People who suffer allergic reactions shortly after eating potatoes should take note of their symptoms and pursue a diagnosis for safety reasons. Food allergy symptoms mimic signs of cold or flu but can lead to deadly anaphylactic shock. While many children outgrow potato allergies, adults who develop them risk allergic reactions for life. As the Mayo Clinic reports, having allergies increases the chance of developing other allergies. Individuals who are allergic to birch pollen or latex, in particular, have an especially increased risk for potato allergies.
Itching and Swelling
Just after eating potatoes, histamine-induced inflammation initiates allergy symptoms of itching and swelling. They begin at the point of contact, with itching in the lips, mouth, tongue and throat. As the allergens are carried through the bloodstream, itching my extend to the eyes and skin. Swelling may arise as bumps in the mouth or swelling of the tongue. Inflammation may spread swelling to the eyelids and face or produce a raised, red rash on the skin. As the Mayo Clinic explains, these may total the sum of food allergy symptoms, in what doctors call an oral allergy syndrome. Birch pollen or latex allergy patients may experience only this abbreviated allergic reaction and only from eating uncooked potatoes.
Breathing and Heart Trouble
Difficulty swallowing or breathing and an abnormal pulse may signify the onset of anaphylaxis. As the immune systems misjudge the danger of potato allergens in the body, some patients may suffer a sharp decline in blood pressure at the same time that inflammation threatens respiration. Swelling in the throat obstructs the airways, sending less oxygen through the blood to the brain. The National Institutes of Health add symptoms of confusion, wheezing, slurred speech and dizziness to this progressive state of shock that can result from potato allergies. These symptoms require emergency medical help, as they may be followed by a loss of consciousness and even death.
Abdominal and intestinal allergy symptoms occur within an hour or two, at the pace of digestion, and may be preceded by nausea. Patients with potato allergies may experience mild to severe stomach pain, intestinal cramps, vomiting and diarrhea. The gastrointestinal effects of allergic reactions can arise gradually or suddenly. When combined with respiratory and cardiovascular problems, the condition can become incapacitating. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that while symptoms will fade shortly, the condition will remain with its ever-present risks for anaphylaxis.