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HAVE A QUESTION? > Quinoa inflammatory issues

I bought a vita mix at Costco and wanted to try the quinoa, it was pre washed organic, Iblendedit into a liquid with an orange and banana later that night and through out the next day my stomach got upset, I had sharp pains, diharea, muscle aches and very tired. it was the only thing I ate that was not something I had eaten before and it came up all of a sudden. it's strange how the food industry or whoever wanted to make money off of it, finds random seeds or plants and if there is any nutritional value in them they sell it to the public to eat. the quinoa is going back to Costco
November 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterleonora
HI Cate,

Thanks for sharing your story. Holy cow, it sounds like you have quite a reaction to it! I react very similarly to tapioca - very freaky. I'm truly amazed at the number of people who are struggling with quinoa, all for different reasons. You are most definitely not alone!

Thanks for sharing your story, too, Leonora - how terrible! You are prompting me to look into the type of quinoa sold at Costco - some types are not ok for people with celiac, and some people have an allergic/sensitivity reaction to any type of quinoa. It sure sounds like you have one, indeed!

I know others who eat the quinoa from Costco without issue, but it would be interesting to find out more about it. thanks for mentioning this.

I've found that I am allergic to buckwheat and quinoa. However, I have never had any of the intestinal issues everyone has mentioned. Instead my lymph nodes in the throat area visibly swell, my nose starts running, I get increased drainage in the throat, start coughing, throat feels sore, raw and swollen, have difficulty breathing and my voice becomes very raspy and intermittent. I believe the buckwheat allergy started when I bought a Sobakawa pillow many years ago. I thought I was suffering from a cold that kept getting worse and worse everyday. After sleeping somewhere else, feeling better, then returning home and feeling sick again, I decided maybe it was inhaling dust from the hulls causing a problem. It was so bad that I couldn't even handle the bag that I sealed it in after putting in the garage without having breathing problems. Many years later I went to a restaurant and ordered soba (buckwheat) noodles. I had a severe reaction afterwards and all the years of wondering why I felt awful after eating pancakes, multi-grain breads and cereals all made sense. Not sure why quinoa does the same. I loved the flavor and ease of using it but each time I have tried it, seems the symptoms are increasingly worse and I've had to cut out completely.
November 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeanie
Hi everyone!

I have the same problem...I was thinking that I am not allergic to any type of food until last Friday! I ate quinoa salad on Wednesday evening and the next day for lunch...And then the nightmare started on Friday morning after waking up...My face was totally swollen, scruffy and felt like was horrible!
I took some allergy pills from overseas but it did not help at all...Then I went to the urgent care on Saturday ...She gave me steroid pills and told me that I should take Benadryl in the evening, Claritin in the morning and the steroid pills. I started to take the steroid pills on Saturday afternoon and the others as mentioned from the nurse...After taking the steroid pills my face was not swollen anymore and not more scruffy but it is till burning and red. As of today(Sunday) my stool still contains quinoa (sorry for the openness but it might be an important detail) and I believe it will take a couple of days to get rid of the quinoa.

I am happy to find this page because I was very scared and could not explain myself what the problem might be...I bought the quinoa from Costco (organic).
Even though my husband had the same salad and had no reaction I will never buy quinoa again...It was and is still a nightmare...Hopefully, after taking all these pills I will be healthy as soon as possible...
December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAshley
Several months ago, I ended up in the hospital twice over a 7 day period. I had the most excruciating stomach pains. My husband took me to the ER twice as I literally thought I was dying. Throughout this period I had several other "attacks" of severe, excruciating pain but only twice did I seek medical attention. Blood work and ultrasounds were conducted, with no result. One night, my mother was making quinoa and my sister asked her not to serve any to her as it gives her a stomach ache. Only then did I make the connection for myself. I have avoided it since and I've been perfectly fine. I will never ever eat quinoa again as long as I live.
December 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlison M
I have to say, I am truly amazed by the number of people with quinoa reactions, and the variety of reactions being reported here. Ashley, I have a very similar reaction to tapioca (scary as crap). The reaction also built up over time to become that scary as crap reaction, including extreme heart palpitations.

