indicates a serious condition. Remember that a severe allergic reaction can be life-threatening. The symptoms of a severe allergic reaction to watch out for include difficulty breathing, hives, anxiety, increased heart rate and a faint pulse rate. Call for emergency assistance if any of these symptoms develop.

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