Sian Baker

Medically reviewed by Sian Baker, Dip ION mBANT mCNHC
on January 22, 2024. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Check My Body Health blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.

Buckwheat, is a nutritious staple in many diets. Occasionally buckwheat presents a challenging aspect for some. The risk of a buckwheat allergy. This comprehensive guide offers an in-depth look into the world of buckwheat allergies. We’ll cover everything from recognizing symptoms to available test and managing this dietary concern.

Can you be allergic to buckwheat?

Yes, you can be allergic to buckwheat. While less common than some other food allergies. Buckwheat allergies can provoke allergic reactions in some people.

Buckwheat allergy symptoms

Recognizing the symptoms of a buckwheat allergy is crucial. Common symptoms include:

  • Skin Reactions: Such as itching, hives, redness, or swelling.
  • Gastrointestinal Distress: Symptoms may encompass nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or diarrhea.
  • Respiratory Issues: Including sneezing, nasal congestion, coughing, wheezing, or difficulty in breathing.
  • Anaphylaxis: A severe, potentially life-threatening condition marked by breathing difficulties, a sudden drop in blood pressure, and possible unconsciousness, necessitating immediate medical attention.

Understanding the cause

A buckwheat allergy is triggered when the immune system mistakenly targets proteins in buckwheat as threats. These proteins are present throughout the buckwheat plant.

The difference between a food allergy and food intolerance

It’s critical to differentiate between these two conditions. Food allergies involve immune system responses and can be severe. Food intolerances, on the other hand, usually cause digestive discomfort and do not involve the immune system.

How common is a buckwheat allergy?

While possible, it’s worth noting that food intolerances are more widespread than allergies. Studies suggest that up to 20% of the global population may experience food intolerances.

How to test for a buckwheat allergy

  • Skin Prick Test: Small amounts of allergens, including buckwheat proteins, are applied to the skin, and the skin is pricked to observe any allergic reactions.
  • Blood Test: A blood sample is taken to measure the presence of specific antibodies (IgE) associated with allergies. 

At Check My Body Health we specialise in food intolerance tests. You can view our range of tests here.

Cross-reactivity with other foods

Cross-reactivity between buckwheat and certain other foods is possible due to shared proteins. Individuals with buckwheat allergies might also experience reactions to foods such as:

  • Sunflower Seeds: Shared proteins may trigger allergic responses.
  • Chamomile Tea: Cross-reactivity can occur in some individuals.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I am allergic to buckwheat, am I allergic to peanuts?

Buckwheat and peanuts are not botanically related, and an allergy to one does not automatically mean an allergy to the other. However, people with multiple allergies should exercise caution and consult with their healthcare provider.

Is a buckwheat allergy the same as wheat allergy?

No, a buckwheat allergy is distinct from a wheat allergy. Buckwheat and wheat come from different plant families, and the proteins responsible for allergic reactions are different. Individuals with a wheat allergy may not necessarily be allergic to buckwheat.

Can I eat buckwheat if I am wheat intolerant?

Yes, people with wheat intolerance can typically consume buckwheat safely. Buckwheat is gluten-free and does not contain the proteins found in wheat that trigger gluten-related issues.

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