A peach allergy can manifest in one of two ways: either it's a true food allergy or it develops out of a birch-pollen allergy. A true food allergy is an actual allergic reaction to the peach. It's what the body identifies as the allergen. With a birch-pollen allergy, you develop an allergic reaction to the peach because the protein of the fruit is so similar to the birch-pollen allergen. In this situation, the body begins to recognize the peach as birch pollen, resulting in an allergic response.
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A peach allergy triggers similar symptoms to other food allergies. You often experience a tingling sensation within the mouth that is soon followed by swelling of the lips, tongue, throat, face or other parts of the body, explains MayoClinic.com. You can also develop hives, itching, wheezing, nasal congestion, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dizziness, lightheadedness and trouble breathing. Severe reactions can cause anaphylaxis.
The National Institutes of Health characterizes anaphylaxis as a life-threatening, whole-body allergic reaction. It causes the same basic symptoms of a common allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis, however, can also trigger rapid pulse, drop in blood pressure, slurred speech, airway constriction, abnormal breathing, shock and loss of consciousness. Immediate medical attention is necessary to reverse anaphylaxis.
If you suffer from a peach allergy, it isn't uncommon to have other fruit allergies, warns the Internet Symposium on Food Allergens. Fruits from the Rosaceae family, namely those in the subfamilies of Pomoideae or Prunoideae, are of the most concern. This includes apples, pears, apricots, plums and cherries. Most people with a peach allergy are also allergic to apples.
Treatment for a minor peach allergy usually involves antihistamines. Taking this over-the-counter medication soon after ingesting a peach can help to relieve the itching and hives accompanying the reaction. For more severe allergies, an epinephrine injection is often necessary. Also referred to as an EpiPen, this type of medication combats the life-threatening reaction to the allergen.
Preventing an allergic reaction from a peach entails steering clear of foods containing this fruit. This means reading labels, asking waitstaff and informing anyone caring for a child with a peach allergy. It's also important to have yourself tested to ensure that you aren't also allergic to other fruits from the Rosaceae family.