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  • Meeting abstract
  • Open Access

Buckwheat anaphylaxis: a case report

  • 1 and
  • 2
Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology201410 (Suppl 2) :A38

  • Published:


  • Food Allergy
  • Urticaria
  • Skin Prick Testing
  • Angioedema
  • Food Allergen


A healthy 32-year-old Chinese female presented with three episodes of allergic reactions after ingestion of buckwheat. She was assessed in the allergy clinic after eating cake containing buckwheat flour. After a few bites she experienced tongue tingling and throat tightness. Within 30 minutes she developed urticaria, nausea and abdominal cramping, which subsided with diphenhydramine. Eight months prior she had an episode of abdominal cramping, urticaria and lip angioedema within 45 minutes of eating multigrain toast. Two years earlier she had eaten buckwheat noodles at a restaurant in China. She developed abdominal cramping, emesis and throat tightness 30 minutes after ingestion, and was treated at a local emergency department. There was no other history of food, drug, insect or latex allergy.

Skin prick testing was performed for food allergies. All food skin tests were negative with appropriate controls. Skin prick testing was performed to the extracted cake and was strongly positive at 9mm (W9F29). Prick testing to extracted buckwheat was remarkably positive at 48mm (W48F70). Specific IgE to buckwheat was obtained and was high at 6.13KU/L.


Common (Fagopyrum esculentum) and tartary (Fagopyrum tartaricum) buckwheat are members of the Polygonaceae family that are taxonomically unrelated to wheat [1, 2]. They contain no gluten and have emerged as a popular substitute for celiac or wheat intolerant patients. Buckwheat has been described as a potent allergen in Asia where it is commonly consumed, with fewer cases described in Europe and North America [1]. Severe symptoms including anaphylaxis can occur after ingestion or inhalation of buckwheat, with Fag e 1 and Fag e 2 proteins identified as major allergens [3].


Buckwheat represents a major food allergen in Asia where consumption is high. With growing popularity in North American diets, increased awareness is necessary as exposures to this potent allergen become more common.


Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Internal Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Department of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada


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© Pourshahnazari and Sussman; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.