Swelling in your lips after eating is related to a food allergy. Swollen lips may be a sign of a severe allergic reaction and thus needs to be evaluated by your doctor. Lip swelling is a common reaction that occurs when you eat certain fruits and vegetables. Some food-related allergies may be connected with hay fever. Only your doctor can accurately provide you with a diagnosis and treatment options.
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Children are more likely to have food allergies than adults, but a food allergy can develop at any age. During a food allergy, your immune system doesn’t recognize the proteins in the food as safe, so the body attacks the proteins with various chemicals. Immunoglobulin E, or IgE, antibodies are produced by the immune system to protect the body. These disease-fighting agents trigger mast cells to create histamine in soft tissue throughout the body. Histamine in soft tissue causes inflammation and swelling, such as in the lips.
Oral Food Syndrome
If you have been diagnosed with pollen allergies or hay fever, you may develop swollen lips shortly after eating certain fruits or vegetables. Lips swelling and itchiness can occur in your mouth, lips, tongue and throat. For example, if you’re allergic to ragweed pollen, eating peaches, pears, raw potatoes, apples, celery or carrots can cause a localized allergic reaction. This syndrome is the result of your immune system confusing the proteins in certain fruits and vegetables as a type of allergen.
Lip swelling after eating a food that you’re allergic to is a sign of anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a sudden, whole-body allergic reaction that can send your body into a state of shock. Other symptoms of anaphylaxis include shortness of breath, facial, tongue or throat swelling, hives, lightheadedness, dizziness and a drop in blood pressure. Someone experiencing anaphylaxis may faint and will require emergency medical attention. Call 911 as soon as symptoms develop
Food allergies are treated by clinically diagnosing specific food allergies and avoiding foods that cause the reaction. Oral allergy syndrome may be prevented by cooking the fruits or vegetables before you eat them. Anaphylaxis is treated with an injection of epinephrine. Epinephrine is typically administered by a medical professional, but it can be self-administered if on hand.