What does a Catholic person do if they are allergic to wheat or if they have an autoimmune condition like Celiac? Can they receive Holy Communion? The Benedictine Sisters make a low gluten altar bread that can be used in the Catholic Church. On their website, they explain the process they went through to find an altar bread that would work for Celiacs and still be acceptable for use by the Church. The hosts must contain wheat in order for it to be valid in the Catholic Church.
I have friends who have gluten intolerance (not celiac) who have used the low-gluten wafers for years and have done fine. I've ordered some to try out. Of course, those of us with wheat problems can receive the blood-- Jesus is present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in both the consecrated bread and wine. I'm going to try one with my Epi-pen close by.
I've recently had problems after receiving Holy Communion. I have a known allergy to wheat and up until recently had no problem receiving Holy Communion. In the early 90s, I had a severe anaphylactic reaction and back then, no one thought it could be the wheat I'd eaten. I now know better! The first time it happened, I broke out into hives within 30 minutes of receiving. The next morning, it happened again and I felt like my throat was closing up. A week on steroids and life is normal again. I also made sure my Epi-pen isn't out of date.