If you get hives after consuming diet soda, you may have an allergy to one of the ingredients in the product. This is especially true if the hives appear shortly after consuming diet soda, and if other allergy symptoms are present. Hives that appear several hours after consuming diet pop, or hives that are not accompanied by other common food allergy symptoms may have another cause. See a doctor or allergist to confirm the cause of your hives.
Hives are itchy, raised welts on the surface of the skin. They are often caused by the release of chemicals that occurs when you experience an allergic reaction to a certain food or drugs. You may also get them when you are stressed, have an infection or illness, have been exposed to extreme cold or sun, or have been sweating excessively. To determine if you have hives or another type of rash, press the center of the hive. True hives will turn white when pressed. Hives also may change shape or disappear and reappear. While most cases of hives go away on their own without medical intervention, severe cases may require an injection or emergency medical attention. Call a doctor if you are concerned about your hives or if you have any other unusual symptoms.
Diet Soda Labels
Diet soda manufacturers are required to identify each ingredient in the product on the nutritional label. While the law requires food labels to list common allergens that are present, diet soda does not usually contain any common allergens. Many people, however, have allergic reactions to ingredients that are not common allergens. Common ingredients of diet soda, such as artificial sweeteners, artificial coloring or preservatives, may trigger an allergic reaction. Read the nutritional labels carefully and avoid diet soda products that contain ingredients that have caused an allergic reaction for you in the past.
Other Food Allergy Symptoms
Food allergies generally produce more than just hives. Other symptoms of a food allergy include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, skin redness, difficulty breathing and swelling. Cold-like symptoms such as coughing, runny nose or watery eyes may also occur. However, these symptoms usually only occur when gastrointestinal upset is also present, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Food allergies are dangerous because they may trigger a condition known as anaphylaxis. In fact, food allergies account for approximately 35 percent to 50 percent of all cases of anaphylaxis, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Anaphylaxis is a serious condition and may be life-threatening when left untreated. Symptoms include an unusual heartbeat, abdominal pain, dizziness, lightheadedness, sudden drop in blood pressure, confusion, shock or a loss of consciousness, according to MedlinePlus. If you or someone you know may be experiencing this condition, go to the nearest emergency room immediately.
- MedlinePlus; Hives; Kevin Berman, MD, PhD; May 2011
- Food and Drug Administration: Food Allergies – What You Need to Know; January 2011
- American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology: Tips to Remember: Food Allergy
- MedlinePlus: Anaphylaxis; David C. Dugdale; May 2010
- American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology: Allergy Statistics