Besides being a popular and tasty fruit which is often used in desserts, strawberries also have many health benefits. For example, they are effective antioxidants and can also help fight cancer. Strawberries are anti-inflammatory and are also good for your brain because they are anti-neurodegenerative. Unfortunately, however, strawberries are one of the most common causes of food allergy.
Strawberry Allergy SymptomsIf you have a strawberry allergy then you can begin to suffer symptoms from between a few minutes to two hours after eating strawberries, according to the National Institute of Health. The symptoms of strawberry allergy mainly come in the form of gastrointestinal symptoms, respiratory symptoms and skin discomfort symptoms. If you have a strawberry allergy then it's important to watch out for these symptoms because some allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis, can be very serious and can even be life-threatening.
Oral Symptoms Of Strawberry AllergyThe most common strawberry allergy symptoms occur in the throat or mouth. These include the following:
- Tightness of the throat
- Burning or prickling sensation on the lips, gums, tongue or inside the cheeks and other parts of the oral cavity
- Hives on the inside of the cheeks
Other Strawberry Allergy SymptomsOther symptoms which strawberry allergy can cause include the following:
- Lacrimation or uncontrolled tears
- Swelling and reddening of the area of the skin that came into contact with strawberry
- Blocked/clogged nose
- Itchy nose
- Runny nose
Rare Strawberry Allergy SymptomsAlthough these occur less often, you can sometimes suffer the below symptoms if you have strawberry allergy:
- Chest pains
- Skin dermatitis or eczema
- Pruritus - itchy and inflamed skin
- Upset stomach
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal cramps
- Abdominal swelling
- Rapid pulse
- Sudden drop in blood pressure
- Fainting or loss of consciousness
Causes of Strawberry AllergyIf you have an allergy to strawberries then your body will identify the food protein in strawberries as pathogens. Your immune system will then attack this foreign substance and release antibodies.
There are some studies which suggest that an allergic reaction to strawberries is linked to their red color. Some research also suggests that if you have a strawberry allergy then it's more likely, though not certain, that you'll have an allergy to some other fruits like pineapple and kiwi. Therefore, if you're allergic to strawberries then you should take note of how eating other fruits makes you feel.
Strawberry Allergy TreatmentAntihistamines are usually recommended to provide temporary relief from the itching, swelling, headaches, runny noses and certain other symptoms that come from a strawberry allergy. However, there are also other specific medications which you can buy over the counter to treat your symptoms. These medications are described below. Some of the medications can sometimes cause side effects such as drowsiness, heart palpitations, a dry mouth and irritability. Before using any of the below medications you should talk to your doctor.
Treatment For Nose and Throat SymptomsTreatments for the symptoms of strawberry allergy which affect the nose and throat, such as sneezing, rhinitis and a runny nose, include the following:
- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
- Fexofenadine (Allegra)
- Chlorpheniramine (Chlor Trimeton)
- Cetirizine (Zyrtec)
- Hydroxyzine (Atarax)
- Clemastine (Tavist)
- Loratadine (Claritin)
Treatment For Skin Rashes, Itching and Swelling SymptomsMedications which you can use to treat skin rashes, itching and swelling caused by a strawberry allergy include the following:
- Hydrocortisone creams
- Prescribed corticosteroid lotions
- Topical antihistamines
Placing a hot compress over the affected area of your skin will also help significantly to decrease inflammation and pain.
Treatment For Severe SymptomsThe symptoms of strawberry allergy can be serious and dangerous. Therefore, if you feel pain in your chest or have difficulty breathing then you should call for an ambulance or rush to the nearest hospital.
The most severe symptom caused by strawberry allergy is anaphylaxis. If you go into anaphylactic shock from eating strawberries then you should be treated with an injection of epinephrine and be taken to hospital.
You can ask your doctor to prescribe an epinephrine pen which you can use for first aid in case of any strawberry ingestion which can result in severe symptoms.
Strawberry Allergy In ChildrenChildren are more prone to having strawberry allergy than adults. Since strawberry is a common flavoring of ice cream, chocolate and other sweet foods, it is important for parents to monitor what their children eat. This is especially true if parents know or suspect that their child has strawberry allergy, or if they notice their child suffers symptoms after eating strawberry.
How To Prevent Strawberry AllergyWhen you eat out or at other peoples' houses make sure you are certain there isn't any strawberry in the food before you eat.
Try using white strawberries as an alternative. These may be more unusual than red strawberries but biochemists from Lund University in Sweden found that people with strawberry allergy did not suffer the symptoms after eating white strawberries. It is known that white strawberries have very little, if any, of the allergens found in red strawberries.
If you feel symptoms after eating other certain foods then try to avoid them too because people with strawberry allergy are more likely to have allergies to certain other foods and fruits, such as pineapple and kiwi. It is therefore a good idea to research what other foods you could be allergic to if you have a strawberry allergy.