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I was diagnosed with a sugar cane allergy in November 2008. It’s been frustrating to find information or sites that give information about this. So many things have sugars in them and the nutritional information doesn’t specify the source of the sugar. So this blog is about what I learn as I try to deal with this allergy.

I am also allergic to wheat (not the gluten, but wheat), whey protein (a dairy protein), and eggs (whites and yolks).

I had the testing done because I had such severe migraines. My “aura” was not flashing lights, but nausea and vomiting. This led my naturopath to believe that they were food related. I had already tried cutting out all the traditional stuff that is supposed to trigger migraines (wine, aged cheese, chocolate, etc) without any success.

It was November 2008 when I was diagnosed. I have lost 4 pounds since eliminating these foods from my diet, but have dropped an entire pant size. I never realized how bloated I was. In addition, no headaches since starting the diet with one exception. I ate about 1 tbsp of mayo by mistake. Immediately had the stomache ache and nausea. Headache followed. Two days later I had the flu shot. I wasn’t told it was egg-based. Big mistake. I wanted to cut my arm off! Any doubts I had vanished. These foods are poisons for me.

I have lymphedema fin one arm, my back, side, and breast from breast cancer surgery. One of things I do to keep the lymph moving freely is to eat a high protein diet. I don’t worry about vegan or vegetarian. I eat meat unabashedly. I eat the way I eat solely because of the food allergies.

I am not allergic to soy, but because I’ve had breast cancer I avoid soy.

If you also have a sugar cane allergy, let’s share resources.

60 Comments leave one →
  1. delightsgal permalink
    January 14, 2009 10:05 pm

    How are you with raw sugar? My daughter and I are also allergic to wheat, not gluten, so I have several recipes at thedailydelights that will work for you.
    Yes, we use eggs in our pancakes, but I think you could omit them. Most of my main course recipes will work for you. I rarely use sugar (even though it is raw).
    You won’t find soy on my site either (except fermented soy, soy sauce…that I’ve read is ok). But I think you can omit the soy sauce I use in asian dishes as well. My spelt bread recipe has spelt, water, honey, yeast, and salt. I think you’d enjoy it. Let me know what else you’re looking for. I’ve been working on this for a while, just haven’t been posting recipes till the last year.

  2. toastmasterliz permalink*
    January 15, 2009 6:52 am

    It’s the sugar cane that I am allergic to, so raw sugar is no better (maybe worse?) for me than processed sugar. I have copied some recipes from your site and definitely plan on trying them out! Thanks for sharing them.

  3. kim permalink
    May 1, 2009 10:01 am

    I have recently made a switch to organic sugar from refined sugar with no problems. Then i decided to switch to organic RAW sugar. Well, i think that i might be allergic to the organic RAW sugar. It took me a few weeks to pin-point what all the all-over body itching and hives were about. First i thought it might be the shampoo i was using, then i thought maybe the morning cereal. Well, now i’m pretty sure it’s the 2 teaspoons of RAW organic sugar that i’ve been recently putting in my morning coffee. Tomorrow i will use the old fashioned refined sugar and see if i have any problems. If i’m allergic to the RAW sugar, does that mean i’m allergic to all sugar???

  4. toastmasterliz permalink*
    May 4, 2009 10:39 am

    Probably just means that you are allergic to sugar cane. The more refined the sugar, the less traces of cane are left. Cane sugar is a grass in the wheat family, so it is going to cause problems with lots of people in the raw form. You may be fine going back to refined. If not, you would probably be fine with honey, beet sugar, agave syrup, corn syrup, rice syrup – anything that isn’t derived from cane.

  5. kia permalink
    May 21, 2009 12:30 pm

    Hey there. I am also allergic to sugar cane. I found out in Spring 2006. It took about six years to get a diagnosis and I went through various specialists and a lot of mistakes in the process. For those that tell me I mistake what I have as an intolerance I want to tell them to STFU. My symptoms run the gammut but can include a bad throat constriction if I am in a restaurant and someone orders a creme brulee that gets lit at a table near me, or large cotton candy machines at festivals. I will be starting treatment soon because I have been caught in scary situations in public with my reactions.

    It took quite a while to get used to the lifestyle I have now. Luckily I can eat beet sugar with no reaction so there are some processed foods I can have now especially with our food economy shifting into a fuel economy. A lot of sugar cane is going into ethanol so manufacturers are using beet sugar in products. I cook a lot at home though and use agave nectar, maple syrup, honey, xylitol, and fructose in my home. I try to stay away from the artificial sweeteners.

    Good luck to you and the adjustments you have to make in your life with your allergies. Recently I moved to a progressive town where people are aware of various food allergies and I hardly have troubles learning what ingredients are in food when I go out. My husband will also demand to see a label to check ingredients from the kitchen. It is pushy and kind of embarrassing at times, but it keeps me safe from having to deal with a few days of recovering from a bad reaction.

    I have met several other people allergic to cane sugar in the last few years. One of the owners of Sole Organic is allergic. That is an ice cream store that makes their products from Agave Nectar in Miami. I have to give them a shout out because she made me feel less alone with my food allergy.

  6. July 30, 2009 4:44 pm

    I just started offering nutritional in-home testing to my clients. I wanted to be tested too and the results came back allergic to corn.
    In the corn family was listed sugarcane so I am off it as well. Not a bad thing, but somewhat difficult as is corn.
    And coffee is often grown with corn so even that is off limits for now.
    And my beloved xylitol may be corn derived. I am awaiting a response from the company. I still have over 10lbs. Right now I am using honey.
    I have always read labels, but now… well, you know.

  7. Sim permalink
    February 15, 2010 5:32 pm


    I am trying to find a list of symptoms for allergies or intolerance’s to Sugar Cane. I’m not sure if is only Sugar Cane that effects me, but it seems that most of the time it is. Even the most unprocessed of cane sugar. Generally after one slice of homemade cake (made with rapadura), in a few hours I will be a wreck and it will last pretty much the whole day.

    My symptoms include irritability, brain fog, fatigue, dizziness, temporary depresssion, and it also disrupts my digestion. I occasionally get headaches (i have never had a migraine). Generally I feel ‘odd’ and very sensitive to my external environment.

