Garlic AllergyGarlic is used in many foods to provide tasty flavoring, while also providing health benefits. On the other hand, many people need to avoid garlic because of the allergic reactions it causes.
Garlic Allergy SymptomsWhile food allergies can be common, many people with garlic allergy are not even aware they have it. This is because they don't pay attention to the symptoms of garlic allergy which are similar to those caused by other common allergens. However it is important for people to deal with their garlic allergy as it can sometimes cause serious health problems, even including death in extreme cases.
A garlic allergy can cause these common symptoms minutes or hours after eating or inhaling garlic:
- Upset Stomach
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Stomach Cramps
- Respiratory problems
- Difficulty breathing
- Skin rash
- Itching of the skin
- Swelling of the mouth and face along with redness
- Runny nose
Many of the above symptoms of garlic allergy may seem harmless. Indeed most of them can be treated by over the counter drugs such as anti-histamine. Nevertheless, you should not ignore the symptoms of garlic allergy since many can lead to complications developing later on down the road.
Upset Stomach From Garlic AllergyIf you have a garlic allergy then you might immediately feel nauseous after eating garlic. Often this can then lead to vomiting and/or diarrhea. If these symptoms persist then you can become dehydrated and so it is important to drink water since dehydration can become serious.
Gas/flatulence is another symptom that can come from having an upset stomach because of garlic allergy. Gas can be caused by the swelling of the stomach coupled with bloating which occurs during an allergic reaction to garlic.
Respiratory Problems From Garlic AllergyGarlic allergy can cause respiratory problems such as rhinitis. Rhinitis is characterized by a runny nose and sometimes swollen nasal passages and mucus overproduction. Given time, rhinitis will usually go away on its own eventually.
A much more dangerous respiratory-related allergic symptom is anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis involves swelling of the airways leading to the lungs. During anaphylaxis you can suffer breathing difficulties, a sudden drop in blood pressure, extreme dizziness and numbness of the limbs. Anaphylaxis can even be fatal in some cases.
Skin Rashes From Garlic AllergySkin rashes from garlic allergy are often mild, characterized by small, itchy, pinkish dots on the skin which are hot to the touch. On the other hand, hives can develop if the rash become severe. You may experience swollen, red bumps that are usually about the size of a pencil eraser. Hives which are very close to each other may lead to the formation of large red patches called plaques.
You can also suffer inflammation of the skin, with the skin swelling, bloating and turning red. This can also be accompanied by difficulty breathing, followed by fainting.
Causes of Garlic AllergyAllergic reactions to garlic occur because your immune system mistakes proteins in garlic for harmful substances and reacts similarly to how it would to actual harmful substances such as toxins. Histamine, which your immune system releases during an allergic reaction to garlic, is a cause of allergy symptoms.
If you have an allergy to onions then you might also have an allergy to garlic.
Diagnosing Garlic AllergyIf you think you might be allergic to garlic you can can test yourself by avoiding eating or inhaling garlic for one to two weeks and seeing whether the signs and symptoms decrease.
You can also visit a doctor or allergist for allergy testing which is usually performed through a skin prick test. During this allergy test, garlic extract is placed on your skin so that the doctor or allergist can observe how you react to it. In some cases, the doctor may also perform blood tests. It's a good idea to consult a doctor or allergist to get a proper diagnosis of garlic allergy so that they can then prescribe you the correct medications to take for your allergy.
Preventing Garlic AllergyThe best way to prevent garlic allergy is to, of course, avoid garlic. This can be difficult since many sauces, pizzas and dishes in restaurants contain garlic. Plus, food makers do not always include garlic in the list of ingredients written on the labels on the back of food products. Therefore preparing your own food at home can be a good way to avoid garlic. Asking if there is garlic in dishes when you eat out can also help you to avoid suffering the symptoms of garlic allergy.
Garlic Allergy TreatmentFor immediate relief from garlic allergy symptoms, doctors often recommend medications such as Maalox, Gas-X, and Beano for gas and Hydrocortisone cream for skin rashes. Also, anti-histamines are probably the most common treatment for garlic allergy symptoms in general.
However, if over the counter drugs are not enough when it comes to treating garlic allergy symptoms, doctors can prescribe steroids and self-injectable epinephrine which can be effective in treating anaphylaxis.