Stomach pain from eating pineapples is most likely related to an allergy. Pineapple is a common food that can cause an allergic reaction, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Stomach pain from an allergic reaction typically occurs within the first hour of ingesting the pineapple. If the pain becomes severe, you need to call your doctor immediately. Stop eating pineapple until you can be seen by your doctor and receive a clinical diagnosis.
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Cause of Stomach Pain
Stomach pain from an allergy to pineapple is due to inflammation in your gastrointestinal system. The lining of your stomach and intestines can become swollen, placing pressure on surrounding areas of the stomach. The inflammation in the digestive system is the result of increased levels of histamine produced by mast cells in the soft tissue of the stomach and intestines. Histamine is a chemical in the body that protects it from infection, but during an allergic reaction, excessive amounts of histamine are created because of an overreaction of the immune system.
Immunoglobulin E Antibodies
Immunoglobulin E, or IgE, antibodies are created during an allergic reaction. Antibodies are disease-fighting agents in the body that fight off dangerous substances, such as viruses and bacteria that could harm the body. When you eat pineapple, your immune system accidentally reacts to the proteins in pineapple as if they are harmful and unleashes IgE antibodies. This type of antibody is what triggers a chemical reaction in the body that causes the production of histamine and other chemicals.
Testing and Treatment
Allergy testing is used to diagnose and confirm that you are in fact allergic to pineapple. Proteins from pineapple are injected under your skin to see if you develop inflammation and irritation where the injection was made. A sample of your blood may be sent to a lab where pineapple proteins are introduced into your blood. If your blood creates IgE antibodies, you are allergic to pineapple. If diagnosed with a pineapple allergy, the most effective treatment is to avoid consuming pineapple.
A pineapple will cause more than just stomach pain as a reaction. You should develop other symptoms, such as hives, skin rashes, asthma, sinus congestion, eye irritation and other digestive symptoms. If you only develop stomach pain, you may have an intolerance to pineapples. A food intolerance is different from a food allergy in that it does not involve the immune system, but rather is the inability to digest certain sugars and proteins in foods.