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Tapioca Intolerance?


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#1 Nantzie

 
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Posted 26 March 2007 - 09:00 AM

There are a few gluten-free products, made by gluten-free companies, that have been bothering me. I finally found the common denominator and it seems to be tapioca.

My daughter is actually reacting to a couple of the products (the two she eats) with the same symptoms.

Basically whatever it is makes my stomach really hurt.

Anyone else?

Nancy
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The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.
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#2 jerseyangel

 
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Posted 26 March 2007 - 10:05 AM

Oh yes--I discovered I was intolerant to tapioca after reacting to certain gluten-free mixes, and a flour mix that I made myself.

When I eat something made with tapioca, I first get a dry mouth--immediately, like while I'm still eating it. Then, I get an upset stomach--nausea and stomach pain. Very unpleasant :angry:

Sorry you and your daughter are experiencing this, but I'm glad you figured out the culprit. ;)

I have heard of a few others here on the board who are also sensitive to it.
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#3 RiceGuy

 
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Posted 26 March 2007 - 10:54 AM

I read something about cassava (the root from which tapioca is derived) producing some sort of toxic substance when cut, and that it has to be prepared properly to destroy that substance. Apparently though some people do get an upset stomach from tapioca anyway, so I suppose it might be related to the toxin (which I recall was a cyanide acid of sorts).


While I've only just begun experimenting with gluten-free baking, my first thoughts on a substitute for tapioca would be either arrowroot starch, corn starch, or sweet white rice flour.

But I wonder; might you have a reaction to the instant tapioca pearls, or if the flour was cooked first? I just ran into a site which suggested that cooking the tapioca before making a bread dough makes a huge difference in the texture. It's supposed to work incredibly well, so I plan to try it soon.
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#4 kabowman

 
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Posted 26 March 2007 - 12:07 PM

I also suspect a tapioca intolerance but don't want to give that up, not yet, and the reactions are not too bad yet. I replaced all my flour at home, wondering if there was something bad...because I don't react as bad to the chebe mixes, if I remember not to binge eat because I finally have a bread product! Anyway, I love my egg noodles receipe for my homemade chicken soup.
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-Kate
gluten-free since July 2004

Other Intolerances:
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Nitrates (April 2006)
Yeast (which includes all vinegar so no condiments) (Oct. 2004)
Peanuts (Nov. 2004)
Soy (Oct. 2004)
Almonds (Sept. 2004)
Corn (Sept. 2004)
Lactose/Casein (1999)

#5 Nantzie

 
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Posted 26 March 2007 - 03:55 PM

I don't want to give it up either just because it's in my favorite mixes. But the stomach pains are starting to irritate the heck out of me.

The products that are starting to connect together for me are Pamela's Wheat Free Bread Mix, Pamela's Pancake mix and Kinnickinnick chocolate dipped donuts. I hate naming names because they're so good, but maybe someone else might have a problem with them.

My kids and I all had a problem with the pancake mix, but I could never pinpoint anything. I wondered if it was the syrup at first, or maybe CC. I also remembered hearing years ago that you're supposed to let pancake batter sit for a while before cooking it or the baking powder could upset your stomach, but that didn't help either. I finally just figured out that it had to be one of the flours in it.

I didn't have as much of a problem with her bread mix, but if I ate too much I'd have a bit of a stomach ache. So I stopped eating much of that, except for a piece here and there.

Then I discovered the Kinnickinnick donuts about a month and a half ago, which a local health food store sells, and I've been addicted to those things ever since. After a couple weeks I started getting the same stomach aches again. I suspected the donuts, but I really didn't want to admit it to myself (OMG - Yum!!) so I just kept getting them. But now it's just gotten ridiculous.

Last night my stomach was bothering me so much that I couldn't fall asleep. It occurred to me that I could compare the list of ingredients on the pancake mix to the ingredients on the donuts and the only common unusual ingredient other than xanthan gum was the tapioca. So I figured that's where I'd start. If it's not tapioca or xanthan, I'll have to start looking into rice as a possibility.

I bought Kraft tapioca mix at the store today, so I might try that this week to see if I get a reaction.

Hopefully whatever is causing my issues is one of those intolerances that will go away. I had an awful problem with soy for a few months in the beginning that went away completely. Or maybe since I usually don't react at first it can be something I can tolerate occasionally rather than every day.

With the info on toxins in tapioca if it's not prepared right, maybe it's one of those things like the gluten-free "prepared in a facility that also uses wheat" issues. Maybe some companies' tapioca is of better quality or better prepared than others.

Sweet rice flour sounds like a good place to start as a sub. I'll just have to start baking again. It was so great to be able to just dump a bag of mix into the breadmaker.

