Tapioca is extracted from a root crop called cassava. Ingestion of not properly processed raw tubers can cause great damage to the human body and might even cause death. They need to be boiled first before they are safe to eat.  Tapioca mainly consists of carbohydrates. Tapioca flour or starch has become an alternative for people who are suffering from allergies to wheat; however, recent studies by medical professionals show that cassava root has cyanide content. Cyanide is known to cause certain reactions in the human body, though not all cyanide compounds are harmful. Even though these reactions rarely happen, it is best to take extreme caution, especially when consuming tapioca for the very first time.

People who are allergic to tapioca will experience violent reactions once their body is exposed to tapioca protein. When a person with this allergy consumes tapioca, his body will secrete histamine as the tissues try to eliminate the harmful allergen. Complications begin to manifest as an antibody called IgE (Immunoglobulin E) binds to the victim’s body while trying to get rid of the tapioca allergen.

Tapioca allergy symptoms can range from minor to life threatening complications. It could be as dangerous as making the patient lose his consciousness and in a state that could lead to actual death. Patients who are found to suffer severe conditions such as these are usually also allergic to latex. The following is a list of symptoms that could manifest when tapioca allergy is triggered:

  • Shortness of breath;
  • Breathing difficulty;
  • Skin rashes;
  • Skin itching or redness;
  • Mood swings;
  • Dizziness;
  • Abdominal pain;
  • Cold;
  • Face swelling;
  • Sneezing;

As soon as you have been diagnosed by the doctor that you indeed have tapioca allergy, it is very important that the following should be done

  • All forms of tapioca and products that contain them should be totally avoided. This is mandatory for all those with tapioca allergy.
  • To lessen the symptoms like cold and shortness of breath, antihistamine shots should be administered to the patient.
  • Seek immediate medical attention as quickly as possible when the symptoms are getting worst. It is most likely that you will be advised to administer epinephrine by yourself using an epi-pen if you are also allergic to latex.

Immediately seek the help of a medical professional once symptoms of allergy begin to show moments after consuming tapioca or any products that contain it. One can never be too confident to treat the symptoms just by themselves and risk aggravating the allergy which could lead to more serious complications.


This material is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease and should not be relied as  medical advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any medication or supplements.


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