Oral Allergy Syndrome
Almost my whole life, when I ate carrots, tomatoes, or apples, I felt a scratching sensation in my mouth. I had always passed it off as something unimportant, because I never experienced more severe symptoms than that. I sometimes wondered if it was something that everyone experienced, or if I did have an allergy. One time, I asked my allergist about it, and she explained oral allergy syndrome to my mom and I. My mom was so surprised to hear that the symptoms I experienced had a real cause!
Oral allergy syndrome is when your immune system reacts to raw fruits, vegetables, and even some tree nuts in similar ways that it would react to eating pollen. This is because the fruits and veggies have a similar protein makeup as pollen. Roughly 1 in 3 people experience it, and it usually doesn’t appear in young children.
These foods are often related to these allergies :
- Birch pollen: apple, almond, carrot, celery, cherry, hazelnut, kiwi, peach, pear, plum
- Grass pollen: celery, melons, oranges, peaches, tomato
- Ragweed pollen: banana, cucumber, melons, sunflower seeds, zucchini
There is more information and more trigger foods on this Allergy and Asthma Network article, which is an organization I am proud to be involved with!