Eating pineapple slices or pineapple chunks can instantly give any occasion a tropical vibe. Unfortunately if you're someone who suffers from an allergy to pineapples this can instead mean an itchy tongue and swollen lips, along with stomach aches.
While food allergies overall are common, allergy to pineapples in particular is quite rare. Nevertheless, if you notice discomfort or other symptoms after eating pineapple you should not ignore this because it could mean that you have a pineapple food allergy. Keep in mind that pineapple allergy symptoms can range from being mild to even being potentially life-threatening.
Pineapple Allergy SymptomsAn allergy to pineapples can cause the below symptoms:
- Red rashes on the body minutes or a few hours after eating pineapples
- Swelling, a burning sensation, itching or hives on some parts of the skin
- Contact dermatitis
- Stomach or lower abdomen cramps
- Swelling of the tongue, lips and other parts of the mouth
- Breathing difficulties
- Sudden drop in blood pressure
If you have an allergy to pineapples it means that your immune system interprets substances in pineapples to be toxins or other harmful substances. This is why you can suffer symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea which are caused by the body's natural mechanism to get rid of toxins. When you vomit or have diarrhea you face the risk of dehydration and so you should drink water.
Anaphylaxis From Pineapple AllergyOut of the above symptoms of pineapple allergy, anaphylaxis is the most dangerous and can be life-threatening. If there are signs of anaphylaxis like extreme swelling of the face, throat or ears then you should quickly get to a hospital or call 911. If your pineapple allergy triggers anaphylaxis then you could go into shock within minutes and it can even be fatal.
Causes of Pineapple AllergyAn allergy to pineapples is the result of your immune system identifying pineapple as harmful, which in turn triggers an immune system response. One of the reasons your immune system might identify pineapple as harmful, and therefore why you have pineapple allergy, is your genetics. If some of your close relatives are also allergic to pineapples then you might have genes which make pineapple allergy more likely.
Your pineapple allergy could be caused by the latex contained in pineapples. An allergy to fruits that come from plants with latex in them is called latex-fruit syndrome. Some other fruits associated with latex-fruit syndrome include:
So if you are allergic to pineapples there is an increased chance that you could also be allergic to some of the above fruits. It could be a good idea to research about other fruits involved in latex-fruit syndrome, especially tropical fruits, and watch out for allergic symptoms while eating them so you can then avoid them in future.
Another possible cause of symptoms from eating pineapple is oral allergy syndrome. Oral allergy syndrome is usually caused by airborne pollen proteins from plants such as birch, grass, mugwort and ragweed. However these proteins are also contained in some fruits and vegetables including pineapple, bananas, mangoes, kiwis, avocados and peaches. Some symptoms to watch out for that could indicate you have oral allergy syndrome include:
- Itchiness of the tongue and parts of the mouth
- Tingling sensation
- Tightness of the throat
An enzyme in pineapples called bromelain can also cause allergic reactions.
Preventing Pineapple AllergyThe primary way to prevent allergic reactions to pineapple is to of course not eat pineapple. Make sure to check the labels on processed foods to find out if they contain any pineapple. Also watch out for products that contain any pineapple juice in them. When you eat out you can ask about the content of dishes to make sure they do not contain any pineapple.
Pineapple Allergy TreatmentIf you notice some of the previously listed symptoms after you eat pineapple then you should talk to your doctor. He should be able to give you a list of over the counter drugs which you can buy to treat your allergic reactions to pineapple.
The most common medications for pineapple allergy include:
- Topical Steroids
- Epinephrine - for breathing difficulty and nausea
- Calamine lotion - for skin rash and itch
- For asthma caused by pineapple:
- Beta Agonists
- For allergic conjunctivitis:
You can also undergo desensitization treatment to make your body become used to allergens from pineapples. You can ask your doctor or an allergist about this.
If your allergy to pineapples is severe then you might need to carry a first aid kit. In particular, if you can suffer anaphylaxis then you should probably carry an injector pen of epinephrine.
Diagnosing Pineapple Allergy And Allergies To Other FruitsIt's best to take medications for pineapple allergy only if your doctor or allergist has confirmed that you are allergic to pineapple. Using the treatments mentioned above might actually do more harm than good without the supervision of a doctor. The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that while about a quarter of people believe they are allergic to certain foods, only two percent of them actually are. Also be careful not to mistake hypersensitivity or intolerance to pineapple as an allergy to pineapple.
An allergist can tell you if you're allergic to pineapple by performing a blood test or skin prick test. If you're allergic to pineapple then there's a good chance you're also allergic to other fruits and a blood test or skin prick test should also indicate which other fruits you're allergic to.