For most people, chocolate is a delicious treat that can bring relaxation and relief at the end of the day. It can also trigger pleasurable feelings that can make you feel happy, comforted or even sexy. However, for some people, chocolate can be a cause of a serious allergy. If you have chocolate allergy, or you suspect that you might have one, then read on to learn more about your condition.
Ingredients That Cause Chocolate Allergy
Individuals who are allergic to chocolate also want to know what causes their allergy in the first place. To answer this question, keep in mind that chocolate is made from a variety of ingredients aside from cacao beans or cocoa. Although cacao beans are the main ingredients of chocolate, they rarely cause allergies in people. In fact, it's extremely safe to say that a chocolate allergy is caused by the other ingredients that are present in chocolate, such as the following:
- Nuts (peanuts, tree nuts, etc.)
- Wheat and Gluten
Chocolate Allergy Symptoms
The best way to determine if you are suffering from chocolate allergy is to learn about the most common chocolate allergy symptoms. The next time you treat yourself to a chocolate bar or other treats made of chocolate, monitor yourself for any of the following symptoms:
- You suffer from a sudden migraine or headache. This symptom is usually caused by an allergic reaction to milk, dairy products or nuts, all of which are common ingredients in chocolate.
- You start developing skin reactions. These reactions could range from mild symptoms (itching, slight redness of the skin) to more serious ones (hives, swelling, rashes). These skin reactions can also occur in different parts of the body. For instance, itching can occur in the rectal area, redness and swelling can affect the face and itching can impact the mouth and lips.
- You suffer from abdominal pain, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms.
- You experience respiratory symptoms such as sneezing and coughing.
- In some extreme cases, you experience a drop in blood pressure and may even feel faint or lightheaded.
Chocolate Allergy Tests
If you find yourself experiencing any of these chocolate allergy symptoms then you are likely allergic to one of the ingredients of chocolate. To specifically determine what you are allergic to, it is recommended that you undergo some allergy tests under the supervision of an allergist or your physician. Once the tests are able to establish what you are allergic to, you and your physician can now work towards a treatment.
Chocolate Allergy Treatment
Naturally, the best way to avoid chocolate allergy is to avoid consuming chocolate altogether. You may also choose to take antihistamines in order to manage your chocolate allergy symptoms. Antihistamines can effectively relieve several symptoms that are associated with chocolate allergy, such as itching and rashes, digestive pain and sneezing. Antihistamines can be bought over-the-counter or you can also ask your physician for a prescription. If your chocolate allergy symptoms tend to affect your respiratory system then you will probably need corticosteroids or bronchodilators. These can help prevent a runny nose, shortness of breath, coughing and sneezing.
Prevent Chocolate Allergy
Chocolate allergy does not have to prevent you from enjoying your favorite sweets. By understanding chocolate allergy and its symptoms and by enlisting the help of a physician, you can manage to avoid the ingredients in chocolate that trigger your allergic reactions. In fact, you can now find plenty of recipes for hypoallergenic chocolate. These recipes aim to leave out ingredients that are usual common allergens, while still giving you deliciously flavored chocolates that you can safely enjoy.