Thyroid UK
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Bloated, irritated stomach having eaten Quinoa


Has anyone else experienced a bad stomach when eating quinoa?  I was up all night with an irritated, bloated stomach from eating red quinoa.  I feel so frustrated as I have just given up gluten as I have Hashi's and thought this was my alternative grain to replace pasta & couscous etc.   I would be grateful for any information.

Thank you


6 Replies

I've only used the white variety, well cooked so the all the 'tails' are showing, haven't had any problems with it. Did you have a lot of it? Could it be something else in the meal that caused the pain?

Heinz do very good gluten free pasta (coeliac approved) the nearest to 'normal' pasta that I've found, can't remember what it's made of but it's not orange corn based type.


Hi Jo - did you wash it (very) well? Quinoa has a coating which is an irritant and can cause stomach pain. 


Hi Catrich, thank you for replying - I didn't wash it so maybe this was the problem.  I will try again and see how I get on. Jo x



Just because a food is gluten free, it doesn't mean your body will automatically like it. 

Gluten sensitivity is caused by molecular mimicry but can be applied to other foods to. Especially when immune responses are heightened through mismanaged thyroid hormones & Hashimotos. 

Hashi sufferers are particularly intolerant of grains and whilst quinoa isn't a grain but a protein, it has grain like properties and so doesn't guarantee tolerance. Thorough washing as catrich suggests may help but the big commercial companies often do this anyway (so ready for use.)

Finding your intolerances are trial & error unless you perform the Cyrex Array test -link below but is it worth noting that as the bodies immune responses calm, our intolerances change usually for the better. 

I completed the Cyrex Test as after four long years on Levothyroxine, became progressively more intolerant of not only foods, but chemicals, toxins, in fact everything in life. My results showed I was massively intolerant to not only gluten but also hemp & amaranth that are both gluten free. 

I eat quinoa but smaller portions are better as although high in (all nine essential) amino acids, it is also high in quite fast acting carbs. I believe adequate & varied proteins (building blocks) are imperative for good thyroid hormone synthesis, when many of us have been surviving on low thyroid hormone for years.

Doctors don't believe our intolerances can present in the skin, joints, respiratory tract and brain as well as the gut. Dr Datis Kharraziac claims as well as the immune system, intolerances caused by Hashimotos can affect our nervous system. I know I have felt very unwell with all sorts of strange weird symptoms in the past but now thyroid hormones are well balanced, my body processes everything better and although can now eat most things, still choose wisely gluten free most of the time.

As your body becomes desensitised it becomes easier to identify problem foods as symptoms will stand out. You could try quinoa flakes that are known to be more accommodating. I use these for flour and porridge in winter. 


Cyrex Laboratories Array 4 Gluten Associated and Cross Reactive Foods Sensitivity Test


Gluten-thyroid connection


Hi Radd, thank you so much for your reply.  I'm going to look up the test now.  Jo x 


Hi Jo,

I've always been fine with ref,black & white quinoa . Perhaps it was something else? Processed soya, if mince does that to me. 

Hope you're better now?



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