- by Dr Sheetal Chhabria
- 1 Shares
- Oct 10 2017
IS FRUIT ALLERGY REAL?
You hold a freshly plucked mango in your hands, slowly cradling it in your hands. You eat the pulpy cubed piece. Delectable!
As you swallow, a tingling feeling begins in your tongue, then your mouth and then throughout your throat. Tingling evolves into itching and ALAS, the Oral Allergy Syndrome has kicked in.
What is ORAL ALLERGY SYNDROME
OAS also known as pollen food syndrome is an allergy when a person’s immune system reacts negatively to the proteins in a fruit. It is caused by cross reacting allergens found in both fruits and pollens.
Allergic reactions to fruits are usually mild and mostly affect the mouth, causing itching, rash or blisters where the food touches the lips and mouth. Some people may experience slight swelling in the throat, making it feel like it is closing. Symptoms may be accompanied by asthma, rhinitis, cardiovascular symptoms and anaphylaxis.
People with a fruit allergy are likely to have a pollen allergy from trees and weeds. For instance, people who are allergic to birch pollen are likely to be allergic to apples.
Let’s look at 3 common fruit allergies:
Often found in Mediterranean countries, this allergy can manifest in two ways. It could truly be a fruit allergy or develops out of a birch pollen allergy. Symptoms include swelling of the lips, tongue, throat, face or other parts of the body, hives, itching, wheezing, nasal congestion, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, dizziness, light headedness and problems in breathing.
This is common in central and northern Europe with a lot of birch trees. People with birch pollen allergy can develop an apple allergy. Apple allergy is connected to peach allergy as the allergens present in both are similar. People with these allergies may also be allergic to certain other fruits and nuts like plums, apricots, cherries, walnuts and hazelnuts.
A kiwi allergy increases your risk to develop a latex allergy. People with a kiwi allergy may also negatively react to banana, avocado, pineapples, carrots or chestnut. Severe symptoms are likely to be found in children than adults.
Some quick tips to manage your fruit allergy:
Avoid raw foods that cross react with your pollen allergies.
Taking oral anti-histamine medications to relieve mild symptoms.
Bake or cook foods to degrade the protein and eliminate the cross reaction.
Consume canned fruits or vegetables during your pollen season.
Always peel the food as the protein is often concentrated in the skin.
Try switching to organic products.
Allergy Immunotherapy has been reported to improve or cure symptoms in some patients.
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