Nancy
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The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.
~Chinese Proverb

#6 Nantzie

 
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Posted 26 March 2007 - 04:52 PM

Poked around on Pubmed.gov a bit. Yikes!

http://www.ncbi.nlm....l=pubmed_DocSum

"Recent reports suggest that the ingestion of poorly processed cassava roots is associated with the incidence of an ataxic neuropathy (konzo) in African countries. When cassava-based diets are not supplemented with good sources of protein and iodine, goiter and rickets are also prevalent. In certain countries of Africa where the rate of ataxic neuropathy is high, the incidence of thyroid disorders is also high. Persons consuming poorly processed cassava in large quantities are susceptible to neuropathologies caused by cyanide."

.......

I looked into this "konzo" and it's something with sudden onset of really severe symptoms -

http://www.ennonline...fex/02/ng9.html

"From Professor Mike Golden, Aberdeen University:

I read with interest Yvonne Grellety's description of a possible cassava poisoning outbreak. This is not the way that poisoning with cassava usually presents. Symptoms of cassava poisoning - known as "Konzo" have been described in detail. There is a sudden onset of spastic paraparesis affecting mainly women and adolescents. There is no flaccid phase to the illness, the reflexes are exaggerated with clonus, strongly planter-flexed feet and a scissors-gait in those that can stand. The condition is not progressive and there are no sensory signs or symptoms.

I cannot say what condition would present in this way with parasthesia in the lower leg and flaccid paralysis in a sudden epidemic form affecting the non-anthropometrically malnourished although it was most likely to be an intoxication or infection. I wonder if this population which has been hiding in the bush had been taking any unusual plants to eat that were not part of the normal diet. I think that the patients should have a full and comprehensive physical examination to describe the syndrome in detail and a full history of the exact time of onset and the way and order in which the symptoms have evolved in relation to intake of unusual food items."

.................

Although "konzo" wouldn't be what is happening, it does show that cassava is less docile than you'd think. Kinda like wheat. :blink:

It would make sense that something like this might be a problem because in the US, tapioca just isn't something we use much of. But those of us on a gluten-free diet that eat a lot more cassava than the average american, might see some Companies making gluten-free products may not be aware of this being an ingredient with some potential issues. With as much as these large amounts of specialty flours must be costing these gluten-free companies, I'd be looking for inexpensive sources if I were them. Maybe there's a common source that isn't as careful as they should be with their processing, that can offer it at a lower price. Hmm...

:blink:

I'll have to see if I can find anything that talks about just stomach complaints.

...............................

Nancy
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The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.
~Chinese Proverb

#7 Nantzie

 
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Posted 26 March 2007 - 06:31 PM

:(

http://www.msnbc.msn...36123/?GT1=6305

At least 27 elementary school children died and another 100 were hospitalized after eating a snack of cassava — a root that’s poisonous if not prepared correctly — during morning recess Wednesday in the southern Philippines, officials said... The victims suffered severe stomach pain, then vomiting and diarrhea. They were taken to at least four hospitals near the school in Mabini, a town on Bohol island, about 380 miles southeast of Manila.

...........

Nancy
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The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.
~Chinese Proverb

#8 AndreaB

 
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Posted 26 March 2007 - 07:54 PM

I've been using tapioca starch in place of potato starch. Looks like I should go back to potato starch. We have enough intolerances without adding to it, or getting serverely sick. I have Bob's tapioca that I use in bread and the children eat quite a bit of it.
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Andrea

Enterolab positive results only June 06:
Me HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201; HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0301; Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,3 (subtype 2, 7)
Husband HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201; HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0302; Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,3 (subtype 2,8)



The whole family has been soy free since February, gluten free since June 2006.

The whole family went back to a gluten diet October 2011.  We never had official testing done and I decided to give gluten a go again.  At this point I've decided to work on making some gluten free things again, though healthwise everyone seems to be fine.  The decision to add gluten back in was also made based on other things I'd read about the 2nd sequence of genes.  It is my belief that we had a gluten intolerance, but thanks to things I've learned here, I know more what to keep an eye on.  If you have a confirmed case of celiac, please don't go back to gluten, it's a lifelong lifestyle change.


#9 Judyin Philly

 
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Posted 26 March 2007 - 08:11 PM

The products that are starting to connect together for me are Pamela's Wheat Free Bread Mix, Pamela's Pancake mix and Kinnickinnick chocolate dipped donuts. I hate naming names because they're so good, but maybe someone else might have a problem with them.

If it's not tapioca or xanthan, I'll have to start looking into rice as a possibility.


Hi Nancy
There were just some threads up on Pamela's and also zanthan gum
I found that through trial and error that i can't have any mixes of the above mentioned products.
the culprits were the tapioca and 'x' gum.
Just tried the chebe mixe 2 days ago as my final test...dingo..
no tapioca for me anymore.
I do fine with rice flour, sweet rice flour, potato starch and corm starch for my homemade flour mixes. i use the guar gum now and it even cheaper than the other 'x'.
judy
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Judy in Southern CA

#10 RiceGuy

 
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Posted 27 March 2007 - 02:38 AM

It occurred to me that I could compare the list of ingredients on the pancake mix to the ingredients on the donuts and the only common unusual ingredient other than xanthan gum was the tapioca. So I figured that's where I'd start. If it's not tapioca or xanthan, I'll have to start looking into rice as a possibility.