Everyone, I think it is important for us to understand our reactions, so I put together a list of different food reacitons - including immune reactions and non-immune reactions. Hopefully this will help us better discuss our reactions w/ our doctors, find the right doctors, and keep up w/ any new testing & research. It's a work in progress.

Check this out:
I have never had any food allergies.. Last Saturday, I fixed some Quinoa, which I had not eaten previously. I took a couple of bites and immediately felt a choking sensation and a sharp pain in the middle of my chest. These sensations went away immediately and, even though I am an RN, I didn't give it much fact, I continued to eat a whole bowl of the Quinoa. The next morning, I woke up with a fine itchy rash on both arms. I have had the rash since then and, finally decided that it must have been a mild anaphylactic reaction to the food. I went to a convenient care yesterday. The doctor thought I was probably right and put me on a 5 day course if Prednisone, Benadryl and Zyrtec. I still have the rash but guess I just have to be patient. The sensations I had were very wierd so I am sure it was the Quinoa.
March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWendy Fifer
Oh my, Wendy! That is a scary reaction, mild or not. I'm glad you are OK, and that you are being treated! The comments from people in this forum who have had such a wide range of reactions has been quite unexpected. So I greatly appreciate everyone, including you, who are adding their experiences with quinoa to this forum..It is very supportive to the folks who are having reactions to it.
I just had a reaction to quinoa after eating it for the first time. I did not wash it because it was frozen and just required microwaving it to 165 degrees which I did. I then tried it before adding it to my casserole. I had an allergic reaction with sore throat, itching of skin, red face and racing heart. I am familiar with this as I have had allergies all my life. I am allergic to fish and some nuts. I am not allergic to any grains.
March 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnn Clayton
Ann, thanks for adding your story. I'm not sure why so many people are reacting to quinoa, but it must be a shock. I make it regularly for my own mother who lacks protein in her diet at breakfast, and it has helps her a great deal. But people can be allergic or sensitive to pretty much anything, and it stinks (and is mind boggling) that such a great grain is causing such distress, especially when trying to heal.
I have eaten quinoa in the past with no problem. But a few months ago, after eating quinoa at a friend's house, I had severe nausea. I thought it was something I ate at a new restaurant in town. I liked that quinoa so much I decided to make it myself. I washed it thoroughly even though the package said there was no need to wash. Again, I felt nauseated, and had mild diarrhea. But I didn't make the connection with the quinoa, and the next day I ate a large helping of the leftovers. That night I was in agony, with nausea, debilitating cramps, and vomiting. The worst stomach ache of my life! No more quinoa for me. I have no other food allergies but am mildly intolerant of avocados.
April 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnne
Add me to the growing list of quinoa nightmare stories. I ate a bowl of quinoa for the first time on a Sunday night and awoke at 3 am with intense itching and hives all over. Immediately I knew it was a food allergy so straight to the Benedryl I went. Benedryl has been my BFF every 4 hours ever since. This horrific rash, itching and hives reaction is the worst I've ever had in my life. It just won't go away. Usually my food allergy symptoms pass within 24 hours. This quinoa allergy isn't letting up....AT ALL. It's now Friday and I am hoping the Dr will have something to knock this misery out ASAP.
September 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDreRenee
I am so glad i found this blog! Recently i have discovered that i have had sever stomach pains after eating white rice however today for lunch i brought a pre made salad from the supermarket that had quinoa in it and the exact same pain happened. I have no idea why i could get it with both of these foods since they are not in the same food group. Thankfully i am not alone with the quinoa though.
November 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney
I too have had severe reactions to quinoa. Last year I was hospitalized for colitis and a partial small bowel obstruction and severely sick for over a month, shortly after attempting to eat healthier (things like brown rice pasta, quinoa). They tested me for EVERYTHING - Crohn's was their best guess. Every single test came back negative, no Crohn's, no celiac disease, no allergies, meanwhile I was getting severe stomach cramping, intense vomiting, blood in my stools, and terrible acid reflux. Doctors could not figure out what was wrong... Fast forward to now. I was already wary of quinoa as I suspected I had a sensitivity, so last night only had about a tablespoon of the delicious salad that was served at a work dinner. Within an hour I had to leave, and another hour and I was curled up in the bathroom puking the night away, with severe, stabbing stomach pains and diarrhea. I now have no doubt that quinoa is the cause of at least one large part of my stomach issues and will not be touching it again. I have no other allergies.
November 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAsha
I too will never eat quinoa again. I've had it three times. Twice in gluten free bread at cafes, and once I cooked at home. I have never been so sick, the vomiting was excruciating. It wasn't an immediate reaction either, it took approximately 3 hours for the symptoms to kick in. I have been tested for coeliac disease and that was negative. I do however have IBS and Hashimotos - not sure if either are linked to my quinoa sensitivity.
February 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJeannette
Overwhelmed by the number of quinoa stories being posted, along with the similarities and differences between them. Thank you all so much for sharing. We have some information at the beginning of this string from a few experts, and will pass on more info as we uncover it.
Similar to other postings in this thread, I ate quinoa frequently for 5 years, often prepared unwashed. One year ago, I experienced bloating, burping, hotness (mild fever, perhaps?), and mild diarrhea that I was able to attribute to quinoa. My friend had no such reaction to the same meal. I tried to eat it again a month later, being careful about thoroughly washing the grain, but I experienced the same reaction. Tonight, I gave it one more shot, and now write this post experiencing the symptoms listed above. I would like to know why this intolerance has developed and if it can be treated. I have no other food intolerances. Quite the puzzle! It is comforting to know others have had similar experiences.
March 3, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAllison
I am so disappointed to be another quinoa intolerant person. I love it in a salad, its so convenient BUT soon after eating I get severe diarrhea, moderate stomach cramps and slight chest pain. Its clear to me that the quinoa is causing my symptoms. I came online to check whether I was doing something wrong in the preparation but it seems some people just don't tolerate it. Thanks for the information.
April 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDai
I've been violently sick (vomitting + diarhea) after eating quinoa 3 times. It happens a couple of hours after eating, so during the night. The last time I ate quinoa was in the excellent restaurant of a hotel, I spent a whole night on the toilet ( changing position frequently to vomit).
I will never eat it again. It is the only food I cannot digest.
May 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTineke
I've been violently sick (vomitting + diarhea) after eating quinoa 3 times. It happens a couple of hours after eating, so during the night. The last time I ate quinoa was in the excellent restaurant of a hotel, I spent a whole night on the toilet ( changing position frequently to vomit).
I will never eat it again. It is the only food I cannot digest.
May 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTineke
I'm still blown away by the number of people with a quinoa reaction - many of which sound like a classic allergic reaction. Thank you all for sharing your experiences, and please continue sharing them.

