If you have nasal congestion or indigestion after eating a bowl of oatmeal, you may be allergic to or sensitive to an oat protein. Avenin is the name given to this protein. Innate immune responses are brought on by oat allergy and sensitivity, respectively. As a result, antibodies are created to fight avenin and other foreign substances that the body views as hazards.
Some people who get sick after eating oats might not be allergic to them; instead, they might have celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Wheat contains a protein called gluten. Oats don’t contain gluten, although they are frequently farmed and manufactured in locations that also work with wheat, barley, and certain other things that do.
Due to cross-contamination between these products, oat products may contain trace amounts of gluten. If you must avoid gluten, make sure that any oat-containing food or product you consume is marked gluten-free.
If you have a strong sensitivity to high-fiber meals, consuming oats may cause gastrointestinal pain. You can identify other medical conditions or avenin allergies by keeping a food journal.
Although oat allergies are uncommon, they can affect newborns, kids, and adults. Oat allergies can cause a variety of symptoms, from mild to severe, such as:
- a blotchy, itchy, and swollen skin rash or skin irritation on or near the mouth
- throat discomfort
- runny or congested nose
- irritated eyes
- abdominal pain
- respiratory difficulty
Oat sensitivity can cause milder symptoms that take longer to appear. However, if you consume or are exposed to oats frequently, these problems might continue. These signs consist of the following:
- stomach inflammation and irritability
An allergic reaction to oats can bring on dietary protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES) in infants and children. This illness has an impact on the digestive system. It could cause diarrhea, puking, dehydration, and developmental delays. Lethargy and hunger can be signs of FPIES, especially if they are severe or last for a long time. The risk of FPIES is not limited to oats.
Oat intolerance may also damage the epidermis when used topically. In a 2007 study of kids with atopic dermatitis, it was discovered that many babies and kids experienced adverse skin responses to supplements that contained oats, such as moisturizers.
Adults who are oat-allergic or oat-sensitive and use products containing this ingredient may also experience skin reactions.
Symptoms of Oat Allergy
Urticaria, often known as hives, or red, blotchy skin patches, are a common symptom of oat allergies. If someone unintentionally contacts oats and subsequently other regions of the body, an epidemic might sometimes happen.
Skin responses for those who have eczema can be moderate to severe. A delayed reaction to interaction with oats may result from allergic contact dermatitis. A delayed reaction’s symptoms might appear anywhere between a few hours and three days later.
Not all exposure to oats will occur from eating or using cosmetics. For instance, many exam gloves made without latex also include colloidal oatmeal. If you experience contact dermatitis symptoms brought on by an oat allergy, talk to your doctor about the potential causes.
Treatment For Oat Allergy In Babies
Oats should not be consumed or used in any goods if you have an avenin allergy or sensitivity. Look for terms like “oats,” “oat powder,” and “avenin” on labels. Precautions to take include:
- oat-based bath
- Granola bars, muesli, and oatmeal lotion
- cookies with oatmeal
- oat milk and oat-based horse feed, such as oat hay
An oral antihistamine can frequently halt minor allergic reactions to oats. Topical corticosteroids may be helpful if you are experiencing a skin response.
Different types of food allergies, including oat allergies, can be detected using several tests. These consist of the following:
(Scratch test) Test on a small area of skin
Your reaction to multiple chemicals may be evaluated using this test at once. Your physician will apply very small amounts of histamine, glycerin, or saline under the skin of your forearm using a lancet to identify which allergens cause a reaction. It takes between 20 and 40 minutes and is not uncomfortable.
Patches infused with allergens are used in this test. To find out if you have a delayed allergic reaction to oats, the patches are left on your back or arm for up to two days.
oral challenge with food. To check for allergic reactions during this test, you must ingest oats in escalating doses. Only at a hospital should this test be conducted.
When To Visit A Doctor
If you have a severe allergic reaction to oats and have trouble breathing or go into anaphylactic shock, call 911 or go to the hospital right away.
These symptoms, which can quickly become life-threatening like those from any other food allergy, are frequently manageable with an EpiPen, also known as an epinephrine auto-injector.
If you experience an episode of anaphylaxis, call 911 or head to the nearest ER right away, even if you have epinephrine on hand, and used it to stop an attack.
Anaphylaxis symptoms include:
- reduced blood pressure
- hives and scratchy skin
- breathing issues, coughing or wheezing
- weak, quick heartbeat;
- swelling of the tongue or throat;
- diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
Oats can be swapped out for other cereals and grains by those who have an oat allergy.
These may consist of:
Numerous alternatives are available for oat-based breakfast dishes.
For instance, as a substitute for porridge, individuals can make millet porridge or soak chia seeds in milk or water to give them a thick consistency.
Being susceptible to or intolerant to oats is uncommon. Avenin, a protein present in oats, causes an immune response in people with certain disorders. Due to product contamination, oats may have unfavorable effects on gluten-sensitive individuals, including those with celiac disease.
A potentially dangerous illness can result from an oat allergy in infants and young children. Atopic dermatitis can also be brought on by it. If you or your child thinks they may be allergic or sensitive to oats, avoid them and talk to your doctor.
If you have food allergies, you should look into the top allergy apps for advice on eating out, recipes, and more.
- Boussalt P, et al. (2007) Oat sensitization in children with atopic dermatitis: pprevalence risks, and associated factors.
- Fiocchi A, et al. (2017). Food allergy.
- Li J. (2017). Food allergy vs. food sensitivity: What’s the difference?