Wheat Allergies – Blood Shot Eyes, Runny Nose, and Only Gluten Free Beer? Say it Isn’t So!

So I believe that wheat allergies are nature’s cruel joke.

By no means am I an expert on this subject, but I have just done a bit of research. I began noticing that I would get a runny nose after certain meals containing wheat along with blood shot eyes.

It isn’t like I would eat a meal with wheat and feel terrible, but just bad enough to be slightly irritating. Another thing I noticed was feeling tired after a wheat heavy meal. I chalked this up to having too many carbs, but noticed a stronger reaction to meals where the carbs were made with wheat or flour.

Wheat Allergies
[If you glance in the mirror and you look a little like this after chowing down some crackers or eating a snickerdoodle, then you might have a wheat allergy. If you don’t have a wheat allergy…you at least need to change something, because this isn’t a good look.]

“I Love Gluten. Let Me Count the Ways…”

I didn’t know how much I enjoyed wheat until I really thought about it. I don’t eat pizza as much as some people, but a good New York style pizza with a frosty mug of beer that is large enough to challenge your forearm muscles and grip?

Yes please! I like to get an over-sized pastry at least 1-2 times per week at a French bakery downtown that also serves rockin’ espresso.

Typically it is a massive snickerdoodle or scone. Basically I just point at whatever gluten filled snack catches my eye in the glass case, as the barista is preparing my Double Americano. Just typing this makes me crave a frisbee-sized cookie.

How Could Something “That Feels so Right, Be Wrong”?

Eliminating wheat from my diet is not going to happen. My favorite beers have wheat in them, so that is a “no”.

Speaking of beer, I am pretty much hooked on “Leffe Blonde“. This tastes similar to a Hoegaarden or Mothership Wit, but with a little more kick. If you are into beer, give this a try. They carry this at “Whole Foods Market” for those who live in the US, Canada, or the UK.

This is the perfect Friday when you get home beer, to get you out of work mode. Also goes good with nachos, pizza, or hot wings.

They do make gluten free beer, and we will discuss that, but I can’t eliminate wheat filled beer from my diet. It is painful just thinking about it!

Wheat Allergies and Gluten

To be honest I probably have a gluten allergy, but I like to use the term wheat allergy…it is easier to envision. So let’s talk about gluten.

What is gluten. I see “gluten free” labels on food all the time, but what are those foods freeing us from?

So gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. The obvious uses for gluten is in breads and baked goods, but they sneak gluten into many other foods. Gluten can be used as an additive in other foods such as ice cream and ketchup.

Only 1 in 133 People Have Full-Blown Gluten Intolerance

The research I conducted showed that less than 1% of the population has full-blown gluten intolerance. This is called celiac disease, which is pretty serious and results in damage to the small intestine when gluten is consumed. Some signs of celiac disease are abdominal bloating and pain, chronic diarrhea, vomiting after eating foods containing gluten.

If you are reading this and experiencing serious symptoms like this, then click on that link and then see your doctor as well.

Gluten-Free Beer is Discussed Here…so Cheer!

Yeah…bad rhyming skillz, I know (sorry to the poets).

This beer is called Redbridge and it is probably the easiest to locate since it is made by Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser).

Here is an updated list of gluten free beers. This link has a list of 23 breweries around the globe that carry gluten-free beer.

Here is a gluten-free beer review with comments. I like the sound of St. Peters Brewery in the UK. Their G-Free beer supposedly has a taste similar to Blue Moon. I will search this down at my local beer import market.

Many of Us Just Have Mild Wheat Allergies

I typically feel better after a wheat free meal than when I eat one containing wheat. My girlfriend is the same way. One of the big reasons I enjoy Marks Daily Apple and Feel Good Eating is that I can find great low-carb recipes and ideas of gluten free foods.

I like to eat paleo when I need to be productive, and add in the carbs at night or on the weekend when I want to relax. I simply love carbs too much to be carb-free.

My Approach Will Be Part-Time Paleo & Part-Time Gluten Free

So I Google’d “gluten free” and found a bunch of places that offer gluten free products.

Big companies like Whole Foods have a wide selection of gluten-free products, but try and support a local business if possible as well. I try my best to support small local businesses, because they tend to give back and care about the community. I found a cool little bakery called Wheatless In Seattle that is really close to where I live. They have gluten-free breads, cookies, pizza, etc.

There is a good chance that you have a similar place in your neighborhood. So I will simply do my best to buy gluten free alternatives when it it convenient.

Mix in a few paleo meals and simply eat normal gluten-filled foods the rest of the time.


