Reactions to Eating Pineapple

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, about one quarter of people believe that they may have a food allergy, but only two percent of adults actually do. Many times, a food sensitivity or intolerance is mistaken for a true allergy. While most food allergies are to nuts, milk, eggs, shellfish, soy and wheat, some people are allergic to fruits, including pineapples.

Pineapples for sale at a market. (Image: Segmed87ru/iStock/Getty Images)

Symptoms of Allergy to Pineapple

If you have developed an allergy to pineapple, you may begin experiencing symptoms immediately, or within two hours of ingestion. Symptoms include itching, a rash, swelling in the face, tongue or other parts of the body, nausea and vomiting, a metallic taste in the mouth, trouble breathing, nasal congestion, dizziness or fainting. If you think you may be allergic to pineapple, stop eating it and see your doctor, who can perform skin or blood testing to rule out or confirm an allergy.

Anaphylactic Shock

In some cases, your allergy may be so severe that you go into anaphylactic shock. Symptoms of this potentially fatal condition include swelling of the throat, lips and tongue, wheezing or other difficulty breathing, rapid heartbeat, a loss of consciousness and blue coloring around the mouth and fingernails. If you have had this type of allergic reaction before, your doctor will give you an injector pen of epinephrine to carry and administer at the first sign of a reaction. Anaphylactic shock is a medical emergency; if you or someone you are with begins to exhibit symptoms, call 911 immediately.

Cross Reactions

If you develop an allergy to pineapple, you might also be allergic to other substances and fruits. Similarly, an allergy to related fruits might indicate or lead to a pineapple allergy. Mangoes, kiwis, peaches, papaya, avocado and bananas might be cross-reactive to those with a pineapple allergy. An allergy to latex may cause a sensitivity to various fruits, including pineapple. Celery and olive tree pollen may be cross-reactive. Bromelain, an enzyme found in the stem of pineapples, is usually cross-reactive for those allergic to the fruit.

Non-Allergic Adverse Reactions

Even if you do not have a true allergy to pineapple, consumption can cause adverse reactions if you are sensitive to it, or if you consume a large amount of the fruit. If you drink the juice from an unripe pineapple, it may cause you to vomit violently. If you are sensitive, you might suffer from nausea, vomiting or diarrhea from eating large amounts of the fruit, even if it is ripe.

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