At some point, I'll be investigating this further, but in the meantime, I think it is important to understand the different type of allergic reactions and food sensitivities. Here is a list of what we have so far, with help of two different experts with differing medical points of view, but who have come up with exactly the same conclusions.

Check this out:
This is a test post in response to a couple of emails that an error message occurs when trying to comment. It looks like the CAPTCHA function is not working, so until it is fixed by the site's host, it has been disabled. Comment away, and if you have any other issues, please feel free to contact me. thanks very much to those who took the time to let me know!


June 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterElisabeth
Great to find this tonight as my symptoms were much like those reported. Last evening after ingesting a large bowl of quinoa, I developed chest tightness, difficulty breathing, pains up into my neck. I'm an RN with a recently diagnosed heart condition so I took my BP/pulse and called the on-call cardiologist who encouraged me to visit the ER should it get worse.

I hung in there with a sleepless night. Next morning just fine. But I began planning out the next phase of my heart condition as surgical repair may be inevitable.

But tonight, again--about an hour after eating another bowl of quinoa. Now taking an antihistamine in the hopes symptoms diminish and I can sleep.

I am sooo happy that it is not my heart. I am soooo sad that I have to give up quinoa, my favorite grain. As a vegetarian, it is a challenge to find interesting, tasteful, simple and nutritious foods--especially proteins.

And so it goes, to quote Martha Stewart

Thank you all. Zelda
July 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterZelda
Thanks for posting, Zelda. I have learned that heart palpitations can be a common reaction to a food allergy or sensitivity. I have this, too, but with tapioca. Scared the crap outta me! Am so glad that this turned out not to be heart related for you, too. Although delicious quinoa is hard to give up! Have you ever tried ..... cricket flour? :). I've heard it is great and am working up the courage myself!

Thanks again for sharing your story,