    My other food allergies and intolerance’s are to coffee, lactose, coca-cola (its not really food anyway!), and I suspect yeast. Unfortunatly the list seems to be growing. I used to guzzle down milk, but now I can’t even touch it. My main focus is on healing my gut which should help.

    So my questions are: What are the most common symptoms? Do large amounts of other sugars (eg. honey, agave, fruit) effect you? What should I avoid? I generally make all my own food from scratch and have learnt to avoid other things, but cane sugar is new to me… sigh….

    So basically I know very minimal information about this, and I am SO ready to learn… teach me your wisdom! Please! I beg!

  8. toastmasterliz permalink*
    February 15, 2010 7:05 pm

    I’m not sure it will be the same with everyone. It will have all the symptoms of inflammation. For me, it’s headaches w/ brain fog, nausea, fever, muscle aches. Here is a list of some inflammation symptoms from the Cleveland Clinic:
    Fatigue/loss of energy
    Loss of appetite
    Muscle stiffness
    Try googling “chronic inflammation” for more information.

    I don’t have problems with other types of sugar – it’s the cane that causes the reaction to me. I can have beet sugar, honey, agave, corn syrup. Anything, but not cane. And the less processed it is, the more dangerous it will be. My naturopath told me that if the sugar had been purified enough to be listed as an -ose instead of sugar, I could probably tolerate it. That hasn’t turned out to be true, however. I had a bad reaction to a TB test, and it’s because of the glucose in it. I can’t have those anymore, even though they are required by my employer. Now I have to do a chest x-ray every few years instead.

    I think you’ll find, like I did, that you’re going to discover what works for you by trial and error. Best of luck to you!

  9. Susan permalink
    March 25, 2010 12:49 pm

    Glad to have found this blog, I look forward to looking it over. I tested positive to a cane sugar allergy 20 years ago as a child. It progressively got worse into adulthood until I decided to kick the habit once and for all (although I do falter at times). Despite being good most of the time and being on two daily allergy medications, I still suffer from sinus and eye related symptoms. I was recently reading that cane sugar and corn are in the same family and wonder if those suffering from cane sugar allergies tend to avoid corn (or any other plant) as well. Anyhow, thank you for sharing your journey- although unfortunate for the sufferers, it is nice to find company out there – especially when doctors even raise a quizzical eyebrow when i disclose my cane sugar problem.

  10. Tessa permalink
    April 21, 2010 7:58 pm

    I just found out today that I am allergic to cane sugar, along with 14 other foods. I was suspicious on a few, but the sugar really shocked me. I have spent all day trying to get some info on cane allergies and have found nothing until coming accross this site. It has answered a lot of questions I had and helps me get through until I see my naturopath in a few weeks. It makes a lot of sense reading all these posts and putting all my sympons into it too.

  11. art nick permalink
    August 11, 2010 7:04 pm

    i too have recently been diagnosed with an allergy to sugar cane as well as eggs. from what i understand from talking to alternative practitioners and health food store employees the best substitutes are honey, maple syrup, rice syrups and natural organic fruit juices but to avoid Agave. Agave is now considered fairly toxic due to the processing; there has been some information in the press but insufficient.

  12. Rob permalink
    August 17, 2010 6:23 pm

    I have been diagnosed with cane sugar allergy (along with gluten, dairy, egg, beef and lamb). I find of the list of allergies sugar cane is the hardest in that the sugar is in everything and the cravings are difficult. I am 2 1/2 weeks into eliminating all of it and the waves of sugar cravings are difficult. I can think of maple, honey, fruit or agave substitutes but they don’t do it.

    I’m also interested in the negative comments about agave. I have been using it in coffee.

  13. Brenda permalink
    September 5, 2010 7:19 am

    Wow this is all so helpful. My head is spinning. Had testing done and I am allergic to all dairy, whole wheat, sugar cane, garlic, beef, lima bean, kidney beans, amaranth flour a whole bunch of beans, tuna, oysters and the list goes on and on…lol Just don’t know where to start in all of this for the shopping and cooking…ahh…. I live in Canada, any suggestions appreciated. Thank you, Brenda

  14. Angela permalink
    September 5, 2010 5:56 pm

    This has been great to read, Im a practioner of Nutrition and my step son who is 6 has a strong sugar intolerance, we are taking him to the Tahoma clinic to be tested. No one believes us not his biological mother or his grandmother. They feed him whatever they want and the poor boy is effected horribly. His school was concerend he had ADHD a severe case.
    Thats not what it is because when we take him off refined sugars he is a totally different kid, calm and attentive. its been great to read all of this because it helps us to know that we are not crazy this does happen and people can be allergic or intolerant to refines sugar.
    Any suggestions on how to get these people to take us serously and think about this poor little boy. (we have gotten a letter even from a natural pathic doctor). Diabetes runs in the family so we are concerned about this too.

  15. Rob permalink
    September 5, 2010 5:58 pm


    I am 5 weeks into dealing with a similar list of allergens. I went to a couple of local larger health food stores and found various products there. I got a sheet from one of them on rules for baking with different sugar substitutes – you can find these rules on the internet too. If you are in the Eastern part of Canada as I am you should get Maple Syrup which is a good substitute for cane sugar.

    If you like meat, go to some butcher shops and ask about their sausages – some contain sugar others wheat.

    With the sugar and wheat watch out for cravings as you go through this – I had days I wanted to go to Tim Horton’s and buy one of each. The cravings have gotten better.

  16. brenda4684 permalink
    September 6, 2010 9:10 pm

    I have spent the whole weekend shopping, searching, tasting and sometime “spitting out” some of these “new” wheat free discoveries. I bought some spelt wraps and then read somewhere that spelt is derived from wheat…hmm…not sure about that. Sweet stuff has never been my weakness but giving up cheese…I ate it daily. Never a milk lover, and usually only had it in coffee on the weekends or a bit in cereal.
    So what improvements have you noticed?

