How Can I Eat Healthy If I Have Oral Allergy Syndrome?

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Don't ditch the fresh fruits and vegetables because you've been diagnosed with Oral Allergy Syndrome. The itchy mouth is a miserable side effect of eating some produce, however it is not life-threatening nor is it an indication of a real food allergy. Most adults with Oral Allergy Syndrome also suffer hay fever, which triggers the immune system to inappropriately respond to the pollens on the protein in the fruit or vegetable. You can eat healthy, even with this allergic response to some foods.

Step 1

See your doctor or allergy specialist, and request allergy testing, if not completed already. Oral Allergy Syndrome is preceded by hay fever, which typically elicits allergic responses from grass, ragweed or birch.

Step 2

Compare the allergy results to the corresponding fruits and vegetables. If you have a birch allergy, you may suffer OAS after eating an apple, carrot, peach, plum, cherry, pear or hazelnut. If you suffer grass allergies, your OAS may act up after eating a tomato. If you suffer ragweed allergies, you may not tolerate melons, zucchini, cucumbers, kiwi or bananas.

Step 3

Cook the fruits and vegetables that trigger an OAS response. Cooking alters the enzymes and proteins of the fruit, and your immune system may no longer recognize it as a threat.

Step 4

Eat the canned version of fruits and vegetables that trigger your OAS response. Canned produce does not have the same surface proteins and may not cause the itching and tingling associated with OAS upon ingestion.

Step 5

Peel the fruits and vegetables before eating them, even if they are not usually associated with peeling. Peeling the skin off will remove some of the surface proteins, which contain the allergens that trigger your immune response.

Tip

Keep a journal of fresh fruits and vegetables that trigger OAS. True OAS symptoms will occur within minutes of eating the food and can easily be associated with the offending food. If a fresh tomato triggers your OAS, you can still eat them -- it is up to you to decide if the symptoms are worth the flavor. OAS will not progress into a food allergy.

Warning

Any reaction that is not localized, as in rashes on the body or generalized swelling, is not true OAS and should be checked by a medical professional.

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