Peaches are arguably summer's most quintessential fruit, but unfortunately, they don't agree with everyone. If you have uncomfortable symptoms after eating them, you might wonder: Can you be allergic to peaches?
The answer is yes. Here, learn the causes and signs of a peach allergy, the related allergies to know and what treatment is like.
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Peach Allergy Symptoms
If you have an allergy to peaches, you'll likely develop symptoms within a few minutes to two hours after eating the fruit, according to the Mayo Clinic. These might include:
- Mouth tingling or itching
- Hives or itchy skin
- Swelling, typically in the face, lips, tongue or throat
- Congestion, wheezing or trouble breathing
- Nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy; rarely, fainting
Severe Allergic Reactions (Anaphylaxis)
The National Library of Medicine 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 suspect you're having a severe allergic reaction to peaches that involves trouble breathing, fainting or a fast heartbeat, call 911 or seek medical help immediately.
A peach allergy can either be a true food allergy or one that develops because of a birch-pollen allergy, according to the University of Manchester. A true food allergy is an actual allergic reaction to the peach, meaning your body identifies the peach 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. This is sometimes called Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome or Oral Allergy Syndrome, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI).
If you have a peach allergy, it isn't uncommon to have other fruit allergies. If your reaction is part of a larger allergy to stone fruits in general, you may also be allergic to:
If you have Oral Allergy Syndrome and the culprit is birch pollen, you may also be allergic to the following raw foods, according to the Mayo Clinic:
- Some herbs and spices, such as parsley, fennel and coriander
It's important to note, though, that the allergen your body reacts to in Oral Allergy Syndrome doesn't survive cooking, per the University of Manchester. So while you may not be able to eat peaches or other similar foods in raw form without triggering a reaction, you're likely able to tolerate them when they're cooked or in juice form.
Treatment for a peach allergy typically involves avoiding the fruit and knowing and avoiding any related allergens, according to the Mayo Clinic.
It's best to work with your doctor or an allergist to diagnose the type of allergy you have and make a plan to stay healthy.
If you do eat a peach and have a minor allergic reaction, symptoms can usually be treated with over-the-counter antihistamines such as Benadryl ($4.84, Amazon), according to the NHS.
For more severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, an epinephrine injection is often necessary, per the NHS. This type of medication combats the life-threatening reaction to the allergen.
Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.