55 thoughts on “Wheat Allergies – Blood Shot Eyes, Runny Nose, and Only Gluten Free Beer? Say it Isn’t So!”

  1. I am SERIOUSLY DISGUSTED that you would hide an ad for beer under the guise of information about celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Also, for people with this NO GLUTEN AT ALL is allowed. Even the smallest bit will cause the body not to absorb nutrients propertly. You are a scumbag and dangerous, too. For SHAME!

  2. Wheat raises blood sugar higher than most of the other foods. 4 slices of whole wheat bread raise blood sugar higher than 12 teaspoons of sugar. That’s a simple fact as per the table of glycemic index.

    Almost all wheat in USA is from a dwarf strain, which produces a far greater yield but has contributed to the current obesity epidemic.

    Some of the world’s most popular diets including Atkins, South Beach and the Dukan Diet have urged followers to ditch bread and other carbs to slim down, while a rising number of celiac and gluten sensitivity sufferers have dropped bread in the name of health.

    Modern wheat — including whole wheat — has become so uniquely destructive to multiple body functions that more than 80% of us could benefit from giving it up all together. 50% of us could see and feel results almost right away.

    When traditional wheat was genetically altered to become semi-dwarf wheat in the last century, it was assumed, without any testing, that the modifications would not change the way it affected those who ate it.

    Those genetic changes could be responsible for the rise in celiac disease and gluten sensitivity we are seeing today. Unique compounds in wheat such as gliadin, amylopectin A and others as triggers of hunger, sharper blood sugar spikes, behavioral disorders and destructive inflammation.

    Thousands of patients effortlessly lost weight, relieved joint pain, eliminated their need for inhalers and improved their blood numbers with the simple removal of wheat.

    Genetically altered form of wheat has been transformed into such a destructive “food” that any amount has the potential to trigger undesirable consequences.

    Due to the overwhelming inflammation-triggering effect of wheat gluten and lectins, or the appetite-stimulating effects of the gliadin protein unique to wheat even reduction does yield benefits, just not as dramatic as elimination.

  3. I have celiac which causes fat malabsorption. The reproducibility is almost 100% so it is confirmed. Wheat based cat litter is also a trigger despite being on a gluten free diet. You can print out celiac cards to show your waiters at restaurants who may explain their changes in food preparations.

    @Scott Shulman
    Sometimes blood tests are not reliable for celiac disease and patients must be on a gluten challenge diet which can be barbaric. When a person is exposed to food allergens even in minute amounts, the silent inflammation can linger for up to 6 months

  4. I’ve been gluten free for almost 2 years now!

    Its honestly not hard at all to be gluten free. Especially if your already eat healthy. Everything that has gluten you can pretty much get gluten free and usually it tastes just as good or almost as good.

    For beer I like New Grist. Its 5.7% alcohol too so it gets you real drunk. Oh and I also just found out that strong bow is gluten free. Here in Toronto, Canada Strong bow is really popular. So this makes it super convenient.

    Greg O’G.

  5. I know this is a bit old now but please post Scott SHulman’s post somewhere where all these readers can see it. If people notice they have trouble with gluten-foods they should get tested for celiac, not experiment with their diet. It’s important to stress that the problem is not the immediate symptoms you may have, if you have celiac, gluten is pretty much destroying your gut and this leads to really serious problems in the long run.
    Will you really keep drinking beer if it rises your chances of having osteoporosis, irritable vowel disease, or even cancer to the roof? 1 in a 100 is not an “only”, it’s actually a very high percentage of the population, and celiac is still highly undiagnosed. Please tell your readers to get accurate information, this is not a fad-diet, it can be very serious and you need to eliminate gluten completely (using a knive that has been used in bred will affect your guts, so imagine what a beer does to you)

  6. Thank goodness there is someone else out there who has gluten intolerance and refuses to give up beer! Also, Leffe is my favorite beer in the world! And I can’t switch to “steak and wine” because I’m vegetarian and wine gives me a headache.

  7. Iv’e had issues with my skin for quite a while now. I’ve changed body washes and face creams, to no avail. Dermatitis is prevailent. The last place you tend to look with any such symptoms is your DIET.

    The blood-shot eyes thing is a definite alarm bell for me I’ve gotta say.

    A real eye opener for sure.


  8. I am a gastroenterologist and treat lots of people with celiac disease. For the love of God, if you think you have this please get tested with the blood test and if the test is positive get a scope with biopsies of your small intestine. Do all of this BEFORE you start on a gluten free diet. wheat, grains, etc. bother many people, but with true celiac disease the need for gluten avoidance is crucial and you can’t cheat. Just trying a gluten free diet makes it very difficult to actually diagnose you and is the sort of thing that ruins my day at the office. Once you know that you do not have it, then avoid gluten as much as you would like, but if you have celiac disease, you can’t ever have a bite of anything with gluten again.

