Prevalence and food avoidance behaviors for gustatory rhinitis

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2008 Mar;100(3):200-5. doi: 10.1016/S1081-1206(10)60443-7.


Background: Gustatory rhinitis is a type of nonallergic rhinitis that is usually associated with ingestion of hot or spicy foods. Characteristics of this condition and its impact on food choices have not been studied.

Objective: To survey individuals regarding causative foods, association with atopic conditions, and food avoidance behaviors for gustatory rhinitis.

Methods: An original, self-administered questionnaire was distributed to children and adults who were seen in a busy outpatient dermatology clinic. Atopic history, frequency of rhinorrhea after food ingestion, intake of foods associated with gustatory rhinitis, symptom severity, and food avoidance were evaluated.

Results: Of the 571 participants who completed the survey, 396 (69%) indicated at least 1 food resulted in gustatory rhinitis symptoms. Patients with allergic rhinitis (P < .001) and a history of smoking (P = .049) were more likely to have experienced gustatory rhinitis. Bread (6%) and hot chili peppers (49%) represented the least and most common foods identified, respectively. A total of 65% of patients who experienced gustatory rhinitis never avoided the causative food, whereas 46% were never bothered by their symptoms. Patients who reported more causative foods were also more likely to use medications before eating to lessen their symptoms (P = .03).

Conclusion: The results presented herein suggest that almost all foods can be implicated, both children and adults develop this condition, and patients with a history of allergic rhinitis or smoking are more likely to report gustatory rhinitis symptoms. Most patients though do not avoid the causative food(s) and are not significantly bothered by symptoms.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Food Hypersensitivity / epidemiology*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / etiology
  • Food Preferences*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Rhinitis / epidemiology*
  • Rhinitis / etiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires