Ever get a scratchy throat or itchy tongue after tucking into some juicy berries? Well, a raspberry allergy may be to blame.
That's right — though berries aren't among the most common food allergens (milk, soy, nuts and shellfish are some of the more typical culprits), you can be allergic to raspberries.
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To help you get to the bottom of your symptoms after snacking on a bowl of berries, here's everything you need to know about allergic reactions to raspberries.
What Is a Raspberry Allergy?
A raspberry allergy is a type of oral allergy, according to Stanford Health Care. Oral allergy syndrome can occur if you're already allergic to pollen and your symptoms get triggered by certain nuts, fruits and vegetables — including raspberries.
So, what is in raspberries that triggers a pollen allergy? Though raspberries don't necessarily contain the pollen you're allergic to, your body can still mistake the fruit as something harmful and prompt an allergic reaction, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Raspberry Allergy Symptoms
If you are indeed allergic to raspberries, you'll likely start experiencing symptoms soon after you snack on the fruit, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Common signs of an oral allergy include:
- Itching, swelling or tingling mouth, lips, tongue or throat
- Bumps on your lips or mouth
- Itching, redness or swelling of your skin when you touch certain raw foods
- Hives or rash
In extreme cases, you could have a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, where your throat closes up and makes it difficult to breathe, per the Mayo Clinic. Seek medical care immediately if this happens to you.
Raspberry Allergy Rash
While the exact appearance of a raspberry rash can vary based on the severity of your symptoms, hives usually look like red or flesh-colored bumps with clear edges, per the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
They can also come and go quickly and appear anywhere on your body.
Raspberry Allergy Causes and Risk Factors
If you're already allergic to pollen, then you're at higher risk for also being allergic to foods like raspberries, per the Cleveland Clinic. That's because your body might react to certain foods the same way it reacts to pollen.
You also might be at higher risk for a raspberry allergy if you're allergic to other plants that belong to the Rosacaea family (more on that in a moment), according to a February 2017 article in Molecular Biology and Evolution.
Foods to Avoid With a Raspberry Allergy
Raspberries are a member of the Rosaceae plant family, according to the Molecular Biology and Evolution research. There are other fruits in this family that could likewise trigger an allergic reaction, including:
If you notice that you also have a reaction to any of these foods, visit your doctor to determine if you have an allergy to multiple fruits.
Other Fruit Allergies
If you're wondering why you are suddenly allergic to kiwi or why you're having an allergic reaction to elderberry, there's no evidence to link a raspberry allergy to these fruits.
Visit your doctor if you suspect you have additional allergies, and they can help identify which foods you should avoid.
How to Manage a Raspberry Allergy
The best way to avoid an allergic reaction to raspberries is to stop eating the fruit altogether. But in the event that you eat raspberries, here are some common treatment options that can ease or prevent your symptoms, according to the Cleveland Clinic:
- Over-the-counter antihistamine medications like Benadryl ($8.65 for 100 tablets, Amazon.com), Claritin ($19.82 for 30 tablets, Walmart.com) and Allegra ($15.49 for 12 tablets, CVS.com)
- Epinephrine shots, like with an EpiPen® (this treatment is for severe allergic reactions only)
- Immunotherapy allergy shots
Other tips to help you keep allergic reactions at bay include:
- Cooking raspberries before eating them
- Avoiding raspberries when your seasonal allergies are acting up
- Taking allergy medication daily to avoid having a reaction when you eat raspberries
Can Raspberries Cause Red Stool?
Typically, raspberries don't cause red stool. But other red foods — like cranberries, beets or foods that are dyed red — can cause this color change, per the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics.
How to Diagnose a Raspberry Allergy
If you suspect you're allergic to raspberries, start by visiting your doctor. According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are a few tests they can run to confirm a diagnosis, including:
- Skin test: Your doctor will scratch your skin with certain allergens to see if you have a small reaction
- Food challenge test: Your doctor will give you progressively larger amounts of raspberries to see if you have a reaction
- Stanford Health Care: "Oral allergy syndrome (OAS)"
- Mayo Clinic: "Food allergy"
- Cleveland Clinic: "Oral Allergy Syndrome"
- American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology: "Hives"
- Molecular Biology and Evolution: "Evolution of Rosaceae Fruit Types Based on Nuclear Phylogeny in the Context of Geological Times and Genome Duplication"
- University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics: "Stools with blood"
Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.