Huel + Cystitis & ED Symptoms


I have been using Huel (chocolate flavor powder) for at least two years without issue until recently when I started experiencing ED and cystitis symptoms. I have never in my life experienced these symptoms before.

By process of elimination I have found the cause - it’s Huel. When I remove Huel from my diet I get no symptoms, when I reintroduce Huel to my diet the symptoms come back. I have performed this process of elimination several times and it is definitely Huel. I have been to my GP and they agree that it must be Huel.

I contacted Huel about the issue and was completely dismissed initially but when I complained I was taken marginally more seriously - only marginally. The outcome of the conversation with Huel is that they are unable or unwilling to perform even the most rudimentary investigation into what is happening and say they have never heard of these symptoms before. This is obviously untrue because a quick google search reveals several posts on this forum documenting the same issue.

I am in the process of getting various medical tests done through my GP to try and find the root cause but so far all I can say with certainty is that when I drink Huel I get the symptoms and when I don’t drink Huel I don’t get the symptoms.

Why did you go for the tests if, as you state " I have found the cause - it’s Huel."?

Because I want to find out if there is anything wrong with my body. Analogously - smoking causes cancer but stopping smoking when you notice a cough doesn’t tell you what is wrong.

I don’t know if there is anything wrong yet, all I know is that Huel is definitely causing these symptoms.

If you ate Huel for two years without any problems, it seems odd that you would then develop problems with it. Could it be the result of some change in your physiology?

In any case what’s the best advice Huel can give you? If it turns out that you can’t tolerate the product it’s best to discontinue use. Huel might recommend that.
When I thought Huel might be a trigger for my recurrent gout Huel recommended I stop eating it. Turns out I was wrong, but the advice was well-meant.

Hope your symptoms clear up .

It does seem strange, but by process of elimination (supported by my GP) it is Huel causing the symptoms.

Huel offered me no useful help or advice.

Thanks but my symptoms do completely clear up when I stop Huel.

It seems like an easy fix, but at the same time I suppose you’d like to know what exactly is provoking the reaction. We can develop intolerances as we get older, but I suppose you’d have to do lots of controlled tests to discover what it is. That’s something only you can do, obviously.

Firstly, it’s important for us to re-iterate that we are sorry to hear of your experience.

However, I’ve read through the contact you’ve had with us and I’ll have to respectfully disagree with you on the stated lack of support you’ve received from us. Unfortunately, as you’ve previously consumed Huel with no issues, and without us being a medical service, there’s little we can do in regards to ‘testing’, but as per our email at the beginning of December, our co-founder and registered nutritionist James Collier would be happy to arrange a call with you. Once we hear back from you, we can sort out a suitable time.

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Great I am glad you have read my case. Can you please explain what support you have offered me?

When you say “little you can do” what you really mean is there is nothing you can do right?

So you are a company supplying a product that people put into their bodies, yet when people have adverse reactions you have absolutely no framework in place to investigate the cause. That is ultimately what you are saying.

If you do have a framework in place to deal with these issues please explain what it is and how it was offered to me during our previous correspondence.

Also I would like to add that I replied to your offer of a call with James asking what James will be doing to investigate the issue and nobody from Huel ever replied - this was in December.

Of course, I’m happy to.

In terms of support we’ve provided, we offered a gesture of goodwill and processed a 100% refund on your latest order.
We’ve asked for the batch information so that our technical team could look into the testing results from the batch (allergens etc.)
Due to the severity of the symptoms you’ve experienced, and with confirmation from your doctor attributing them to Huel, we didn’t feel comfortable sending another pouch of Huel, as requested.

We apologise, unfortunately we didn’t receive your response- I’ll flag this with the email team. Unfortunately, as we’ve reiterated, we are not medical experts so pinpointing exact causes of symptoms is very challenging. I genuinely want you to feel supported, whilst there’s little benefit of us continuing to go back and forth via email/ on the forum, the offer to chat to James on a call still stands.

Have you tried the unsweetened version as a comparison? Often when people report complaints they (rightly or wrongly) pin it on the sweeteners.

Regarding testing, given there are 14 known food allergens, thousands of food compounds/ingredients and thousands of medical conditions with people being allergic from everything from foods to natural daylight, so I think it’s a bit far fetched to expect any food company to pay for medical tests to determine why you have just become reactive to their product which you previously consumed without issue for two years.

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Originally you dismissed me completely, then when I complained you offered me nothing, then when I complained again you offered me 50% refund, then when I complained again you offered me 100% on my latest order.

I said I was happy to give you the batch information once you explained to me what investigations you would be carrying out, to which you never replied.

“we are not medical experts so pinpointing exact causes of symptoms is very challenging”… you have no framework in place to even investigate this kind of issue do you?

Again… please explain the framework you have in place to investigate an adverse reaction?

I’m happy to speak to James once you explain to me what he plans do with the information I provide to to investigate the issue.

It’s quite simple - I would like you to explain to me in full how Huel plans to investigate this issue?

Can you keep me up to date with what the email team say please.

All I have asked them to do is to confirm their framework for investigating cases of adverse side affects and so far they have been unwilling or unable to do so.

Unless they are prepared to fund an individual to go through a full suite of medical examinations, tests and experiments to determine which one or a combination of thousands of ingredients/compounds an individual has now become reactive to, having a “framework” would not achieve anything. It would just be a piece of paper exercise which would conclude an individual could be allergic something in Huel but without testing it cannot be determined. And as I said previously, you cannot expect a food company to pay for medical tests to determine why you have just become reactive to their product which you previously consumed without issue for two years, and hundreds of thousands of other people consume without issue. Even if they did find the ingredient causing the issue for you, a reformulation to remove it and replace it with something else could solve the issue for you and create a new one for somebody else. It would be a spiral of doom.

Everybody’s body is different, and no food or drink is compatible with 100% of the worlds population (there are even people allergic to water). So while it’s not the answer you want, it is the reality.

I think you’ve picked the wrong company to accuse of not caring.


You just don’t understand the point and you’re sat in the echo chamber that is the Huel forum.

Ah, one of these. “Everybody is wrong except me”.

I shall leave you to your thread.

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I never said that.

And yet they offer no solutions

I’m not an “everybody is wrong except me” kind of person at all.

The point is that if they aren’t checking me, then they aren’t checking anyone else either. They couldn’t check even if they wanted to (which they don’t) because they can’t give any details of how they would. All they have offered is a refund and a chat with someone who isn’t going to do anything. We’re not talking about a damaged product here we are talking about something you put in your body every day. How do you know there is nothing wrong, and more importantly how do they?

The relationship you have with a company is purely based on trust and nothing more.

But what exactly are you expecting them to investigate, the ingredients, the levels of something in correlation to what, is there one singular cause of ED & cystitis that exists in huel that they can check against what is in there product, chances are there is numerous different causes for anything like that. To just say “investigate” it’s a bit unrealistic when you say “numerous” people, but then you also have numerous others who consume it with no issues