  17. Laurenh permalink
    September 10, 2010 6:52 am

    It was confirmed by blood test yesterday that I have an allergy to sugar cane, rice, brewer’s yeast, soy and a few other random items.
    My sugar symptoms were not digestive but rather more like a diabetic or low blood sugar person would have- tremors, headaches, blurred vision, heart palps, trouble sleeping, anxiety, mood swings, lack of energy, exhaustion etc etc. I felt 88 years old.

    After seeing numerous specialists who could not help me-I turned to the internet for diagnosis. I originally thought I had an un-detectable form of hypoglycemia so I put myself on diet where I ate 6-8 times a day and always included protein with every meal. For those of you with a sugar cane allergy who have my symptoms- this diet works! I no longer feel the problems with sugars- but it took about one full year being on this diet to feel completely normal again. Also- if I do not follow the diet for one day my symptoms start to return.

    So- the diet would be a hypoglycemic diet- since- for me anyway- the sugar is not processed in my body properly and causes symptoms that act like I have low blood sugar- even if blood tests say my blood is normal.

    Just be careful with your diet though- see a dietitian because you need to get about 22 carbs and 5 grams of protein per meal- 6 -8 times a day. This ratio takes practice! I ate more soy than I ever had before trying to get this protein and developed the worst asthma of my life! The blood test proved that this was because of the soy in my diet! So, today I start to tackle eliminating soy in my diet!

    Good luck to all of you. Its exhausting trying to get well and eat right but well worth it!

  18. Ellen permalink
    October 18, 2010 8:58 am

    My son has a cane sugar allergy. We discovered it when he was 4 1/2. Before that, his behavior was so intense- huge tantrums, fixations, etc and once we was off cane sugar (not maple, honey, stevia, agave, etc- these are OK!) he was like a different kid.

    We’ve found that if you search hard enough, you can find great alternatives for all the sugary treats kids get. Our friends are awesome at birthday parties, etc- providing great options for him. And xylitol candy, “Caring Candies” made with malitol, maple sugar candies, Queen Bee Gardens honey candies all fill in the gaps so he doesn’t feel so different and left out. He’s 6 now. He always asks if there’s sugar in something and takes his reaction seriously.

    Also, baked goods can be pretty easily altered. 🙂

  19. beth permalink
    October 25, 2010 4:53 pm

    Our son was recently diagnosed with a sugar allergy. He is also allergic to honey, and many other foods. What he misses the most is a good breakfast sausage. He really doesn’t like dessert, but would sometime like to have a cookie. If anyone has a good cookie no Chocolate, sugar, potato starch, soy or gluten. I would love to know where to get it or how to make it.

  20. Lee permalink
    November 12, 2010 3:31 pm

    Hey people… are most of you definitely allergic to corn as well as sugar cane? I’m not remotely allergic to corn, and I’m HIGHLY allergic to sugar cane… and a million other things. If you’re craving sugar and haven’t reacted to corn before, you might want to check your local health food store (if you have one…?) for granulated fructose derived from corn. I can get away with that, and it doesn’t taste any different than cane sugar.

  21. Lori permalink
    November 16, 2010 1:29 pm

    I was just diagnosed with sugar cane allergy as well. I am not allergic to corn and am able to use agave, honey and maple syrup. Thanks for the posts! It has been very helpful.

  22. jessie permalink
    November 21, 2010 8:57 pm

    Hi all, I was diagnosed with a cane sugar allergy this past spring. It’s been a bit difficult figuring out how to entirely avoid it, especially in brown sugar form, but i have found certain brands of sugar that are beet sugar and not cane and are okay for me (and probably all of you) to consume. Here is a site with some brands that are okay to use:

    Basically, beet sugar is a completely different animal than cane sugar, so it’s okay. This has been very helpful for me (knowing that I don’t have to quit sugar completely!).

    Does anybody else have excessive thirst as a symptom? I’ve found that that is my main symptom…. It’s like I can’t drink enough water and it just goes right through me.

  23. Gayle permalink
    November 25, 2010 9:10 am

    I just found out I have sugar cane allergy. I have not research diets yet. Mine is all intestinal issues and 20lb weight loss. Still looking for other allergies too . Maybe skin testing. Hang in there.

  24. Bettina permalink
    December 11, 2010 7:05 am

    this is a great blog…thank you! I was recently diagnosed with gluten intolerance as well as IGG sensitivity to dairy, soy, sugar cane…so I will be checking this blog frequently! I particularly appreciate all the suggestions about sugar cane substitutes as this is the latest sensitivity to be diagnosed and the hardest for me to figure out how to handle!!

  25. Bettina permalink
    December 14, 2010 1:28 pm

    Does anyone know of any good chocolate made with beet sugar that I can purchase on the internet?


  26. donna permalink
    December 16, 2010 8:36 pm

    I am allergic to sugar cane, brewers yeast, bakers yeast, oysters, cranberry and asparagus and mushroom and many other things…just found out so sad but been sick for 36 years finally know why…any good sites?

  27. Snowflower permalink
    January 17, 2011 5:59 pm

    I am completely blown away. I’ve been struggling so hard trying to find out what was wrong with me. I’m morbidly obese, had pain severe enough in every joint to prevent me from walking without crutches (knees especially bad), no energy – ever – insomnia most every night with rarely more than four hours of sleep, headaches, palpating heart, ad nauseum.

    I’m severely allergic to corn. If I have the amount of corn that is the filler in a pain killer, I get a reaction – and the most immediate reaction is really unpleasant (incontinence caused by bladder inflammation.)

    So, about two months ago, I put myself on a raw food and paleolithic diet. I eat only raw fruits and vegies, nuts and seeds, plus meat (cooked). I’m getting better. I can walk about fifty feet without crutches now. There have been a few slip ups with various foods and I’ve been narrowing things down to the possibility that the allergy is to cane sugar. I started a search tonight for cane sugar allergy symptoms. Lo and behold, I get to this blog and find that cane sugar is in the corn family.

    Thank you. You might have saved my life. I will never eat cane sugar again.

  28. spiritedrose permalink
    February 3, 2011 7:37 pm

    My doctors think my symptoms are in my head, because they couldn’t find anything. Naturopath did an IgG test, only thing that came back mid-level was sugar cane. Dairy was my other biggie. I had already said to doctors, that was the one thing I noticed that bothered me, but of course, it couldn’t be….could it!?

