That’s probably the first offender to come to your mind when you think “hay fever”. However, this may not always be the case. It is common belief that consuming a wide variety of fruits and vegetables is essential for a healthy life. Rightly so! However, if you are an allergy sufferer, it will be beneficial to know that some allergies may be triggered by certain raw vegetables, fruits, or nuts you enjoy eating. Knowing all you know about oral allergy syndrome (OAS) will help you to deal more efficiently with such attacks. Furthermore, this might just help you pinpoint the cause for those attacks that hit when you’re NOWHERE near pollen!
Basically, the same chemical behind hay fever is present in certain foods as well. When the allergy sufferer consumes that food, the chemical reacts in the same manner and triggers an allergic reaction. This reaction is quite similar to pollen allergy. Such knowledge is not widely known and is common only amongst specialists. You are unlikely to know of this protein chemical’s presence in foods if you see a regular GP or treat your condition independently using over-the-counter products.
The Immune System Fights
This is the deal. The immune system overproduces histamines and other chemicals when an allergic attack is triggered by inhalation of rass, weeds, or trees. The exact same protein, called a profiling, is also found in some troublesome fruits and veggies. The child or adult in question will suffer a similar response from his immune system when he consumes this food.
Regular Symptoms of Oral Allergy
- Nose, eye, or gum pain
- stinging or inflammation of the throat, lips, or mouth
- Tight feeling in the throat
More Severe Symptoms
Rarely does OAS progress to this level. These symptoms would occur if the allergen in the food is not destroyed by acids in the stomach.
It is likely that the histamines will again release in the gastrointestinal region later on. This might trigger a reaction in the patient’s body.
If it does happen, the symptoms would be :
- Low blood pressure
Every type of pollen can be associated to a certain food if it triggers OAS attacks. However, if, for example ragweed can be associated to 10 different fruits and vegetables, this doesn’t mean that you will be allergic to all ten of them. In fact, you may not be allergic to any of them. On the other hand, you may be allergic to only one food in the beginning which proceeds to include many more on the list.
How long will it last?
Sorry to say, such reactions to foods last year-round, whereas its counterpart, the original hay fever lasts only from April to June and mid-August to the early winter. On the other hand, most allergy sufferers are not allergic to ALL the foods that contain the ‘pollen- like‘protein. Usually, allergy sufferers react only to one or two of these foods.
Some Interesting Facts
- Very seldom does OAS progress beyond oral irritation.
- Up to 60% of all allergic reactions to foods in adults are from cross-reactions between allergens breathed in and foods.
- If the same food you are allergic to is canned or cooked, the allergen in it is altered. This means that it is less powerful in triggering allergic attacks.
If you are a hay fever patient and have been suffering unusual attacks, even when it’s clearly NOT pollen season, this might be your solution. Depending on which type of pollen you are allergic to, you can find a list of the related fruits and vegetables in any common allergy book. Next time you visit the doc, it might even be worth suggesting as a possibility. It is surely treatable. All you need to do is make a conscious decision to avoid those nasty mischief-makers.