Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Eating The Wrong Fruit Can Kill You

When you eat a banana does your mouth become itchy? Does you stomach fill with gas when you eat an apple? Does your throat swell when you eat raw peaches? When you eat raw or canned pineapple does your throat burn or do you break out in hives?

Experiencing any of these symptoms may indicate that you suffer from Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS) or Pollen Food Syndrome.

Oral Allergy Syndrome is most commonly associated with allergy to pollens such as ragweed, birch, plantain, and other grasses. The immune system mistakes the food proteins for the pollen proteins and causes an allergic reaction.

Other allergic reactions caused may be itching of the eyes or stuffiness of the nose. Or you may experience redness of the lips, tongue, gums, and palate. The most severe reactions can trigger asthma or anaphylaxis shock.

Fruits and nuts are the primary culprits for OAS but other foods can cause these symptoms as well. This disease can be especially discomforting for strict vegetarians who want to eat raw fruits and vegetables.

Generally OAS is associated with eating raw foods. So if the food is cooked, this will usually prevent an OAS reaction from occurring. This is because the proteins in these foods are temperature sensitive. Heating them usually makes them far less allergenic because they change the basic nature of the protein to one that the immune system does not recognize.

In other cases, however, the symptoms will simply migrate to the intestinal area where you'll experience gas, bloating, nausea, diarrhea, or other gastrointestinal distress.

OAS is usually not a severe condition and in most cases the discomfort will only last for a few minutes. For others, however, the reactions can be severe and even be life threatening.

A wide range of raw fruit and vegetables can cause a reaction. Some of the more common foods known to cause OAS are bananas, strawberries, honeydew melons, watermelons, pineapples, cantaloupes, cucumber, soy, pears, apricots, and zucchini.

A typical treatment for Oral Allergy Syndrome are allergy shots which are usually given as a treatment for allergies such as cats, dogs, and pollen. These shots work by gradually building up a person's resistance to allergens until he is no longer affected by them.

The people most at risk for OAS are those with asthma or hay fever allergies. Those susceptible to OAS usually experience symptoms right away. If you experience symptoms such as your throat passages narrowing or vomiting, you should contact your physician immediately.

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