Avocado allergies are rare, but just like any other allergy cannot be ignored and need immediate medical attention. Depending on the type of allergy which can be either birch pollen or fruit latex, the symptoms can range from mild to life threatening.
Read about the various health benefits of Avocado here.
Symptoms of Avocado Allergy
1. Oral Allergy Syndrome or Pollen-Associated Food Allergy Syndrome
This is the milder form of reaction to avocado, wherein the body manifests an allergic reaction to proteins found in the avocado. The body reacts in a similar way as it would to other allergy causing proteins found in pollens like birch or ragweed. Oral allergy syndrome, or OAS, is more common in individuals with pollen allergies.
Symptoms of OAS to avocado are usually observed only in the mouth, lips, and throat. They include –
- Itching in the throat and mouth
- Swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue, and throat
- Sneezing, itchy, and watery eyes
These symptoms may appear minutes after following an encounter with the allergen avocado, or maybe after an hour or more later after eating avocado or food products containing it (like guacamole or avocado smoothies).
Most cases are mild and harmless if given the right medical attention. But in rare cases, people with OAS get anaphylaxis, which is an acute allergic reaction that can be fatal. Anaphylaxis involves the entire body and needs quick medical treatment.
2. Latex Allergy
Nearly half the people who are allergic to latex have a greater chance of developing allergic reactions to certain foods that contain the same allergens as latex, like avocados, bananas, chestnuts, kiwis and passion fruits.
Reactions induced by a latex allergy include –
- Allergic reactions on the skin like itching, hives, skin rash
- Digestive system reactions like constipation/diarrhea/pain in the abdomen
- Respiratory troubles like shortness of breath/wheezing/sneezing
- Trouble swallowing
Latex allergy symptoms can be mild to fatal, so if you think you are allergic to avocado, consult a doctor to check if you have a latex allergy as well and also find out about the appropriate first aid for these symptoms.
Remedies for Avocado Allergy
Here are some handy tips for individuals who may experience avocado allergy symptoms. Never ignore the symptoms. If they don’t seem severe, try taking over-the-counter antihistamines which can bring immediate relief.
If the symptoms persist, are no longer mild, one suffers from breathing difficulties, or there are chances of anaphylaxis, contact your medical practitioner immediately. It is also best to buy at least one dose of an epinephrine injection which works to help prevent an anaphylaxis emergency.
- Watch out for trigger foods – Whether it is avocado or food items containing avocado like guacamole, try to avoid them completely. If avocados are your favorite, try cooking them which can easily break down the allergy-triggering proteins.
- Green or chamomile tea for skin relief – The antihistamine effects of green or chamomile tea can fight symptoms like itching, hives and skin rash.
- Aloe vera gel for skin relief– The soothing effect of aloe vera gel helps one to cope from the mild skin symptoms due to its antihistamine properties. Read more about the benefits of aloe vera here.
- Fresh pomegranate or cane juice for digestive system discomforts
- Tomato soup for respiratory symptom relief – Drinking tomato soup combined with lemon juice, ginger and a little salt can help one cope with respiratory symptoms caused by avocado allergies.