Allergy to Instant Coffee

Posted , 6 users are following.

Has anyone else had this?

Baffled my GP, but eventually I found that the cause of my itchy legs (mainly around the joints) was when I changed employer, and started drinking instant coffee all day instead of filter coffee.

I 'cured' myself by going onto green tea for a few weeks, then changed to filter coffee - and hey presto, no itchy legs any more, and have been fine now for 11 years.


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  • Edited

    YES!! Just noticed your post! I have had an allergy to instant coffee, and ONLY instant coffee, for the past 37 odd years! It may have been stress-triggered: I cycled about 120 miles overnight on a particularly cold night and had a few mugs of hot instant coffee when I arrived. I began to get itching on my arms and legs and the occasional swellings as well. It took a long time to work out the cause, and the doctors wouldn't believe me, but in the meantime I was taking very high doses of antihistamines on a pretty regular basis.

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    • Posted

      I find it amazing that no doctor could find this, they were trying to give me all sorts of things to cure it without any result.  Then when I stopped drinking instant coffee, it cleared up almost instantly.

      I now drink loads of 'proper' ground coffee with no side effects at all.

      As you say, it's ONLY instant coffee.  I just wonder what they put in it ?


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  • Posted

    Someone once told me it could possibly be an antifoam agent used in the processing of the coffee (when you make coffee from real grounds it makes some foam. Multiply that to factory scale and the pipes get blocked).

    There is actually one scientific paper published about this, and I have written today to the main author:

    Angioedema from instant coffee.

    Larkin KJ, Dvoretzky T, Solomos NJ.

    Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent). 2012 Jul;25(3):234-5.



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    • Posted

      How interesting.

      I was concerned that caffeine in tea would produce the same results, so I just had Green Tea which cleared the condition.   When clear, I tried 'normal' tea, and had no adverse reactions.

      I have tried having an odd cup of instant, and can get away with it, but I tend to have no more than one cup in any one day.

      How did you get the website address through the automatic 'website address checker'?  Normally it refers your reply for moderation.

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  • Posted

    today is the 2nd day and the 2nd time my lower lip has inflated after drinking Trader Joe's Instant Coffee. Yesterday my inflated upper lip lasted for almost 5 hours even after taking an aspirin. Today its my lower left lip. i took 2 aspirin immediately after felt it was about to inflate. i thought it was a new peanut butter i purchased during the same trip to trader joes but last night i ate a spoonful of pb and nothing occurred.

    it baffles me because a week ago i had instant coffee from whole foods for an entire week and nothing occurred like I'm experiencing now. tomorrow i will not drink any coffee during breakfast and see what happens. if it is the instant coffee, there must be some chemical they use that whole foods does not.

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  • Posted

    I've come across your post after googling 'instant coffee intolerance'. It's happened a few times over the years, but only today have I made the connection. However, for me it affects my digestive system - I hardly ever suffer from stomach pain, but instant coffee certainly cause it, as well as other very unpleasant symptoms.

    The only other food that has the same effect is duck eggs. I'm perfectly fine with ground coffee and chicken eggs.

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