Most people with pollen allergy are also allergic to fruits and vegetables. Often without knowing it. This is known as cross allergy. Prior to the pollen season here are some good advice.
Cross allergy to hazelnuts, apple, peach, cherry, walnut, pear, almond, plum, carrot, tomato, peanuts, strawberries and apricots are common in people with birch pollen allergy. Approximately 70% of birch pollen allergic also have allergic reactions to one or more of these foods. A pollen allergic react to these foods because they contain substances similar to the allergy-causing substances, the allergens, in birch pollen.
Local symptoms from mouth and throat with itching and swelling of the mucous membranes are the most common allergic reactions to fruits and vegetables. But sneezing, skin rashes, asthma and allergic symptoms that spread to other organs also occurs. In worst cases an allergic shock may occur – this is most common with allergies to hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds and peanuts.
The more severe pollen allergy, the greater are usually the problems with cross-allergy to nuts, fruits and vegetables. Significant allergic reactions to these foods is an indication of a more severe pollen allergy. The greater number of foods a pollen allergic reacts to, the more likely it is that it is allergy to birch pollen and other pollen types the allergic reacts to. A German study shows that 90% of patients with allergy to fruits and vegetables also had pollen allergy.
It is important for a pollen allergic to avoid eating these foods during the pollen season, as it will reduce symptoms of pollen allergy. Eating pollen allergy foods you react to when you are also exposed to pollen, increases the pain dramatically. Most people cannot tolerate raw vegetables or fruit, but can eat apples or carrots if they are boiled, or lightly heat-treated in microwave oven. An apple which is peeled is tolerated better than an apple with the peel on.
Birch pollen allergy
The more severe the birch pollen allergy is, the greater the symptoms of allergy to fruits and vegetables will be. It is important to avoid these foods immediately before and throughout the birch pollen season, as it will reduce allergy symptoms. The most common cross allergies with birch pollen allergy are hazelnuts, apple, peach, cherry, walnut, pear, almond, plum, Brazil nuts, potato peel, carrot, tomato, peanuts, strawberries and apricots. If you have a severe birch pollen allergy you will react to these foods also outside the pollen season. Fruits that you probably can tolerate is, among others, is pineapple which rarely sparks the birch pollen allergy and also berries such as cranberries, currants, raspberries and blueberries should be safe to eat.
Grass pollen allergy
There is a link between grass pollen and cross allergy to wheat, rye and other grains sales. Cross allergies to grain do not have to give so much pain, but you suffer from grass allergies and experience a variety of diffuse symptoms of fatigue, stomach discomfort, pain in muscles outside the grass pollen season – it may be wise to take a test period of about three weeks without these grain varieties to see if symptoms disappears or becomes significantly better. Many people with allergies towards grass pollen also reacts to tomato, peanuts, peas, soy sauce, onion and melon. But generally, cross-allergy to foods is less troublesome in grass pollen allergics than with birch pollen allergy.
Latex Allergies and exotic fruits
Allergies to latex, natural rubber has increased in recent decades. The increase has occurred particularly among health professionals who use disposable gloves made of latex. It’s proven cross-sensitization between latex and exotic fruits such as banana, avocado, kiwi, chestnut, nectarines and strawberries. If you react with itching in the mouth and throat and blocked nose when you eat a banana, kiwi, or avocado, it is likely that you are allergic to latex.