If you have a physical reaction after consuming rice or rice products, you may be showing signs of an allergy. The major allergens responsible for rice allergy symptoms are 9-, 14-, and 31-kDa protein bands; and they are present in a variety of forms such as flour, oil, and milk. Similar to wheat or gluten allergies, you may have a rice intolerance instead of an allergy. Rice intolerance symptoms include systemic inflammation. Real food allergies include more serious symptoms. Rice Allergy Symptoms Urticaria (Hives) Itchy skin Gastrointestinal problems Asthma and other respiratory issues Anaphylaxis, in rare cases It may be safe to eat cooked rice as many proteins break down with heat; however, it is important to consult an allergist first. If you believe you have an allergy, you should avoid rice and its products until it is deemed safe to eat. We have provided a list of foods to avoid as well as some alternatives to rice products. Foods That Contain Rice And Should Be Avoided Certain Cereals and Granola Bars Rice Cakes Cookies made with Rice Flour Rice Pudding Rice Milk Certain Baby Foods Rice Bread Risotto Rice Noodles Sushi Rice may be hidden in some products, such as cereal and granola bars. It is important to read the labels of the products you are consuming. Also, beware of gluten-free bread; many of those breads are baked with rice flour. When dining out, ask your server about the possibility of the restaurant using rice fillers in their food. Black Rice Allergy While white rice is stripped of some of its components, black rice is whole and very high in protein. Black rice maintains its bran layer, which can cause an allergic reaction if you are sensitive to bran. Bran is present in oats, barley, and rye; so if you suffer from an oat allergy, you might have a black rice allergy as well. This allergy is less common since most people eat white or brown rice. White Rice Allergy This allergy is the most common of rice allergies because it is widely eaten. White rice allergy is mainly prominent in Asia but does affect many infants in the U.S. If you are allergic to white rice, it’s more difficult to manage since white rice is used in many products. However, there are alternatives to rice products that you can enjoy. Foods To Consume As An Alternative To Rice Products Oatmeal Sashimi Dairy or Soy Milk All Natural Meats Wheat Bread Cookies made with White Flour Wheat pasta Dried Fruit Vanilla or Chocolate Pudding Corn and Other Starches Wheat is an alternative grain to rice and provides more nutrients. Oatmeal and dried fruit can replace cereal for breakfast. You can also replace steamed rice with corn or other starches, such as potatoes. Diagnosing A Rice Allergy The allergists at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers can perform blood allergy tests to determine which proteins will evoke an allergic reaction. There aren’t any special preparations necessary before taking this test, which makes it a convenient option. It also doesn’t pose any risk of an allergic reaction like other allergy tests. While waiting to receive your results from the blood test, avoid foods and products made with rice. Rice Allergy Treatment Most people will outgrow a rice allergy; however, there are some people that continue to suffer from the allergy. In this case, mild symptoms will disappear on their own. Also, antihistamines can treat skin-related symptoms. If you experience asthma symptoms due to your rice allergy, talk to your allergist about receiving an inhaled corticosteroid. Food allergies can be very serious, so you may need an epinephrine auto-injector. Epinephrine is currently the only treatment for anaphylaxis, so it’s important to carry it with you. Conclusion If you are concerned about a rice allergy, contact the allergists at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers for help. We have easy access to the latest technology to diagnose and relieve your asthma, hives, and other symptoms related to rice allergy. We offer individualized treatment plans to our pediatric and adult patients in seven convenient offices throughout Manhattan: Murray Hill, Midtown, Upper West Side, Chelsea, Upper East Side, and in Queens: Glendale and Hollis. Call 212-686-4448 to book your appointment today!