buckwheat pillows may cause asthma or hayfever

Written by on March 3, 2006 in To Be Filed with 2 Comments

Buckwheat pillow-induced asthma and allergic rhinitis., Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Volume 90, Number 3, March 2003, pp. 355-358(4), Fritz SB, Gold BL. Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, The University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-0380, USA.

BACKGROUND: Immunoglobulin (Ig)E-mediated hypersensitivity is a mechanism suggested to explain adverse reactions to buckwheat. This is the first reported case in the United States of a person who developed asthma and worsening allergic rhinitis after exposure to a buckwheat pillow.

OBJECTIVE: To describe a patient who developed asthma and worsening allergic rhinitis after exposure to a buckwheat pillow and to provide evidence that the adverse reaction was IgE-mediated.

METHODS: The patient underwent skin prick and ImmunoCAP testing (Pharmacia Diagnostics, Kalamazoo, MI) to buckwheat as well as skin prick testing to several environmental allergens. RESULTS: The patient showed a 4+ skin prick test response to buckwheat. He also showed 4+ positive skin prick responses to multiple trees, grasses, and weeds, Alternaria, Helminthosporium, dog, and histamine control and was 3+ positive to house-dust mites, Penicillium, Aspergillus, cat, and feather mix. His negative control was negative. His ImmunoCAP test for buckwheat-specific IgE was class 4, or strongly positive. He had normal spirometry values. Performance of house-dust mite avoidance measures did not result in improvement of the patient’s symptoms. Removal of the patient’s two buckwheat pillows resulted in resolution of his asthma and improvement of rhinitis symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: The positive skin prick and ImmunoCAP test to buckwheat along with the positive clinical response to buckwheat pillow elimination support an IgE-mediated mechanism in explaining our patient’s buckwheat pillow-induced asthma and allergic rhinitis.

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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2 Reader Comments

  1. Dale says:

    If any Australians are considering purchasing a buckwheat pillow from USA because they are cheaper, please note that customs will open it and charge you $45 to irradiate it because it could contain seeds. Not such a bargain!

  2. Wow, thanks for letting us know Dale. That does make it extra expensive !

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