    Nourishing Traditions cookbook has an excellent “cookie” recipe that includes egg whites, vanilla bean, maple syrup, arrowroot (I use tapioca) starch, salt. I can eat them all day long and not get sick. They really help my issue of craving sugar. At least I can eat something sweet and yummy without knowing I’m going to have to “pay” for it later.

    My main symptoms are acid reflux and inflammation of the espohagus and throat 24/7. yuk.

    Further testing I am looking into: has an overall GI function test that my naturopath recommended.
    Also considering a Candida or multiple molds test to see how yeast may correlate with this sugar issue.

  29. kevin permalink
    March 17, 2011 1:40 pm

    I am also allergic to sugar cane and thought I was the only one. Seems weird to me. I use honey, truvia, date sugar, and palm sugar. I am also allergic to wheat. Sucks to be us.

  30. April 18, 2011 6:37 pm

    TO ANGELA —-

    “Angela September 5, 2010 5:56 pm wrote:
    This has been great to read, Im a practioner of Nutrition and my step son who is 6 has a strong sugar intolerance, we are taking him to the Tahoma clinic to be tested. No one believes us not his biological mother or his grandmother. They feed him whatever they want and the poor boy is effected horribly. His school was concerend he had ADHD a severe case.
    Thats not what it is because when we take him off refined sugars he is a totally different kid, calm and attentive. its been great to read all of this because it helps us to know that we are not crazy this does happen and people can be allergic or intolerant to refines sugar.
    Any suggestions on how to get these people to take us serously and think about this poor little boy. (we have gotten a letter even from a natural pathic doctor). Diabetes runs in the family so we are concerned about this too.”

    My kiddo has the same sort of situation. It’s like he’s in a completely normal state but once he has sugar, he is like Jekyll and Hyde for three days. He goes through three phases of neurological and physical reactions. I am most curious how your visit to the Tahoma clinic went? What further have you learned? I would love to share information…please let me know how to reach you, if only thru this site. Wats24

  31. June 12, 2011 3:15 am

    I am so happy I found this blog! My 4 yo daughter has gluten, cane sugar, eggs and garlic intolerance. She had horrible eczema starting at 9 mos and at age 2 1/2 I determined it was the gluten by removing it from her diet. She stopped eating it and the eczema went away, but she still had stomach aches and other rashes so I had a food panel done on her with my naturopath which revealed the other sensitivities. So far so god, but ti’s hard to find recipes and substitute suggestions w/o spending an arm and a leg on ingredients that may or may not work.

    Glad I’m not alone! Thanks.

  32. June 20, 2011 7:13 am

    Thank you for this blog! I have been feeling so alone! I have what was originally called “refined sugar intolerance” but like many others, raw sugar was just as bad if not worse! For me i get extreme allergy symptoms with anything more than trace amounts (I can eat breads… as long as the aren’t specifically sweetened). After much trial and error I have finally eliminated all sucrose products from my diet…. which leaves me with glucose syrup/honey/ palm sugar/ and agave (which I hate).

    After much much searching I have found a couple solutions to the little bit of sweet tooth that I can’t seem to totally eliminate; though it’s much better than it once was. There is one brewery in Wisconsin (Sprecher’s) that makes many of it’s soda’s (not all…. read the labels!) with glucose syrup instead of the normal sugars… and I tolerate that quite well. So some of you may want to try that substitution and have a nice bottle of root beer now and again

    I also found a recipe for candy bars that you can make at home. Very yummy ones… that work not only for the sugar intolerance, but also for gluten and dairy intolerance’s as well.Talk about a miracle recipe!

    You can find that here.

    I don’t think this is uncommon as our doctors seem to think. I think that since they can’t allergy test for sugars… due to the natural glucose in our bodies…. that it is missed for years, and in many cases never correctly diagnosed at all. I was so sick before we found this… and not just with the allergy symptoms. I was tired, had abdominal pains (which also got misdiagnosed), headaches etc. So anyone suspecting this condition… the best way to get this diagnosed is keep a meticulous diet… with very specific reactions (even ones that occur a day or two later) and present that to your doctor, underline, color-coded and specific. That’s what I did. It worked very well… he was actually relieved.

  33. June 20, 2011 7:16 am

    Thank you for this blog! I have been feeling so alone! I have what was originally called “refined sugar intolerance” but like many others, raw sugar was just as bad if not worse! For me i get extreme allergy symptoms with anything more than trace amounts (I can eat breads… as long as the aren’t specifically sweetened). After much trial and error I have finally eliminated all sucrose products from my diet…. which leaves me with glucose syrup/honey/ palm sugar/ and agave (which I hate).

    After much much searching I have found a couple solutions to the little bit of sweet tooth that I can’t seem to totally eliminate; though it’s much better than it once was. There is one brewery in Wisconsin (Sprecher’s) that makes many of it’s soda’s (not all…. read the labels!) with glucose syrup instead of the normal sugars… and I tolerate that quite well. So some of you may want to try that substitution and have a nice bottle of root beer now and again

    I also found a recipe for candy bars that you can make at home. Very yummy ones… that work not only for the sugar intolerance, but also for gluten and dairy intolerance’s as well.Talk about a miracle recipe!

    You can find that here.

    I don’t think this is uncommon as our doctors seem to think. I think that since they can’t allergy test for sugars… due to the natural glucose in our bodies…. that it is missed for years, and in many cases never correctly diagnosed at all. I was so sick before we found this… and not just with the allergy symptoms. I was tired, had abdominal pains (which also got misdiagnosed), headaches etc. So anyone suspecting this condition… the best way to get this diagnosed is keep a meticulous diet… with very specific reactions (even ones that occur a day or two later) and present that to your doctor, underline, color-coded and specific. That’s what I did. It worked very well… he was actually relieved.

  34. Aubrey permalink
    June 28, 2011 3:25 pm

    I’m so happy to find so many cane sugar substitutes here. I’ve always had eczema, but about a few months ago I started having horrible break outs. Bright red rashes, dry, cracked skin, horrible hot itching and bleeding all over my hands, a crusty rash up my arms and on my face, I was a wreck.

