Horrible hives/rash

I’m a happy new Hurler but after two days I’ve come down with a pretty serious hive/rash situation. I went slow like everyone says and replaced one meal gluten-free vanilla on day 1, same on day 2 (3 scoops each), and yesterday I had 2 scoops of vanilla and one of gluten-free coffee for lunch and then 3 scoops of vanilla last night for dinner around 8:30 pm. I went to bed around 10 or 11 with a little itchy hive behind my left knee and woke up at 2:30 am with a full-blown hive breakout all over both arms and my neck. I have hives on my stomach and backs of my thighs, rashes on the front/top of my thighs, and a rash from my shoulders to my arms as well as hives/blotches still on my neck.

Today I’ve gotten some topical cream and non-drowsy antihistamine from the chemist and haven’t had any Huel. I just applied it so it’s too early to say how effective it will be.

I know there have been some other posts about hives but they never seem to have been resolved. Did anyone isolate what they were allergic to? I like Huel (I even like the taste - reminds me of “cake flavoured” ice cream in America) and haven’t had any of the digestive or wind issues others have mentioned, but obviously I can’t go around looking like I’m diseased.

Attaching a photo so you can see me in all my itchy glory. IMG_6867

Poor you! This sucks! Hope you can carefully work out what was causing it, good luck

Do you have any unflavoured unsweetened? I have read people who say they have had reactions to sucralose causing hives etc., wondered if this was the cause; then again I have heard of oats causing them too. Have you had these outbreaks before with other foods?

Nope, I only got vanilla and coffee for my first order. I don’t think I’ve ever had an allergic reaction to food in my life. I’m sure I’ve eaten sucralose before too. I read something in another post about B12 and wonder if that could be it. I’m vegetarian so I might have been deficient and the Huel was too much all at once. But I am just grasping at straws here.

Never heard of B12 causing it, and I’m long term vegan, but having just Googled it I see that people have claimed there is an allergy to B12…I’m not really sure what to advise then, as I guess pinpointing the exact cause could be tricky…these days there are so many allergies…aside from the 14 well known ones…

I don’t know how it’s even possible to be allergic to B12 but I suppose anything could happen. AFAIK I’m not allergic to any of the ingredients (and I have a minor gluten intolerance so I got the gluten-free), so all I’m left to think is that it would be an overload of something that’s causing the problem. The rash doesn’t seem to be going away but it’s not spreading anymore, which is a plus.

Hi Joanne. Wow! That looks horribly irritating. You haven’t eaten anything different or come into contact with something else that could have caused it over the past few days? Just wondering if it is connected to Huel or is coincidental.


I’ve been going over all the possibilities in my head and don’t think there is anything else. Other than adding Huel my diet is as normal and I haven’t changed laundry liquid or soaps lately. The hive on my leg I initially thought might be a sting or a bite, but it’s Ireland in winter and I don’t think anything here even bites (I’m from America and it’s only my third winter here but I’ve never even seen a mosquito and the midges leave me alone), and it’s doubtful it would have spread like this.

How horribly frustrating for you :thinking:

Hi @joannes - sorry to hear this.

Have you ever had hives or another reaction before?

There is a rare intolerance to the cyanocobalamin type of B12 that we use in Huel, but I’ve not hear it presenting like this.

Hi James, thanks for following up. I’ve never had a reaction like this to any food that I’m aware of. I’m allergic to poison oak and penicillin but have no known food sensitivities other than gluten. Is there any chance of you guys changing the B12 formulation? I saw something in an old post about it.

Hi @joannes

Re the B12, the methylcobalamin form is not stable in food products over shelf-life and it’s also not permitted for use in food fortification in the EU because of its stability (it’s only permitted for use in supplements). Also, whilst methylcobalamin is more bioactive once it’s been absorbed, cyanocobalamin is absorbed by the body more readily. Therefore cyanocobalamin is the most suitable choice. In addition we have added an amount of B12 that’s higher than the Nutrient Reference Value (NRV).

So am I right in concluding you have no plans to change it?

The rash got really bad last night but is mostly gone today (hands and feet are swollen and there’s a bit of a rash over my knees) and I haven’t had any Huel. I’m going to give my body a few days to recover and try another 3-scoop batch and see what happens.

Perhaps you should consider having a smaller amount of Huel to start with and build up if all is ok. One scoop at a time.

Eeek! How about trying just one scoop first? Or even just a teaspoon in water. Your last reaction is so severe, surely you don’t want to risk that again?
It might not be anything in Huel at all, but if it is, it’s wise to be super careful.
If you get no reaction to a teaspoon, try one scoop then two
Fingers crossed it’s not the Huel xx

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Correct - Huel wouldn’t be nutritionally complete without it.

The only way to see if it is linked to cyanocobalamin, is for you to stop Huel for a few days, when it’s clearer up, take some cyanocobalamin B12 supplements and see if there’s a reaction. Obviously, I’m not recommending you do this, I’m just describing a way to eliminate a cause of the reaction.

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It’s worth a shot. I’ll probably do it all after Christmas and report back.


Look forward to hearing, Joanne :slightly_smiling_face: :+1:

Thanks. Cross your fingers it’s something else – I really like my Huel.

Will do! :crossed_fingers: