Do you or a member of your family experience bloating after eating bread? If you answered yes, then it is possible that you are sensitive to foods made from wheat. It is quite probable that bread is such a regular part of your diet that you can’t imagine doing without it.
The simple sandwich is a staple for most families. However, if you want the symptoms to stop you have to eliminate the cause. You can either reduce your bread intake or look for other (gluten-free) types of bread. If symptoms persist you may need to further limit or cease your intake of other wheat-based food also.
As most bread is cooked from wheat flour a sensitivity to wheat will produce discomfort and an allergy may produce even harsher symptoms.
If you are allergic to wheat you may experience itching, rashes, wheezing and your tongue and lips swelling within minutes of eating wheat bread. You must consult your doctor right away if you experience symptoms this severe.
If you are sensitive to wheat you may experience bloating, stomach cramps, or diarrhea hours after eating wheat food products. In milder cases you may experience abdominal discomfort, especially after consuming a large serving.
Celiac disease is also referred to as gluten intolerance. This is a condition in which an individual’s intestine becomes damaged by a protein in the gluten. While affected, the intestines are unable to perform their proper function of nutrient absorption and excretion. If you suspect yourself to be gluten intolerant, consult a doctor and expect to undergo blood testing.
Avoiding wheat-based foods
Many people who are either sensitive or allergic to wheat products have made the choice to abstain from wheat-based foods and have found relief from their symptoms. Cases of wheat sensitivity are increasingly common especially as bread has now become part of a staple diet of many people and cultures.
What should you do if you are suffering from bloating and other stomach problems after eating food products that contain wheat?
If your symptoms of wheat allergy persist for a longer period of time, or if blood is observed in your stool then you should seek medical help right away. Any other serious symptoms such as vomiting and severe stomach cramps should also be referred to a doctor.
If your symptoms are mild or if you are suffering from a bloated stomach, you can try an elimination diet. You can do this by avoiding foods made from wheat for at least a month.
If your symptoms cease, then wheat is almost certainly the culprit. Resume eating wheat products in small quantities to check if your symptoms recur. Do not start on bread immediately. Try pasta first for a couple of days before you choose to eat wheat bread again.
Monitor the after-effects of any food containing wheat. Do not overload your system. If you have a wheat sensitivity rather than an allergy you may be able to continue to eat wheat products in moderation. If this is the case, overloading your digestive system with wheat foods will cause any discomforting symptoms to return.
Aside from bread, other foods that contain wheat include cereals, doughnuts, beer, soy sauce, biscuits, pastries and cakes. If you choose to go on a wheat-free diet, alternatives are quinoa, buckwheat pasta, porridge, cornflakes and rice cereals. Some people who are sensitive to wheat may find the FODMAP diet helpful. This diet allows people to cut out fermentable foods that may lead to bloating and diarrhea.