    Dermatologists just kept prescribing me tubes of steroidal crap which did nothing, and finally I got a blood test for food allergies. It took over a month to get the results, but I found out the main problem was oat, wheat, and cane sugar. I’m pretty confident I can avoid the first two, but I was really stumped on sugar. But then I found this blog!

    I will definitely be researching the many sugar substitutes you all have listed so far. I’m fresh out of college and I can’t afford very many expensive ingredients, but these natural substitutes seem much better than those horrible artificial sweeteners. Paying for the good stuff is much better than having weeks of eczema break outs!

    To other eczema sufferers: Know that the allergy starts in the gut! Definitely take some sort of digestive enzyme to speed the recover of an allergy attack.

    Here is the list of sugar substitutes I’ve collected from this thread for simplicity’s sake:

    honey, beet sugar, corn syrup, rice syrup, maple syrup, honey, xylitol, fructose, granulated fructose (from corn), tapioca, arrowroot, truvia, date sugar, and palm sugar

  35. Susan permalink
    July 1, 2011 5:16 pm

    I never even heard of sugar cane allergy … until this morning when I recieved my IgG report. I have suffered from IBS symptoms for as long as I can remember. Red Meat, Soy, Wheat and Milk were what I found were the triggers for me. I removed red meat and soy from my diet; wheat for the most part since my husband is celiac, and cows milk, but still ate cheese and dairy products. Still having episodes of eczema break outs, abdominal bloating, headaches and foggy head, but was going in circles trying to figure out what else it could be. In June, I met with a practitioner who suggested that I do IgG allergy testing … and I received my resutls this morning. There are 6 categories ranging from 0 = no reaction, III = Moderate, to 6 = extremely high. Basically everything in the 4-6 zones (high to extremely high) is recommended as foods to eliminte from the diet due to high antibody reaction. Meats did not register because I don’t eat them, and I am not about to start eating them to see if I have a reaction, but I can tolerate chicken, turkey, and fish. Foods that I need to now eliminate include Eggs, Sugar Cane, Almonds, Amaranth Flour, Pecans, Soybeans, Asparagus, ALL dairy (casein, whey, cheeses, goats milk, cows milk, yogurt, etc.), and pineapple.

    So, for the most part, I am used to cooking gluten free (wheat did not register, and I stay away from it for the most part due to feeling bloated after ingestion and my husband being celiac) BUT, other than milk, I never suspected the other items. Ive spent most of the day googling for more info, went grocery shopping to pick up some fresh fruit (fortunatley I love fruit and veggies!), but as far as sugar, how does one decern beet sugar from raw sugar on an ingredient list? I figure I just should avoid all together (the IgG test did not test for beet sugar) … I currenly use agave nectar in recipes, as well as maple syrup and honey, and stevia in my tea.

    Im interested to see if the patches of eczema on my legs and hands clear up after eliminating the foods … although I dont know which one caused what, it really does not matter. To feel better, clear headed, not itchy, not bloated, not congested … and all at the same time, would be wonderful!!
    Anyways, I just wanted to share since I’m at Day one of healing :-).

  36. Michele Simpson permalink
    July 18, 2011 1:48 pm

    I too have a cane sugar allergy, diagnosed last fall with a blood test. (Also to chicken egg whites and yolks.) I’m old enough(in my 60’s) to remember two brands of interchangeable sugar at all of the local grocery stores when I was a kid as well as into my adulthood when they started messing with our food. They were C & H (cane sugar) and U & I (beet sugar). I had read about how the beet sugar industry has died out of competition with C & H and other cane sugar producers. I couldn’t find retailers for beet sugar except for the expensive NOW brand through health food stores (3#’s for $4.00 +).

    However I was talking to a man that makes organic chocolate candy, Carter’s Chocolate ( and ice cream. He told me in the local trade journal recently there was an article stating beet sugar was cheaper and is used in most things that aren’t labeled “cane sugar”.

    I went to the local Cash & Carry wholesale market and the manager said if it isn’t labeled cane sugar it usually is beet sugar, but wouldn’t go so far as to guarantee the off brand sugar they carried from Amalgamated Sugar Company was beet and not cane. I googled it and got this link: This comes up as Snake River Sugar Company.

    I called the company and was told they only use beets in their sugar (no cane) for their granulated and their brown sugar which has no cane. (By the way powdered sugar is granulated sugar more finely ground.) They are supplies of “store brands” for Safeway, Fred Meyer (Kroger), Albertson’s and WinCo, and any store that uses Western Family. I live in Western Washington. Other areas might be different. The store or house brand is often cheaper than C & H, so for me this is a big relief. I have changed my diet considerably but occasionally have a real big craving for home baked cookies/desserts. I can get around my chicken egg (whites & yolks) allergy using Ener G Egg Replacer, but most really good baked goodies have brown sugar in them, so I was thrilled to know the above information.

    Hopefully this information will be helpful to others.

  37. MsLilly permalink
    August 5, 2011 1:42 pm

    So i have been reading almost all of the responses that were posted here and it’s funny that I see some of the same symptoms in myself. I am a 23 y.o. female just graduated from college. I have been having many problems with eating ever since i started 5 years ago. I always had eczema since i was young but that was the only problem that I knew of (and frequent colds senior year of high school). Ever since elementary school i was very active and in every sport possible. I think i need to mention that when I came to college I was no longer happy being extremely buff and people commenting on my muscles (didnt feel feminine). So with all that said, I stopped exercising and shortly there after developed seasonal allergies (never experienceing them before I thought that I was just always getting colds). And ever since I was about 15 I would get Reoccuring Yeast Infections which the doctor told me some people got more than others and was normal. So not knowing any better i kind of dealt with them. So about two years ago I decided that this was becoming overwhelming. I went to the doctor at my college and told her that I wasnt leaving until she gave me a answer to what was going on. What she told me to try was eliminating sugar and bread (only eat veggies and meat) for about a week or more and then reintroduce those things back into my diet to see if my symptoms still occured.

