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The primary protein the immune system attacks when allergic to wheat is gluten. Wheat allergies are extremely common but are often confused with celiac disease, a condition that essentially prevents the body from absorbing proper nutrients and causes an adverse reaction to gluten. Found in breads, pasta, crackers, and even beer, wheat products are tough to avoid. Sometimes severe reactions — like anaphylaxis — are triggered by exercising or taking aspirin after eating a wheat product. These may enhance an allergy by triggering the same biological mechanisms that produce an allergic reaction to wheat. Some who work with wheat flour may experience breathing problems, or "Baker's Asthma," from inhaling wheat allergens but experience no side effects when eating.

Substitute: Gluten-free oats are commonly found in many specialized products in the grocery store. But if you’re looking for even more alternatives, turn to products like rice flour, garbanzo bean flour, or even tapioca flour to make homemade, allergen-free meals.

(Credit ©Flickr/Emily Carlin)
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