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Allergies to Raw Fruits & Vegetables

by
author image Kristeen Cherney
Kristeen Cherney began writing healthy lifestyle and education articles in 2008. Since then, her work has appeared in various online publications, including Healthline.com, Ideallhealth.com and FindCollegeInfo.com. Cherney holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Florida Gulf Coast University and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in English.
Allergies to Raw Fruits & Vegetables
Apples can cause oral allergy syndrome. Photo Credit Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Allergies to raw fruits and vegetables can cause severe symptoms that must be treated immediately. However, this type of allergy, also known as oral allergy syndrome, is easy to prevent, since you do not have to totally avoid the fruits and vegetables that cause you aggravation. If symptoms of oral allergy syndrome persist, evaluate your food handling methods and contact your doctor.

Types

Certain types of raw fruits and vegetables can lead to oral allergy syndrome. The Calgary Allergy Network reports that these fruits may include: apples, kiwis, plums, pears, peaches, apricots, nectarines, oranges, melons, watermelon and tomatoes. Common vegetables associated with oral allergy syndrome include celery, carrots, parsley, potatoes, peppers, caraway and coriander.

Causes

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, oral allergy syndrome is either caused by an allergy to proteins in the foods or by pollen that may be present. Pollen from ragweed is often present on raw melons, bananas, cucumbers, and zucchini. Ragweed pollen is most prevalent during the fall months. The Calgary Allergy Netwok explains that tomatoes, kiwi, melons, and oranges can aggravate those who have a pre-existing allergy to grasses.

Symptoms

If you are allergic to raw fruits and vegetables, symptoms can show up immediately after consuming such foods. Oral allergy syndrome causes dry, itchy and swollen mouth, tongue, throat and face. Sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes can be attributed to pollen on fruits and vegetables. Severe oral allergy syndrome can cause massive throat swelling and breathing difficulties.

Prevention

You do not necessarily have to totally avoid eating raw fruits and vegetables if you have oral allergy syndrome. The Calgary Allergy Network explains that the syndrome's symptoms show up after eating raw fruits and vegetables with the skins intact, and do not occur if the food is cooked or processed. Also, some people with oral allergy syndrome can eat raw fruits and vegetables if the skin is peeled off first.

Oral Allergy syndrome can also be aggravated by legumes, sunflower seeds, and nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts.

Treatment

Persistent food allergies to raw fruits and vegetables can be helped with allergy shots or immunology treatments through an allergist. These help build your body’s resistance to the pollen and proteins associated with the foods that cause your allergy. According to the Calgary Allergy Network, severe symptoms can be treated with injectable medications such as EpiPen. EpiPen is taken whenever an allergic reaction occurs.

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