Rice Allergy

Table of Contents


If you have an immune 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. Rice allergy is rare, but it can develop in anyone. Similar to wheat or gluten allergies, you may also have a rice intolerance instead of an allergy. Rice intolerance symptoms include systemic inflammation. Real food allergies include more serious symptoms such as anaphylaxis and asthma.

Rice Allergy Symptoms

  • Urticaria (Hives) or rice allergy rash
  • 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 show symptoms of a rice allergy, you should avoid rice and its products until it is deemed safe to eat. We have provided a rice allergy food list to avoid as well as some alternatives to rice products.

Rice Allergy Foods to Avoid

  • 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. You should always read the labels of the products you consume. 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 a rice allergy 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

White rice 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. We have provided a list of alternatives to rice products.

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.

Rice Allergy Diagnosis

The best way to diagnose a rice allergy is a food challenge or elimination diet. A food challenge involves consuming beef in a safe, clinical setting while an allergist watches for a reaction. An elimination diet means removing rice from your diet for a couple of weeks to see if symptoms subside. An elimination diet is much safer but may not provide accurate results. 

The allergists at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers can also perform blood allergy tests to determine which proteins will evoke an allergic reaction. You don’t need to prepare for this type of allergy 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, you should 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 throughout their lifetime. In this case, mild symptoms will disappear on their own. However, 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.

If you’re allergic to rice, 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 many convenient offices throughout Manhattan, Queens, Long Island, and Staten Island. Call 212-686-6321 to book your appointment today!

Rice Allergy Frequently Asked Questions

Can Babies Have A Rice Allergy?

Rice allergy usually presents in infancy. Be cautious of feeding your baby rice cereal before knowing if they have an allergy.

Can I Be Allergic to Rice?

If you show signs of an allergic reaction to rice, you can be allergic. You may also just have a rice intolerance in which it is hard to digest rice. A rice intolerance is less severe than a rice allergy. You’ll need an allergy assessment to determine if you are truly allergic to rice.

Can Rice Cause Stomach Issues?

Rice can contribute to digestive issues, including diarrhea, bloating, and gas. Seek treatment from a food specialist or allergist.

Do People Outgrow Rice Allergies?

It is likely that most children will have a resolution of their rice allergy by school age. However, you should consult with your physician regarding when and how to reintroduce rice into your or your child’s diet.

How Do I Know if I’m Allergic to Rice or Just Intolerant?

Visit an allergist for an allergy test and they will determine if you are allergic or just sensitive to rice. You should still avoid rice if you are intolerant.

How Is Rice Allergy Diagnosed?

Rice allergy testing can diagnose this condition. A blood test is the best method for diagnosing a rice allergy.

How Is Rice Allergy Treated?

Rice allergy is treated by a food allergy doctor. They will determine which medications will treat your symptoms.

What Are The Symptoms of Rice Allergy?

Classic allergic reactions usually include a red, itchy rash called hives that occurs within minutes of ingesting foods containing rice. Hives can also progress or occur as part of a more serious allergic reaction.

Why are People Allergic to Rice?

The major allergens responsible for rice allergy symptoms are 9-, 14-, and 31-kDa protein bands. Also, if you’re allergic to bran, you may be allergic to black rice. Contact an allergist for a diagnosis.