When children or adults don’t want to eat their carrots, carrot allergies rather than dietary preferences may be to blame. Allergic reactions to carrots and other foods create uncomfortable physical effects, some of which can be life threatening. Continuing to eat carrots after experiencing symptoms, therefore, puts people’s health at risk. Normal carrot allergy symptoms will run their course and disappear in a couple of hours. An anaphylactic response, however, changes respiratory and cardiovascular equilibrium and requires an emergency call to 911.
Itching and Swelling
The first signs of carrot allergies, however, generally happen a few minutes after eating the food. Upon an allergic reaction, a release of histamine and other chemicals into the blood produces itching, swelling and a fluid migration to the mucous membranes. Patients may experience itching of the lips, tongue, throat and lining of the mouth. The eyes and nose may itch and become watery. Swelling in these areas may create nasal congestion and trouble swallowing and breathing. An itchy, raised, red rash can also develop anywhere on the skin. The Mayo Clinic notes that people who get allergic reactions to birch pollen may get oral allergy symptoms from carrots, celery and related plants during the birch pollination season.
On rare occasions, inflammatory allergy symptoms escalate rapidly toward anaphylactic shock. Unlike oral carrot allergies, these conditions involve the entire body metabolism. A short time after eating dishes that contain carrots, patients’ blood pressure may plummet. Noticeable signs include a rapid, shallow or uneven pulse and sudden weakness. The National Institutes of Health suggest summoning paramedic help immediately at this point. Cardiovascular changes affect the amount of oxygen that the heart pumps to the body’s cells and to the brain. Respiratory swelling that has already occurred can block more oxygen from reaching these areas, causing dizziness, confusion, wheezing and difficulty talking. Without treatment, patients may undergo fainting, respiratory arrest, cardiac arrest and death.
In less severe allergic reactions, the digestive system will respond to the invasion of allergens in about an hour or two. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports that the gastrointestinal response depends upon individual sensitivity, whether the carrots were raw or cooked and what else was eaten along with them. Nausea and stomach cramping may constitute the extent of these allergy symptoms, especially in an initial allergic instance. More developed carrot allergies may produce abdominal pain, vomiting, intestinal cramps and diarrhea. Symptoms will only persist as long as the allergens remain in the body but may grow worse with continued exposure.