Fruit is one of the tastiest ways to get the important vitamins, minerals and fiber your body needs to be strong and healthy. However, for a small percentage of the population, fruit allergies are a way of life and can greatly inhibit the fruit portion of their diet. These allergies manifest themselves in a variety of ways and almost always people can attribute symptoms to a specific fruit because the reaction is quick.
Oral Allergy Syndrome
A large portion of people who suffer from fruit allergies exhibit mild to uncomfortable itching, tingling, burning and even swelling of the oral areas. Anywhere where the fresh fruit touches the tongue, lips, mouth and throat are subject to these symptoms. These symptoms are all a part of what is known as oral allergy syndrome.
This syndrome not only covers fruit allergies but also vegetables as well and it has to do with mixed chemical reactions of the proteins in the food as well as pollen. In fact, most people with fruit allergies also have allergies to various types of pollen. What is curious is the fact that vegetables and fruits, when cooked, do not usually cause allergies. This is likely due to the fact that the pollen and proteins present are leeched out in the cooking process.
In a small percentage of people who have fruit allergies skin rashes, redness and irritation may also result. In very rare cases, anaphylaxis can occur which is basically when your blood pressure drops, restricting oxygen flow to the brain and also mouth, throat and air passageways can swell, restricting breathing. Death can occur if this condition is left untreated.
Pollen And Fruit Associations
If you have fruit allergies, you may notice that you are not allergic to all fruits, just certain classes of them. In fact, these allergies are often times closely related to your other allergies that you might have. For instance, if you are allergic to ragweed, then chances are if you develop fruit allergies, they would likely be from bananas and various types of melons like honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon.
Birch tree allergies may precipitate fruit allergies like apple, pears, cherries, kiwi and stone fruits like peaches, apricots and plums. For the few individuals with allergies citrus, oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits are likely to cause some symptoms, probably due to the acid content.
Treating Fruit Allergies
Avoidance is the best solution when fruits cause allergic reactions, whether it is swelling and irritation around oral areas or even skin rashes on the body. Some people have developed a tolerance of some fruits due to allergy shots but this solution does not work for everyone. Besides cooking fruit or eating them processed, like applesauce or canned peaches, there is little you can do about fruit allergies.