Banana Allergy Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment

Allergy Or Intolerance? - Banana allergy symptoms, while nor rare, are not all that common either. Some who claim to be allergic to bananas may in effect have only an intolerance of them, caused by the lack of an enzyme needed to break down and digest a protein found in bananas. The symptoms of banana intolerance in some instances may mimic banana allergy symptoms, but more often than not are confined to symptoms affecting mainly the digestive tract.

Banana Allergy Symptoms - Banana allergy symptoms on the other hand are very similar and often identical to the symptoms of other food allergies, and can include watery eyes, nasal congestion, headaches, abdominal cramping, and in some cases nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms, though usually mild, can occur in various degrees of severity, and in rare case a person can go into shock, with potentially fatal results. Most of the symptoms can be relieved though the use of antihistamines, but the best treatment all is simply the avoidance of bananas or foods or other products containing banana, to the extent possible. Banana allergy symptoms to not require eating a whole banana, or even part of one to manifest themselves. foods such as puddings, breakfast flakes, energy bars, baked goods and even banana flavoring powders can bring on the symptoms. Even the pollen of the banana plant will bring about banana allergy symptoms in some.

Cross-Allergies - A banana allergy, as distinguished from banana intolerance, can at times be difficult to pinpoint. Often the clinical background of the person affected, including a knowledge of other allergies, can be very helpful. Those who have a latex allergy for example, may also have a banana allergy, as well as being allergic to chestnuts, avocados, and kiwi fruit. This is known as the latex-fruit syndrome. Latex is produced from the sap of a tree having a protein identical to a protein found in the aforementioned fruits. Those experiencing banana allergy symptoms usually are victims of the latex-fruit syndrome, or are allergic to the pollen of the banana plant.

Bananas May Not Always Be The Culprit - Products used to stimulate the ripening bananas sometimes contain allergens themselves, and what appears to be a banana allergy is not, but a reaction to the ripening agent. Many allergens of this type are destroyed by the cooking process, and if a person believes they have a banana allergy, but do not have a problem with cooked foods containing banana, the chances are great that the person is not allergic to bananas at all, but to another substance and a different allergen.

As far as an allergy to banana plant pollen, a similar situation exists. Someone allergic to banana pollen will most often also be allergic to several other pollens, including those of the melon family, including the watermelon (actually a fruit), citrus fruits and tomatoes.

A Paucity Of Data - As noted above, a banana allergy a not rare, but neither is it common enough to have allowed much data to be accumulated. There isn't sufficient data to determine what age groups may be more susceptible, or whether the allergy is one that is commonly outgrown. There has been little in the way of long term follow up of patients who have been treated for banana allergy symptoms. About all that is known for certain is the allergy is much more common, though not necessarily a given, in those who are allergic to latex, certain other fruits, or certain other pollens. Given the paucity of good data, it may be a long time before we learn much more about this somewhat strange sounding allergy. Until more is known, the best treatment appears to remain that of avoidance.




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