Oat AllergyOats are very healthy. They are high in fiber, nutrients and omega 3 fatty acids that keep your body and heart in optimum shape. Despite its healthy characteristics, people can develop allergic reactions to oats.
Oat allergy shouldn't be confused with celiac disease. Celiac is gluten intolerance and oats don't always have gluten. In fact, people with gluten allergy substitute oats for wheat and other products that have gluten.
Celiac is often linked to oat allergy because some of the people allergic to gluten also experience minor allergic symptoms when they ingest oats. This is because of some farming and processing techniques used in making oats. Most farmers tend to rotate the crops they plant, so the patch of land once used for wheat may be used for oats. This might, to some extent, contaminate the oats with gluten. The same effect can happen if the machine used to process gluten based grains is also used with the oats.
While it is difficult to distinguish celiac with oat allergy because of the farming and processing techniques mentioned; recent studies have included oat allergy as part of the symptoms for celiac disease.
Oat Allergy SymptomsSymptoms of oat allergy show up at different times, depending on the person's immune systems. Below are common symptoms of oat allergy:
- Runny nose
- Throat swelling
- Sneezing and Wheezing
- Breathing difficulties
- Swallowing difficulties
- Watery eyes
- Sore eyes or puffy eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Redness or flushing of the skin
- Itchy or tingling mouth
- Lip and tongue swelling
- Redness around the lips
- Swelling of the face
- Sleeping problems
- Abdominal pains
The most common, yet most dangerous reaction to oat allergy is an anaphylactic response. An anaphylactic shock is a combination of near fatal allergy symptoms, such as severe skin swelling and irritation, irritation of the digestive organs, palpitation and difficulty breathing.
Things That Cause Oat Allergy
- Granola Bars
- Oat moisturizers
- Oat based facial cleansers or facial scrubs
- Oat flour
- Oat oil
- Oat based milk and creams
It's impossible to list all products that have oats in them. Always check the list of ingredients. Products that don't have oats, but may have been processed in the same machine as oats are not included in this list. Please check the disclaimer provided on the item's packaging. Most manufacturers will tell you if a product might contain oats, peanuts and other products due to their processing methods.
Oat Allergy TreatmentsSome people overcome their oat allergy on their own. People who try to overcome their allergic reactions should keep their medicines on hand, in case of any emergency. Those who suffer from severe allergic reactions should not attempt to overcome their allergy in this way, as this might be fatal for them. Here are some medications for oat allergy:
1. Antihistamines- are commonly used to treat a wide variety of allergies. Antihistamines will not help in asthma attacks though. Most antihistamines can be purchased as an over-the-counter drug, like Benadryl.
2. Nasal sprays- include topical nasal steroids, nasal antihistamines and nasal mast cell stabilizers. This is most effective for treating respiratory symptoms of oat allergy.
3. Oral Steriods- are used for moderate allergic reactions, such as asthma and skin complications from oatmeal allergy.
4. Eye drops- popular eye drops for oatmeal allergy contain Keterolac, Levocabastine and Olapatadine.
5. Epinephrine- is used in extreme allergic reactions, such as when a person experiences an anaphylactic shock. It prevents your body from releasing the chemicals that causes the allergic reactions. Epinephrine is an injectable drug that can only be given by a doctor. However, it can also be purchased in the form of an automatic injector, provided that you have a prescription.
Oat allergy can't be completely cured with just medication. The only way to be cured of this allergy is to overcome it. Check with your physician if this is possible for you. People have different ways of reacting and getting immune to allergens.