Allergic to wheat and grapes


I have recently been diagnosed with a number of allergies, including wheat and grapes. I know the host and the cup are transformed into Christ’s body and blood. Chemically, I am concerned about allergic reactions. If I follow medical restrictions, I would not be able to partake in Communion at all. I asked my priest, an older man, and he seemed to not understand the issue. He in fact asked me if the doctors had told me to exercise more.

How can I fully participate in Communion under these circumstances? I am heartbroken. I have only been able to trust that God will protect me.


Ask your doctor if a low-gluten altar bread would be alright for you to consume. We are forbidden from giving medical advice here on the forums, so I can’t tell you what to do, but I do know that these low-gluten breads were developed specifically for people with allergies and celiac disease.

Beware “zero-gluten” products which are made from rice or potatoes, and constitute invalid matter. Only purchase your altar bread from a Catholic company which advertises “ecclesiastical approbation” by Catholic authorities.


as Elizium23 has already inidcated, the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration are one reputable source for low-gluten hosts with a handy guide for ordering, preparation and distribution that you might like to print out and give to your priest. I can however sympathise with your difficulties - from my own experience I am aware how difficult it can be at times to get some priests to understand the issue. I find it helps if you come up to receive communion at a specific time (i.e. first or last) or sit in a particular place so that the priest or extraordinary minister is able to give you the host without too much disruption (for your benefit rather than anyone else’s).

Finally, given the minimal wheat content in regular hosts, you might also like to discuss this with your doctor to determine just how sensitive you are and whether you do in fact need low-gluten hosts or can consume regular hosts without too much difficulty.


You might sit down and have a conversation with your doctor. Part of that should be a discussion of how allergic you are to each substance - wheat and grapes.

As noted in other answers, we are not doctors. What little I know about allergies is that some people are allergic to one substance to one degree, and others, to the same substance, to a greater or lesser degree.

So, for grapes, you might ask him about the sensitivity; is he saying that you absolutely cannot consume even a minuscule amount, or is he considering half a glass of wine to be too much? Is half a teaspoon equivalent going to cause a severe reaction, a major one, a minor one, or no noticeable one?

The same for wheat - is a low gluten amount, of maybe a half teaspoon in quantity or less, going to cause a reaction, and if so, how much?

And with either of these, does it make a difference if they are consumed on an empty stomach, or one which has had some food?

If taking something to eat before Communion would buffer the effect, Church law would appear to permit you to not fast for one hour before Communion.


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