By Heather Legg
Though it’s not one of the allergy “biggies,” avocados cause their share of allergies. And though they usually don’t cause the extreme reactions that other allergens may cause, there is still a possibility of anaphylaxis when it comes to avocados. The distinction between the reactions is connected with the type of avocado allergy, because there are two types.
According to this website, the two types of avocado allergy are 1) oral allergy syndrome connected to birch pollen and 2) allergies connected to latex allergy.
If you suffer from the first type, the birch-pollen allergy, you can develop local symptoms in the mouth, lips and throat including itching and inflammation. Symptoms either show up immediately or up to 1 hour after eating fresh avocado or an avocado-containing food. This is oral allergy syndrome and is contained to the mouth, lips and throat without leading to a systemic type reaction, which includes hives, stomach upset and anaphylaxis among other symptoms. Though oral allergy symdrome can be quite uncomfortable, it isn’t life threatening on its own.
The other type of allergy to avocado, related to a latex allergy is more severe. This is known as the latex fruit allergy and is caused by the similarity of allergens in avocados and natural latex. The symptoms are more severe, including generalized urticaria, abdominal pain, vomiting and sometimes life-threatening symptoms like anaphylaxis.
Other foods which cause this type of reaction are bananas, melons, mango, chestnuts, and kiwis.
Though neither of these allergies is likely to be outgrown, the oral allergy syndrome usually does not become more severe or develop into the latex fruit allergy. It is important to be aware of the other foods in this category, because sometimes an allergy to one or more of them will develop. For a complete list, see AllergyClinic. This site also provides other good information on this topic.
Like other food allergies, there aren’t shots available for treatment, though you can try a holistic method to relieve your symptoms. Avoidance is a good choice and some choose to carry an Epipen, especially if it is the latex related allergy that you have. Be aware of ingredients and cross contamination with an avocado allergy. Remember guacamole is made from avocados. Avocados are becoming more widely used so be aware in restaurants. Check ingredients of items you buy, and though avocados usually don’t sneak into the ingredient list, avocado oil can. It can also be found in many lotions and soaps. Use the same caution you would with any other allergen.