Have you ever had a strange incident in where your mouth started to itch or become tingly? I’ve had many people ask me what was going on. Unfortunately their symptoms seemed random and with all different types of foods, even with some they’ve eaten many times before. Well I’m here to tell you I FINALLY figured out what’s happening.
Many people have mild hay-fever or other similar allergies that aren’t allergic to any food. The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology found that about 1/3 of these people develop what they call Oral Allergy Syndrome over time.
What the heck is Oral Allergy Syndrome?
Although plant pollen is different between plants, some pollens share the same proteins. If you have an allergy to grass, for instance, grass pollen has the same protein as banana pollen. Over time and accumulation, your immune system may consider this protein from the banana pollen to be the same as grass and begin attacking your mouth! This needs to be taken very seriously even if it seems mild, because there are cases where people have ended up in anaphylactic shock. This type of situation can also occur from a cross-reactivity between two items. For instance, if you have a latex allergy you may react to chestnuts. As you get older, the probability of something like this happening to you increases due to increased exposure to the same food and general aging of your immune system.
I’ve collected the biggest list I could find of potential reactive combinations for you. You can look up more information on The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology website.
If you are allergic to:
Birch– you could react to apples, carrots, cherries, celery, kiwi, peaches, pears, plums, coriander, fennel, parsley, hazelnuts, and almonds.
Ragweed – you could react to bananas, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, sunflower seeds, dandelions, chamomile tea, and Echinacea.
Grass – you could react to peaches, celery, tomatoes, melons, and oranges.
Mugwort – you could react to apples, bell pepper, carrots, celery, garlic, onion, caraway seeds, parsley, coriander, anise seeds and fennel seeds.
Latex Rubber – you could react to bananas, avocados, kiwi, chestnut, and papaya.
If you think you may be have an issue with Oral Allergy Syndrome, stop eating anything that may have caused the reaction and seek medical attention immediately. Have a doctor determine what you are specifically allergic to and follow their instructions.
There is some good news. Many people who have this cross-reactivity can reduce the chances if they cook the food. Once cooked, there is a chemical change to the food and the body no longer recognizes the protein. Peeling the food or canning the food may also have the same effect. ALSO, I’ll repeat myself ….……EAT A VARIETY! Small amounts of many different kinds of produce will not only decrease the probability this will happen to you, but also increase your chances of getting all the nutrients you need for a simple healthy life!
I hope this helps all my friends who continue to suffer from random allergy scares after eating their fruits and veggies.