Important facts about a fruit allergy

A fruit allergy is a rare type of allergy that’s caused by an allergic reaction to fruit.  People who suffer from a fruit allergy are unable to eat any kind of fruit.  Symptoms of fruit allergies are usually limited to the mouth and throat.  They’re also rather mild in most cases, but still annoying nonetheless.

The most common type of fruit allergy is known as oral allergy syndrome, which can also cause an allergy to vegetables.  Doctors and researchers estimate that about 70 percent of those who suffer from hay fever actually have some form of oral allergy syndrome.  This health condition is also known as fruit pollen syndrome, and it’s much less serious than allergies to peanuts, milk, or other common allergy foods.  This is because a fruit allergy is more similar to an allergy associated with touching something you are allergic to, rather than eating something you’re allergic to, which can be fatal in very severe cases.

The most common fruits that can cause allergies are apricots, bananas, cherries, kiwis, melons, papayas, peaches, pineapples, plums, and strawberries.  Symptoms of a fruit allergy include itching, hives, contact dermatitis or rash inside the mouth, hay fever, and asthma.  People who are allergic to fruit may also discover that they break out in hives whenever they touch fresh fruit, especially when peeling it.  The juice of the fruit is an especially strong allergen for those who suffer from fruit allergies.  Those who have a very severe allergy to fruit may also experience vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing.  The fruit that is most likely to cause these extreme reactions is the banana, which can sometimes cause the throat to close up and make it nearly impossible to breathe.  Usually if the allergic reaction is very severe, it’s because the person with the allergy consumed a very large amount of the fruit he’s allergic to.

Most allergic reactions to fruit occur when the sufferer eats the fruit raw.  Usually the reaction can be avoided simply by cooking the fruit in some way, like using it in muffins.  Canned fruits also don’t usually cause an allergic reaction in people who have a fruit allergy. 

Doctors may also be able to predict which fruits may cause a problem for people with various other allergies.  For example, researchers have found that many people who are allergic to birch pollen are also allergic to apples, pears, peaches, plums, apricots, cherries, hazelnuts, and kiwis.  On the other hand, people who experience allergic reactions to ragweed usually also have an allergy to the members of the gourd family, including watermelon, cantaloupe, zucchini, and cucumber. 

Sometimes half the battle of a fruit allergy is simply discovering that you have the allergy in the first place.  This can be difficult to do because often you’re eating fruit only during the spring, when it’s in season and your allergies are already running full tilt.  If you suspect a fruit allergy, it’s best to see an allergy specialist to confirm.




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