I bought Kraft tapioca mix at the store today, so I might try that this week to see if I get a reaction.

Hopefully whatever is causing my issues is one of those intolerances that will go away. I had an awful problem with soy for a few months in the beginning that went away completely. Or maybe since I usually don't react at first it can be something I can tolerate occasionally rather than every day.

Well, I've read that xanthan gum can be a problem because some companies grow the microbes on wheat. Apparently corn is also commonly used to grow the microbes, so those who cannot tolerate corn might have problems from it too.

I decided to use guar gum right from the start, so I don't know if I'd have a reaction to xanthan. I just don't like the idea of eating a goo derived from microbes.

About the Kraft "minute tapioca" pearls - last I saw they add soy lecithin to it. I'd guess it's either a flow agent or a cheap filler. There are brands that don't add anything to it. You can make tapioca pudding from the flour, though it won't have the same texture without the pearls.
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#11 gfp

 
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Posted 27 March 2007 - 03:02 AM

I decided to use guar gum right from the start, so I don't know if I'd have a reaction to xanthan. I just don't like the idea of eating a goo derived from microbes.

Yeah but think about the bigger picture... you eat veg fed on poop and nearly all living matter has been microbes at some point.. I once read that everyone has at least one atom of Julius Cesar within them... and in any case, once it gets in your stomach its going to be digested by microbes anyway?

Not saying what you should do, just another viewpoint... I used to find the very idea of eating raw beef or fish made me gag, now its a fallback for summer especially... ??
Leastways it gives me some choices where before I had less
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#12 darlindeb25

 
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Posted 27 March 2007 - 03:48 AM

I too find I can't tolerate tapioca starch or potato starch, which leaves me with cornstarch, which thankfully doesn't seem to bother me even though I have trouble with corn. It always amazes me how a food can bother a person, yet there are certain parts of a food we can tolerate.
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Deb
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#13 RiceGuy

 
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Posted 27 March 2007 - 04:01 AM

Yeah but think about the bigger picture... you eat veg fed on poop and nearly all living matter has been microbes at some point.. I once read that everyone has at least one atom of Julius Cesar within them... and in any case, once it gets in your stomach its going to be digested by microbes anyway?

Well, true to a point I guess, though there aren't too many forms of life which can live in the stomach anyway, on account of the hydrochloric acid. Intestinal "flora", sure. But I'm not purposely ingesting them, as would be the case with xanthan gum. If it was truly all the same, we could eat poop, or dirt, etc. But we don't. I guess it's the more direct consumption of the substance which bothers me.

Anyway, I appreciate your additional prospective. It is good to keep a balance. I'm sure there are things I eat which might seem icky to some, though of course they aren't apparent to me.
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#14 jerseyangel

 
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Posted 27 March 2007 - 06:38 AM

This is interesting!

Incidently, the mix that started me wondering about tapioca was Pamela's Brownies. They were so good, but when I ate one, I'd get the stomach pain. Then, the same thing happened with Gluten Free Pantry's Spice Cake mix.

I switched to some of the Gluten Free Pantry mixes that don't contain tapioca. There are several, and they're very good. I do fine with the xanthan gum that's in those, so I've ruled that out for me.
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Patti


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"When people show you who they are, believe them"--Maya Angelou

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#15 Nantzie

 
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Posted 28 March 2007 - 12:11 AM

This is weird.

I haven't had anything with tapioca in it for two days. Today I woke up with only about a level 3 back pain rather than the 8-9 it had gotten to. It has just been building up slowly for several months up to a level 4 or 5. Not bad, but enough to cause me some issues. But then over the last two months it has gotten so bad that I have had to take Advil just to get out of bed. Today - no Advil. For the first time in a couple months.

Other changes today - I'm awake. I felt like I had a good night's sleep. I have energy. I'm not irritable and snappy. I'm motivated.

Not a gluten reaction, but enough to put a damper on my day.

Of course, at this point there's no way to be sure if it's tapioca or one of the other ingredients in one of those mixes, CC on the bag of donuts at the healthfood store (maybe I should have washed the bag off?), but whatever it is, it's really affecting me.

I did have a potential slip today and ate a gluten-free cookie without looking at the ingredients and it turned out there wasn't any tapioca in it. No reaction.

I'm going out of town for a few days later this week, so I can't do a tapioca challenge now, but when I get back I'll start trying to experiment with it and see if I can rule it in or out as the problem ingredient.

I'm so excited that I'm not going to have to worry about my back while I'm on vacation. I hated that it was starting to get bad again. Hopefully the improvement will stick.

Nancy
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The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.
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