Symptoms of Citric Acid Intolerance

Consuming or handling fruits with citric acid such as pineapples, plums, oranges, melons, limes and lemons or any food containing these ingredients could cause an allergic reaction. Typically, symptoms will appear almost immediately but could affect you hours later. Symptoms of citric acid intolerance and fruit allergies can range from mild to severe so it important that if you suffer from adverse reactions to these foods that you consult with a physician.

The orange is the most common culprit of citrus fruit allergies or intolerances. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)


One of the first symptoms experienced with a food allergy is itching. Contact with a food that you either have an intolerance to or are allergic to prompts the body to release histamine, a chemical compound made by the body to fight the allergy. Histamine causes physical sensations such as tingling and itching. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports the most common places to start itching with a food allergy is the lips, tongue and throat.


Inflammation can also be a symptom of citric acid intolerance or allergy. According to, angioedema, or swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat, are often associated with food allergies and can make it very difficult to breathe and swallow. Swelling can also move to other areas of the body such as the eyelids, ears, hands and chest in the form of hives. These red, raised, often itchy, bumps can appear in one spot or all over the body and depending on the severity of them can last for hours.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Gastrointestinal issues may not appear right away and could take a couple of hours to display any symptoms. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases states that digestive distress usually depends on how much of the food was consumed and what reactions that food has with what ever else is in your digestive system. Individuals may find themselves with abdominal cramps, stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

Anaphylactic Shock

Anaphylactic shock is the most life-threatening symptom of a food allergy. Anaphylaxis usually happens within minutes of consuming the allergy food, as stated by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Individuals who experience this condition might feel heart palpitations, their blood pressure will drop and they might become dizzy. Other sensations could include difficulty breathing, wheezing, pulse racing, flushing, itching, nausea, throat swelling and fainting. If you go into anaphylactic shock, it is imperative a doctor is immediately seen because long-term exposure to this condition could lead to death.

Load comments

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.