    To my surprise, when i eliminated the sugar, bread, candy, rice and everything else, i found that my face swelling went down, the yeast infections ceased all together, I had more energy, and just totally felt like a new person. And when i reintroduced the stuff back into my diet i had a yeast infections 3 hours later ( it was that bad). So she told me that unlike other people that just got the itching and swelling, my body was so sensitive of these things that my body was eliminating them as a yeast infection (which is sugar that isnt broken down), hives, and a cause for my Angioadema.

    So I went to an allergies and he did the prick test on my back (where i have freckles so i dont think they could tell the difference) and they said that I wasnt allergic to anything. So i told him Bulls**t, so he told me that he could not test me for food allergies or intolerances and that I just had to eliminate those things from my diet and live with it (not happening). But the dilemma was that I didn’t really know what to elimiate-so that left me back to sqaure one.

    So I looked up some things that might help other people discover that they have some food intolerances or allergies by trying to Elimiate them using the Elimiation Diet (which includes a diary or log of what you eat, and your symptoms that occur) so that the doctor can maybe pinpoint you to the right person to talk to get an appointment with.

    I have yet to go to get any test done to see what foods (because I know sugar has to be one of them) that is making my life so miserable. So im asking anyone that reads this: WHERE CAN I GO TO GET FOOD ALLERGY TESTING DONE AROUND THE PA AREA? And IS THERE ANY SITES THAT PEOPLE HAVE USED TO GET TESTING DONE?

    Some of the searches the I did and found helpful was:
    Leaky Gut Sydrome
    Agioadema (hives)

    A site that I saw that did testing:

    My symptoms include: (sorry for the laundry list)

    Polycysitc Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS),high levels of testostrone
    Hives and Agioadema
    Watery/itchy eyes
    Runny nose
    Swelling in face
    Cracking joints
    Digestion issues
    Always tired/ get tired easily
    Severe headaches right above my nose

    I hope that this helps anyone else out

  38. Michele Simpson permalink
    August 6, 2011 10:59 pm

    You can get a blood test that is a simple finger prick and the sample from your finger is blotted onto test paper and sent to a lab, just like the kind they use for babies when they have their PJU test after birth. My allergy test (IgA/IgG) was for 96 foods. Most naturopathic doctors do these test. Your insurance may pay for the visit, but the cost of the test may not be covered. When you call to make an appointment be sure to ask. It cost me $300 and some dollars for the test out of pocket. Knowing exactly what I’m allergic to is so relieving. It was maddening at first, because I’m the “Queen of Sweet” in my realm. The only symptom I recognized was cramping and rapid evacuation (putting it in polite terms).
    Food tests used to be done by the prick test on the back in the late 60’s early 70’s but it was found to be very unreliable. I had it (along with the non-food environmental things) and was allergic to almost every food, but had no clue what my symptoms were, and finally got so frustrated being a mom to 2 preschoolers and one giant man-baby (my x) that I gave up on trying to figure out what I could eat. Almost 40 years later I finally began having the above symptoms that became worse to the point I didn’t want to be away from my bathroom.

    Incidentally, regarding my last post about grocery store’s house brand of sugar being made from beet sugar (at least in the Pacific Northwest were I live), I was disappointed to find the house brand at Safeway and the Western Family brand of brown sugar to contain cane molasses. Its listed on the package. Does anyone know if molasses can be made from beet sugar?

  39. August 7, 2011 3:49 am


    I’ve heard that, too, that “cane” sugar is specified, otherwise it’s beet, but I’ve been afraid to test it! Someone at Trader Joe’s said it was true of their products, but I’m still weary. Please let us now if you try any foods just labeled “sugar” and if your symptoms come back!

  40. August 7, 2011 3:54 am


    My daughter’s naturopath ran a blood test through US BioTek. It’s a FoodStats Antibody Assessment that detects your body’s immune response to foods. It can measure IgE, IgA, and IgG antibody types.

    If you find a doctor who can administer this test, ask how long you should be back on these foods. If you’ve eliminated something, a reaction will now show up. She was already gluten-free so no wheat reaction appeared on the test.

    Good luck!

  41. toastmasterliz permalink*
    August 7, 2011 10:40 am

    Molasses is a by-product of the sugar making process, so there should be beet sugar molasses. I sure wish that labels were required to state the source of the sugar!

  42. Susan permalink
    August 7, 2011 10:55 am

    I would disagree that sugar is beet sugar unless indicated as cane. My research indicates that cane sugar is used most often because although the chemical structure is the same, the melting/burning points are different when heated and produce different results. Chefs and candy makers specifically use these sugars for different purposes because of this. I beleive that candy makers prefer cane sugar.

    When I dont know the souce of the sugar, beet or cane, I email the manufacturer to find out. In every instance, the label ‘sugar’ has turned out to be cane sugar. Some labels do specify cane sugar and some labels do specify beet sugar, but its a toss up if it just states sugar. As far as purchasing sugar, I have emailed the manufacturer and they were able to tell me the codes that specify cane sugar vs beet sugar at their manufacturing plants. From Rogers, for example, all the bags look the same, but the bags that have the code 22 inked are from the Taber, Alberta facility and are beet sugar. The other facilities are cane sugar. They also stated that all of their sugar cubes and brown sugar are from cane sugar. So, we learn as we go :-).

  43. MsLilly permalink
    August 7, 2011 11:29 am

    Thank you Michele Simpson!
    All of those places that you mentioned we do not have on the east coast. But I usually go to FreshGrocer of While Foods. The other issue is that I am supporting myself at the moment and don’t have extra money for the expensive food they offer. And another problem that I found out. Doing the elimination diet was that most of the food I could eat would need to be prepared at home, so I don’t know what to do when I am hungry away from home.

    I’m also on a limited budget being that I just graduated from college and looking for another job. I do have health insurance but limited to what doctors I can go to to get the test done.

    And Mrs. Amanda

    I have never heard of a naturopath, so I’m still not really sure where to go. Anywhere on the Philadelphia/NJ/NY area would be great.


  44. toastmasterliz permalink*
    August 7, 2011 3:37 pm

    Here is what Wikipedia says about beet sugar molasses.

