Approximately 1 to 2% of the population are affected by a food allergy of some kind or the other. We often hear of a sudden reaction to certain nuts or seafood or dairy. Cow’s milk, peanuts, hen’s egg, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish can be culprits too. Together, these foods account for more than half of all food allergies. While these are the more commonly known ones, one can also be allergic to fruits like banana, kiwi, and avocado as well.
The issue with a food allergy is that it affects your quality of life. Also, all treatments are meant to address the symptoms rather than the allergy. In short, food allergy is an adverse immune response to exposure to certain foods. These responses are also clearly distinguishable from the other known adverse responses like food intolerance and so on.
The most commonly used diagnostic methods for food allergy are skin prick testing (SPT), serum food-specific IgE determinations, and atopy patch testing (APT). The suggested treatment options include elimination diets, immunotherapy, food substitutions, medical or pharmacological therapies, and use of probiotics along with awareness drives. Here’s what you need to know about avocado allergies.1
What Is An Avocado Allergy?
Mostly the food allergy is termed as an oral allergy because the symptoms relate to the mouth and larynx. Commonly oral itching, lip swelling, and labial angioedema are observed with blisters also at times. Studies have also suggested that sensitivity to foods is with clusters of food belonging to a certain botanical family.
Kiwifruit and avocado form such a cluster. The birch fruit syndrome is linked to the apple, pear, celery, and hazelnut to name a few whereas the latex-fruit syndrome is linked to fruits like avocado, banana, kiwi, fig, and chestnut. It has also found that the main allergen responsible for the latex-fruit syndrome is hevein, an allergenic component of the latex protein pro-hevein.2
Relationship Between Avocado And Latex
A study conducted on patients with immediate avocado hypersensitivity noted systemic anaphylaxis, angioedema/urticaria, vomiting, bronchial asthma, and rhinoconjunctivitis as some symptoms. Not all patients developed all the manifestations, and each had different ones.
The skin prick test (SPT) was found to be positive for all patients for fresh avocado. Interestingly, the study also noted that patients sensitive to avocado with latex allergy typically were middle-aged women professionally exposed to latex. They also frequently showed sensitivity to chestnut, banana, and other fruits.3
How To Treat It?
Apart from educating patients to eliminate the foods causing the allergies, and treating them appropriately with immunotherapy in case they consume it without knowing, a lot of research and study is still going on to identify treatment methods.
As of today, there is no known permanent cure for food allergies, and the existing treatments are fraught with the risk of anaphylaxis.
Probiotic bacteria may promote endogenous barrier mechanisms and help the patients by alleviating intestinal inflammation. This makes it a useful option for the treatment of food allergy.4
So next time you go to grab the delicious fruit make sure you are not allergic to it. The complications of consuming it when you are sensitive to it are massive.
|↑1||Chafen, Jennifer J. Schneider, Sydne J. Newberry, Marc A. Riedl, Dena M. Bravata, Margaret Maglione, Marika J. Suttorp, Vandana Sundaram, et al. “Diagnosing and managing common food allergies: a systematic review.” Jama 303, no. 18 (2010): 1848-1856.|
|↑2||Pastorello, Elide Anna and Claudia Ortolani. “Oral allergy syndrome.” (2003): 169-182.|
|↑3||Blanco, C., T. Carrillo, R. Castillo, J. Quiralte, and M. Cuevas. “Avocado hypersensitivity.” Allergy 49, no. 6 (1994): 454-459.|
|↑4||Majamaa, Heli, and Erika Isolauri. “Probiotics: a novel approach to the management of food allergy.” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 99, no. 2 (1997): 179-185.|