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  • Wheat Allergy?

    Is it possible to join if you have a wheat allergy? And if not does anyone know if the answer is the same for the army?

  • #2
    Re: Wheat Allergy?

    Hello Truth,

    If you go to the following link you'll see:,,00.html

    Abdominal organs and gastrointestinal system

    The causes for rejection for appointment, enlistment, and induction are an authenticated history of:
    a. Esophagus. Ulceration, varices, fistula, achalasia, or other dismotility disorders; chronic or recurrent esophagitis if confirmed by appropriate x-ray or endoscopic examination.

    b. Stomach and duodenum.
    (1) Gastritis. Chronic hypertrophic, or severe.
    (2) Active ulcer of the stomach or duodenum confirmed by x-ray or endoscopy.
    (3) Congenital abnormalities of the stomach or duodenum causing symptoms or requiring surgical treatment, except a history of surgical correction of hypertrophic pyloric stenosis of infancy.

    c. Small and large intestine.
    (1) Inflammatory bowel disease. Regional enteritis, ulcerative colitis, ulcerative proctitis.
    (2) Duodenal diverticula with symptoms or sequelae (hemorrhage, perforation, etc.).
    (3) Intestinal malabsorption syndromes, including postsurgical and idiopathic.

    An allergy to wheat is essentially an allergy to the protein gluten, which is found in wheat as well as barely, rye, and sometimes oats; having such an allergy is also called Celiac Disease, which is defined as:

    Celiac disease - sprue
    Sprue; Nontropical sprue; Gluten intolerance; Gluten-sensitive enteropathy
    Last reviewed: January 20, 2010.

    Celiac disease is a condition that damages the lining of the small intestine and prevents it from absorbing parts of food that are important for staying healthy. The damage is due to a reaction to eating gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, rye, and possibly oats.

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors
    The exact cause of celiac disease is unknown. The lining of the intestines contains areas called villi, which help absorb nutrients. When people with celiac disease eat foods or use products that contain gluten, their immune system reacts by damaging these villi.

    This damage affects the ability to absorb nutrients properly. A person becomes malnourished, no matter how much food he or she eats.

    Having a wheat, that is, gluten allergy may put someone with a wheat/gluten allergy under this category. A recruiter would know for sure and if a medical waiver for it is possible.

    Each individual's sensitivity to gluten will vary and there are some who claim a wheat allergy is different than having an allergy to gluten but both are an allergy to gluten. Those who state they have a wheat allergy seem to tolerate barley, rye, and other foods that contain less gluten but avoid wheat because it's the most abundent source of the protein. Wheat, and therefore gluten, is in just about everything. Unless it's a raw fruit, vegetable (excluding wheat, barley, rye), dairy, or meat it's probably going to have wheat and thus gluten. I don't know what the nutrition facts are for military grade MRE's but I'd bet my car that they do contain wheat.

    From my reading in this and other forums the consensus is you should disclose all medical dx to your recruiter and to the physicians at MEPS. If you've never been dx or treated (nothing in your medical record) but you know you have gastrointestinal issues when you eat wheat you need to ask yourself the risk you'd present to your future fellow soliders and to yourself if you accidently ate wheat (gluten) and were ineffective at a critical moment. A recruiter would be the go to person for a definitive answer on what to do. Hope this information helps, best of luck.


    • #3
      Re: Wheat Allergy?

      The main question here is HOW your body responds to the allergy.

      In the current medical regulations (DoDI 6130.3), food allergies fall under the following:

      24. SYSTEMIC
      k. History of anaphylaxis (995.0).
      (1) History of anaphylaxis to stinging insects (989.5). A cutaneous only reaction to a stinging insect under the age of 16 DOES meet the standard. Applicants who have been treated for 3-5 years with maintenance venom immunotherapy DO meet the standard.
      (2) History of systemic allergic reaction to food or food additives (995.60-995.69). Systemic allergic reaction may be defined as a temporally related, systemic, often multi-system, reaction to a specific food. The presence of a food-specific immunoglobulin E antibody without a correlated clinical history DOES meet the standard.
      (3) Oral allergy syndrome.
      (4) Hypersensitivity to latex (V15.07).
      (5) Exercise-induced anaphylaxis (with or without food).
      (6) Idiopathic anaphylaxis (995.0).
      (7) Acute, early, or immediate anaphylactic onset.
      (8) History of systemic allergic reaction or angioedema.
      These conditions are all disqualifying, except where it says that certain conditions DO meet the standard. Granted, I don't have a medical degree, so the bold words are where the answer lies, but I'm not even going to consider attempting to translate whether or not that means you're disqualified.

      The Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI), is being used across all branches, so chances are if we would disqualify you for it, it is likely you'd be disqualified in most branches. However, it never hurts to ask a representative of that branch.
      Last edited by Moore; September 27th, 2011, 06:29 PM. Reason: Tried to highlight with italicization... ><