The cereal or wheat allergy is most common in children. Sufferers have usually been found to outgrow this allergy before adulthood, with around 65% overcoming its effects while still a child (though some other allergies may be higher).
Research suggests that in the UK around 20% of people think they suffer from a food allergy. However, evidence suggests that only around 1 or 2% of adults in the UK has an allergy to either wheat or gluten.
Gluten ‘allergy’ is medically classed as an auto-immune condition and isn’t specifically identified as an allergy. It is more commonly known as Coeliac disease.
This was first partially diagnosed in the 1940’s during World War II. Many items were rationed and in short supply, including items such as flour which replaced wheat with potato starch. These changes drove study into how a wheat-free diet affected people.
Doctors then linked gluten to symptoms such as bloating, gas and diarrhoea, along with other side effects in certain people.