  9. Like others, I first determined my gluten allergy as an adult by dabbling in removing grains from my diet.
    Years of skin flaking, constant stomach aches, swelling joints and dandruff disappearing within weeks of removing grains from my diet.

    Being a physicist, I decided to do some experiments, and re-introduced various foods back into my diet and recorded the response. After a few months I narrowed it down to any gluten containing food.
    I verified my data with several medical tests for various Ig responses, tTGA etc. Sure enough.
    Verified the results with a second set of tests in another lab with other doctors.

    Now, like other allergies, if you expose yourself constantly, some symptoms resolve, and some are chronic. If you cut out the allergen for months, then re-expose yourself you can have a severe reaction.

    For instance, I stay away from wheat gluten for months, re-expose myself for a “special occasion” and end up with explosive diarrhea and stomach cramps, followed a few days later by swelling joints and hair loss.

    Be careful on going “partial” wheat free if you have full blown gluten allergy, or even intolerance, as you can have bad rebound effects as a reward for your favorite beer. =)

    @ Danny

    Quit yer bellyachin’ (pun intended).

    Celiac is rare, but not as rare as you propose.
    Yes, keep eyes out for hoax tests.
    There is a large body of scientific data and research showing phenotype adaptation to certain food groups such as grains has not completely progressed in many populations. Yes, paleo people like to dramatize the results, but they are valid results. 10000-20000 years in not enough time to adapt to certain dietary changes through a large population. You may get individual or sub populations that adapt at these time scales, but they are the leaders in the adaptation. Regression to the mean is still in progress.

    Other than I despise a lack of critical thinking skills, I am actually glad there are all those suckers out there who think all their problems are caused by “being celiac” because a vocal group will get things done fast, like giving the food companies a reason to develop gluten free products for people like me. 😉

  10. well, you can search online for that, but the most common things wheat-related, of course, are bread, pastries, most breakfast cereals, you can look for things that say gluten free, that most likely wont have any wheat in them. I sometimes eat rice or corn, it doesnt effect me like wheat, but it probably only consists of 5% of my diet. It sounds pretty boring but my routine is egg scramble with chicken in it with different types of veggies added in the morning, avocado on top sometimes, diff spices, hot sauce, whatever, skip lunch(fasted for working out in afternoon) bowl of fruit for carbs afterward, dinner is some kind of meat,(fish, steak, ground beef) with veggies on side or fruit or both. Its all real its all fresh, so I know what I am putting in my body. try it, or read Paleo diet, they list everything humans weren’t meant to eat. if you are having trouble eliminating bread type foods, coconut flour is a nice substitute.

  11. Hi Seth (and other readers)…..Is there a list of ALL foods that contain wheat so one can experiment eliminating it from the diet?….Thanks

  12. I went totally paleo after reading some of your blogs more than 6 months ago and every sunday I would eat whatever, like wheat pancakes and different wheat things and I felt like a migraine hit. every sunday the same thing would happen and I pin pointed that I feel dizzy and get irritated easily when eating wheat, so I just never eat it anymore. anyone i talk to about fitness I challenge them to not eat wheat or grains for a week and see how they feel. I felt immediately better after I stopped and lost the puffiness in my abdomen area!

  13. question abt the visual impact:
    in phase 1, you recommend a pyramid approach bond with short rests. but in each set of that pyramid go for failure or not???

  14. I have been gluten free for almost a year now and I feel way better. And I have gone paleo for almost a week now and holy bananas does gluten free seem like a walk in the park compared to paleo. BTW i took your recommendation Rusty and looked into Mark Sisson’s Blog and bought his book and I think his stuff is absolutely tremendous now.
    The whole gluten free thing is huge and its really easy to eat gluten free with all the gluten free foods out there. However you have to be careful because there are so many things out there that have hidden ingredients with gluten especially sauces

  15. As soon as I saw the blissful picture of Leffe, I was a happy man. Fortunately for me, there is an abundance of wheat free beers that have hit the UK market and Leffe blonde is widely available. Anybody else in the UK should check out Sam Smith’s Organic Wheat Beer – also tasty!

    For my love of porridge oats and beer, I too cannot give up such luxuries but like you Rusty, like to follow a part-time Paleo/primal diet. It seems to work well for me (combined with an active lifestyle)

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