Tapioca is gotten from the roots of a plant called cassava. The tubers when taken in its raw form, causes great damage to the human system which can lead to death if sufficient quantities are eaten. But they are edible after boiling. Tapioca predominantly consists of carbohydrates. Its flour or starch has always served as an alternative for people suffering from wheat allergies, but a recent research by Medical professionals revealed that the tuber has cyanide – which is known to cause certain reactions in the human system. However these allergy reactions are rare, but caution ought to be taken when using tapioca especially for the first time.
Tapioca allergy is due to the violent reaction of the body of those allergic to it when it encounters the Tapioca protein. Histamine is then secreted as the body tissues tries to get rid of the harmful allergen. An anti-body known as IgE binds to the body and this causes complications as the allergen is eliminated.
The symptoms of Tapioca allergy ranges from minor to severe complications. It could be as severe as causing the patient to be unconscious and in a state that could be considered to be life threatening. Such severe conditions are usually found in patients who are also allergic to latex. The following are symptoms that could be noticed when the reaction triggers;
- Shortness of breath/ Breathing difficulty
- Rashes on the patient’s skin
- Itching/Redness of skin
- Excitement and depression
- Abdominal pain
- Common cold
- Swelling of the facial tissues.
- Persistent sneezing and coughs are sometimes associated with it
Once diagnosed with the condition, the following should be done:
- Total abstinence from all forms of Tapioca, whether flour, sauces or gravies is mandatory.
- Anti-histamine shots should be used in order to minimize the cold and the breathing difficulties symptoms.
- When the reactions are severe, please be quick to seek immediate medical attention, and you will be advised to carry an epi-pen for self-administration of epinephrine if you also have latex allergy.
It is essential to consult an Expert if you experience any discomfort on consuming the starchy root in order to take effective precautions in a timely manner, as in some cases patients are unable to detect for themselves, which could further lead to more severe complications.