  45. TriCoach permalink
    August 16, 2011 10:22 pm

    This is a great resource, and I thank everyone who has posted! I am new into this adventure. I cut out gluten on my own accord, and found that I felt better, but was still eating oats . . . well, had my ALCAT test done, and found that I am severely intolerant to oats (and other things) and moderately intolerant to cane sugar and fructose (high fructose corn syrup) (and other things!). I think the hardest thing to cut out or to find alternatives for is the sugar. Has anyone been tested for beet sugar? It wasn’t on my test either, and I just wonder about substituting it without knowing. At this point, the only time I have a severe reaction (that I know of) is when I have to take gels for my endurance activities like cycling and running. I have found alternatives for that, using maltodextrin instead of sucrose. Makes is tough to find a “grab and go” item that is gluten free, oat free, and sugar free!

  46. Cindy Scott-Huisman permalink
    August 17, 2011 11:21 am

    Several years ago I had a terrible cough that went on for a year and a half. I went to every type of doctor recommended. I finally saw a homeopathic doctor who had me do the elimination diet to find out what I was introducing into my body every day. I found out that my illness was caused by cane sugar. Tested with Splenda and had the same reaction.

    I do not have an immediate reaction to cane, but if I continue to have it in my diet, several days later, I will be very sick again. I’ve ended up in a few situations when I would be traveling for a week+ and get sick from not being as in control of what I eat as I need to be. Most people have never heard of an allergy to cane sugar and think you mean sugar in any form. I get tired of explaining, so usually avoid mentioning it.

    When I did my testing, I had milder reactions to corn (not processed, such as popcorn, corn syrup, etc.) and soy beans and other legumes (not processed, also). I would get a headache and/or unsettled lower stomach.

    I’m very happy to find this site. When I was first figuring this all out, I looked for info and couldn’t find anything except a site created by diabetic. I have lost the address for that site, so if anyone know what I’m talking about, let me know. My best discovery, since I am a chocoholic, is that Endangered Species chocolate bars (not the organic ones) is made with beet sugar. It is wonderful and if you can’t ear cane, but you can eat beet sugar – here’s a chocolate bar for YOU!

  47. Cindy Scott-Huisman permalink
    August 17, 2011 11:28 am

    I noticed above that there was a comment about beet molasses. My understanding is that molasses is made from the cane so beet won’t have that, but I think sorghum molasses is an OK alternative. It is not made from sugar, but has similar taste and consistency.

  48. toastmasterliz permalink*
    August 20, 2011 12:35 pm

    There is sugar beet molasses. It’s a bit different:

  49. Susan permalink
    August 21, 2011 8:48 am

    I was told by my doctor that if you tested ok for beets, then beet sugar should be okay, since the test does not specifically test for beet sugar. Fortunately here in Alberta, we have a beet sugar plant so much of the local sugar is beet sugar, but most packaged items are cane sugar unless otherwise indicated. BTW, my test did test for beets and I was okay. You also mentioned maltodextrin as a sub for cane sugar. Maltodextrin is a sugar derivative like high fructose corn syrup made from corn and can cause hay-fever like symptoms, amongst other symptoms, in people that are sensitive to corn and other sugars. You may just feel dull or have a feeling of malaise, but it may also be a contributor to how you are feeling.

  50. Susan permalink
    August 21, 2011 8:51 am

    Yes, there is beet molasses, but it is not suitable for human consumption and is typically sold and used in animal feed.

  51. Brandon permalink
    August 23, 2011 12:22 pm

    I was diagnosed with cane sugar and corn food allergies about a year ago. I had been having incredibly debilitating symptoms of headaches, brain fog, chest pains and rapid heart beat. However, most doctors didn’t think about the food allergy option and instead diagnosed it as an anxiety disorder. Sometimes my body would feel so out of control it was scary. I tried to eliminate food and corn from my diet but didn’t seem to have any luck with getting rid of all my symptoms.

    So pretty soon I gave up on the food allergy cause and attributed it to some kind of anxiety disorder. Now, here I am two years later, still suffering from the same debilitating symptoms of chronic headaches, brain fog, shakiness, and rapid heart beat. The symptoms are sometimes worse than other times but consistently debilitating.

    After trying various anxiety and depression medications with no impact I began to think I maybe should have paid more attention o the food allergy diagnosis. The doctor said I was highly allergic to those things, but since I don’t have any rashes, I didn’t really know whether the tests were accurate. I had the skin test where they inject you with allergens and then test you during and 1-2 days after for a delay. I am just trying to figure this out and could use any advice or help. If you’ve had any experience like this as well, I would love to hear about it and be able to share stories. Thanks for listening and any ideas are helpful at this point.

  52. September 3, 2011 9:55 am

    This is a wonderful blog. Maybe someone has insight on my situation. My 5 year old daughter has been miserable for a month – symptoms include severe bloating, vomiting diarrhoea, weight loss, runny nose (general low immune system), pale, etc. The doctor is running all kinds of tests. Stomach x-ray yesterday was fine. She has a lactose intolerance test on Tues and we should get the allergy test back Tues as well (and stool test). Doing my own analysis and eliminating foods, I’m now wondering if it could be sugar cane. When I sprinkle sugar on her porridge, she’s sick. If I don’t, she’s fine. She was fine when she woke up this morning and I gave her ‘Gorilla Munch’ cereal (without milk). There are three ingredients: organic cane meal and organic evaporated cane juice and salt. She vomited about half an hour after eating this. This was a stronger reaction than normal. Usually, the symptoms come on sometimes hours later. I know I have to wait a few days to know for sure, but if these symptoms sound like something you’ve experienced, I’d be interested to hear. Thanks!

