Thyroid UK
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Quinoa reaction

I've been gluten free for a year now and realised after about 6 months of no gluten that the IBS symptoms I'd been suffering for most of my life had disappeared.

This week I bought a natural ingredients , gluten free food pack with quinoa in and about 4 hours after eating it I started with a full-blown IBS attack that has lasted almost a week up to now. This is the only different food I've eaten in a long time. Does anyone else have a problem with quinoa?

9 Replies

I've previously been fine with quinoa but ate some last week and had awful stomach pains. I really need to try it on it's own to establish whether it's the quinoa, the veg, or combination of the quinoa and veg that I ate.


Yes, I'd had it once before but it was early in my gluten free diet. I seemed ok with it then, but this was a severe reaction and it was the only different thing I'd eaten.


Quinoa is part of the beet family, which includes amaranth, beets, some spinach, chard. Try others in the family to see whether its a true reaction. Not until you are completely better, of course.

You could just be sensitive to starchy foods, or have candida, either of which states will cause a reaction.

In the mean time I would go back to the basic diet, top up your probiotics and take ACV in water.

My IBS almost went when I went GF, but I would get the occasional attack. But what I learned was that all grains except rice would provoke really nasty heartburn. So that was all the ready made GF products, and my home made efforts too.

Its ALL gone now that I have gone keto.

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Thanks - I didn't know that. It would possibly explain why my symptoms are not improving yet. I had a salad on Friday with beetroot and beetroot leaves. This is a food I've always disliked for flavour and have never included in my diet before but I chose it because people keep telling me how nutritious it is!!


Lots of things are nutritious for some and poison for others. People harp on about coconut oil, but it just makes me want to throw up!

I'd go back to the basic AIP diet and let everything settle down. Lots of people live on that, or something very similar without anything extra. Then if you do introduce something different do one thing at a time, and eat it regularly for at least ten days before deciding its OK. Take your pulse before and after eating normally, and eating the new food. That is often a subtle sign that its not entirely benign for you. It takes time sometimes for reactions to build up, and it also can take time for them to settle again. The only way is to make sure the picture is not complicated by too many variables.

Just so you know what I eat. Its basically meat/fish/eggs and leafy veg, avocado, limited nuts and seeds, a very few berries. I do at the moment use double cream and butter, but am going to stop those on Tuesday to see if it makes any difference. I am pretty sure cheese in large amounts causes sugar cravings so that has gone for the time being. I keep carbohydrates down to about 25 grams a day. Protein is about the same as before ie 2-3 servings each giving about 25grams of protein. Fat I eat freely, its not removed from any foods, and I slather it on my veg, put cream in my coffee and butter in my chai tea. I need the fat to replace the calories lost from carbohydrates. Next week my olive oil consumption is going to skyrocket!

This diet has transformed my life in so many ways, from a disappearance of all my thyroid related symptoms, brain fog, gastro-intestinal stuff, anxiety and my arthritis. I was close to a knee replacement because of arthritis from an old injury, now I barely feel it most of the time.


Quinoa has to be rinsed carefully. It contains a lot of solanin and saponins. Those are not toxic but can cause a lot of tummy issues in the long run saponin can cause leaky gut as it damages the membrane of bowel.

I always rinse quinoa with boiling water many times before cooking it.

It also a type of quinoa that can be difficult to digest. I eat finnish organic quinoa which is hard to digest because the time of growth and soil is a bit different here so it affects the quinoa more than I realised. It's more porridge like and requires long cooking time to be properly cooked.

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I used to work in a natural and organic food shop a few years ago. At one point we were told we could not say to customers that quinoa is gluten free unless it's certified and stated on the package as often it is packed in facilities that also handle gluten and/or other grains.


I'm really I terested in what you say Ruthi......I suffer badly from IBS also get a lot if Ocular Migraines which seem to go together.....sometimes I just feel SO ILL.....I live on my own and am 76 years old, have just divorced my ex after 40 years of domestic abuse so have put everything down to stress.

What is ACV ? Have you any advice fir me to try ? I also get ?Diverticulitis so fruit with pips or seeds or nuts is no good...although I've just discovered Cashew nut spread which is smooth and tasty too.


I get ocular migraines too, but had never connected them with the IBS!!


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