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Tomatoes and Joint Pain

author image Diane Marks
Diane Marks started her writing career in 2010 and has been in health care administration for more than 30 years. She holds a registered nurse license from Citizens General Hospital School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Arts in health care education from California University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in health administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
Tomatoes and Joint Pain
A tomato allergy can cause joint pain. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images

You may not be able to enjoy foods that contain tomatoes because you develop joint pain and other symptoms. Tomatoes are considered by the University of Maryland Medical Center to be one of the most common food allergens that may trigger joint pain. Food allergies are the leading cause of arthritis pain, according to the Center for Food Allergies. Make an appointment with your doctor to determine the cause of your joint pain.

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Tomato Allergy

A tomato allergy may be more common than you think. Many people experience a topical allergic reaction when they touch tomatoes because of the high acidic content. Others develop a wide range of symptoms after ingesting tomatoes. A tomato allergy transpires when your immune system is hypersensitive to the proteins found in the vegetable. The hypersensitivity causes the immune system to create disease-fighting agents called antibodies to attack the tomato proteins, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. This action triggers mast cells in your soft tissue to produce histamine, a chemical that typically protects against infection.

Histamine and Joint Pain

The immune system’s reaction to the tomato proteins releases histamine in soft tissue. Histamine is a naturally occurring hormone in your body, but during an allergic reaction, high levels of histamine are produced, causing inflammation. The Center for Food Allergies states that any immune system reaction that causes inflammation can trigger common arthritis pain. Histamine released in the connective tissue of your joints will cause swelling and pain. The joint pain may be felt immediately or it may take a few hours or the next day before you feel the effects.


Your doctor will recommend allergy testing to diagnose your condition. Proteins from tomatoes are inserted under your skin. If the skin turns red and becomes bumpy, you most likely are allergic to the substance. To confirm the allergy, your doctor may order a blood sample to be tested for the presence of IgE antibodies when tomato proteins are introduced.


If you accidentally ingest tomatoes, your doctor may recommend taking an oral antihistamine and pain reliever. The antihistamine will stop your mast cells from producing excessive amounts of histamine and the pain reliever will alleviate the discomfort in your joints. The only way to prevent joint pain if it is the result of a tomato allergy is to eliminate tomatoes from your diet.

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