  53. Megan S. permalink
    September 3, 2011 5:48 pm

    Hey Guys, I’m Megan.
    I’ll be 18 in about a month, and about a week ago I got my test results back from my IgG test through a facility in Alberta. My symptoms prior to these tests were what I’ve heard to be something called IBS. I have also been told by doctors to have an anxiety disorder, mild depression, and that my other symptoms of heart palps, dizziness, shakiness, blurred vision, and trouble breathing when exercising were also due to anxiety versus any real diagnosis.
    About two years ago, after being fed up with the useless bull crap from doctors, I visited a naturopath (homeopath) doctor who advised me to go off of all dairy products. Within four days of this new diet, all of my digestive problems seemed to be completely healed or at least majorly improved.
    Although, still being not satisfied with my overall health issues, I proceeded to get the IgG test done. About a week ago I got my results back, and have been overwhelmed ever since. In addition to having my dairy allergy/intolerance confirmed, the other foods that showed high on the results were wheat/gluten, soy bean, goat’s milk, and sugar cane. The ones that moderately showed up were yeast, egg white and yolk, cranberries, pecans, and sesame seeds. YIKES!
    Although my list is very large and intimidating, like most of you, I have found sugar cane to be the most frustrating. Not only do ingredients lists not list the source of the sugar, but I am confused as to what exactly classifies as SUGAR CANE. Fructose? Glucose? Dextrose? Molasses? The list goes on…..
    If anyone could help me out in my endeavours it’d be greatly appreciated 🙂
    Many thanks.

  54. Susan permalink
    September 4, 2011 8:59 am

    Hi Megan,
    You are not alone. Your experience is very similar to many of us that suffer from delayed reactions struggle to find the root cause. Sugar allergy is actually quite common, although many people do not even know that it is the culprit that makes them feel so terrible. I had my IgG test done at Rocky Mountain Analytical in Calgary Alberta as well (last June), and I also have the sugar cane, all dairy, eggs, soy, pecans and almonds allergy, along with some others. Overall I reacted to 27 of the 96 foods tested. I have too suffered with IBS my entire life. My doctor suspected leaky gut as the cause and I am now in the healing phase. From what I have found out is that ‘sugar’ when listed on most ingredient lists is cane sugar. Cane juice, raw sugar, brown sugar, molasses, white sugar, icing sugar, etc. are typically all from sugar cane (confirmed per emails from Lantic sugar who manufactures sugar in canada under various names such as Roger sugar). I have also contacted several food companies regarding the source of sugar in their products and they have all replied with cane sugar. In Alberta, we have a sugar plant in Taber (Lantic Sugar) and they produce sugar from beets (beet sugar). There is a code on the side of the Rogers White Sugar bag when you purchase it in the stores and if it starts with a 22, it is from the Taber plant, and most likely from beets. Lantic sugar also indicated that all of their sugar cubes, brown sugar, icing sugar, and molasses are from Cane sugar. Fructose is a fruit sugar and corn sugar, dextrose is a plant startch typically made from corn, and sometimes rice, and glucose is the simple sugar breakdown as a monosaccharide. Molasses is made from cane sugar.

    When shopping for products, try and avoid anything that lists sugar, unless it specificallys states beet sugar, or alternatives such as agave nectar which is ok. There are a few raw energy bars that use agave instead of cane sugar. Since I can’t have dairy or eggs, I typically use Natura Rice Milk and Coconut Milk products. So Delicious Coconut milk ice cream and Coconut Bliss ice cream are both sweetened with Agave Nectar; and Natura Rice Milk with vanilla has no sugar added. I have used it in recipes calling for milk or milk alternatives and it has worked great. A great cheese alternative is Daiya cheese shreds, which is dairy, soy, egg, and sugar free.

    Hope this helps, and good luck on your healing process. You will feel so much better!

  55. Megan S. permalink
    September 4, 2011 1:27 pm

    Thank you so much for replying to my post. Your message is very informative and helpful and I greatly appreciate your thorough, caring response.
    I have been having Coconut Bliss icecream, the dark chocolate and cappicino flavours, and they really are delicious 🙂 I’ve been also using honey and syrup a lot as substitutes and am continuing to experiment with baking. The milk I’ve been using is called unsweetened Almond Fresh and it’s alright, just a bit too watery for my taste. I will definitely be trying Natura Rice Milk sometime soon, considering I am still in the experimental/learning phase haha.
    I figured fructose derived from fruit, but had no idea about where dextrose came from, so thank you for your help. It’s little tidbits like this that really contribute to understanding what it is that I have to avoid or not. All I really knew previously was that sucralose was okay, because it is an artificial sweetener. I’ve only found it so far in some energy drinks like Rockstar haha. So not very useful but oh well :p
    Thank you again for your help and I will definitely continue to refer to this website in the future. It’s been great. And considering I’ve only just begun, I really look forward to reaping the benefits and rewards from this challenging diet 🙂
    Greatly appreciative, Megan.

  56. Dragan permalink
    September 24, 2011 11:23 pm


    How about erythritol? It is obtained through fermented glucose, I think. Has anyone reserached the source of the glucose in it? Maybe the fermentation takes care of any potential allergens?

  57. toastmasterliz permalink*
    September 25, 2011 9:10 am

    My naturopath told me that some people can tolerate the sugar alcohols because they have been purified so that there is no trace of cane left in them. Other people can’t. I seem to be able to, but I’m happier if I don’t, just because of the intestinal side effects.

  58. Erin permalink
    October 18, 2011 2:01 pm

    Just wanted to clarify that it is my understanding that sucralose should be avoided as well. Dextrose, stevia, sorbitol & xylitol have been the only “sugar substitutes” that I have been allowing. I still prefer maple syrup & honey as more natural alternatives.

    I just became aware of my sugar cane allergy 3 mo ago now (also dairy). The thing that I’ve actually been craving the most is pizza! I’ll have to break down and make my own soon, just lazy at the moment, I guess.

  59. terbear permalink
    November 8, 2011 10:06 am

    splenda is from a sugar alcohol, therfore, it should not be used by anyone with a sugar allergy. My doctor said to eliminate all kinds of sugar, even though my test said cane sugar allergy. Then to slowly add in, like with other types of allergy testing, and see which kind I can tolerate. I’m fine with stevia, agave, honey and fructose in moderate amounts.

  60. Corinne cordon permalink
    November 13, 2011 6:17 am

    Me too, but the doctors say no way can I be allergic to sugar. But my pain is going away, my stomach is unbloating, and I am walking without muscle pain. What have you found out ?

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