Hypersensitivity among People with Allergy to Onions and Garlic

By staff

There’s nothing like the scent of garlic and onion to say that something totally delicious is cooking in the kitchen!   They’re two of the most aromatic herbs and spices which people love to grow in their garden and use in their flavorful culinary dishes.

If you present with an allergy to onions and garlic, however, you might have to ditch these ingredients instead of dishing them out.  Otherwise, if you consume food with either of these ingredients, then your hypersensitivity to them would trigger an allergic reaction.  The only antidote to a true allergy of this sort would be avoid them completely and eliminate them from your diet strictly.

Your hypersensitivity

An allergic reaction to garlic and onion isn’t all too common; in fact, it’s a rare condition diagnosed in people.  But once it’s been diagnosed, however, this undoubtedly confirms that you’re hypersensitive to these two herbs.

Classification-wise, these two herbs belong to the Lily family.  Together, they’re classified under the Genus Allium, which also includes the likes of chives, leeks, and shallots.  Now as to what causes the allergic reaction in you, specifically, it’s the following substances which they contain.

Allyl is an organic compound naturally-occurring in raw garlic and onion.  It is characterized as volatile, water soluble, and aromatic to pungent in property.  Fresh onions, in particular, contain sulfur-rich compounds known as allyl sulfides.  In turn, garlic cloves contain the organosulfur compound allicin.  Note that these substances are most potent when they’re fresh, raw, or crushed!

Furthermore, it would surprise you to know that these allergens interact with tree pollen such as birch, hazel, and alder.  A cross-reaction happens between allergens from raw onion and pollen from tree.  Seasonal in nature, it’s an unusual condition known as Oral Allergy Syndrome.  The most common symptoms of this syndrome include itching, tingling, and swelling.  These sensations are often limited to the lips, mouth, and throat.

Even in powdered or diluted form, small amounts of these stuffs can and will affect an allergy sufferer.

Your immune response

Apparently, common and everyday as the words ‘onion’ and ‘garlic’ sound, they’re not as harmless and safe as you’d think.  For someone who’s hypersensitive to them, they do trigger an allergic reaction.  As a contact allergy, this reaction results from coming in touch with or being exposed to substances like allyl and allicin.

Once your immune system identifies their presence as a danger, it responds by releasing Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies into your bloodstream.  As a fight response, mast cells also start to produce histamines.  As the level of histamine rises, your soft tissues start to swell and this manifests as the initial symptoms of an allergy.

Physically, you’d observe these symptoms in the tissues of your skin, nose, sinuses, respiratory passageways, and digestive system.  Within minutes, you’d experience swelling of the face, mouth, and throat.  Sometimes, a fever may also be felt.

Aside from skin which is flushed, reddened, and hot to the touch, you may also encounter some difficulty in breathing.  Once this exacerbates into something more severe, the symptoms would be similar to those of asthma.

Symptoms of heartburn may also manifest.  In some instances, people complain of abdominal bloating, flatulence, and cramps.  Here, it’s important to differentiate between a case of indigestion versus an actual allergy.

Avoidance and elimination

The simplest way to test for an allergy to onions and garlic would be via a strict elimination diet.  You’ll need to remove all those foods which contain possible allergens.  In the process, you’ll be able to detect IgE food-mediated allergies which can be traced back to nothing else but alliums.

As a result, you’d be able to devise effective strategies to help you avoid any more of their intake through food consumption.  Instead, you’d get rid of these undesirable ingredients in your diet simply by changing your method of food preparation and cooking.

88 Comments »

Meli:

It’s so hard to find information regarding an allergy to onions, but I’m glad I finally found this site. Having an onion allergy is extremely rare and many people wouldn’t think it would even exist- even after I tell them. Onions are in everything; cooked, baked, sautéed. So, it’s nice to actually read an article related to onions. Thank you!!

September 28th, 2013 | 6:02 pm
Rena:

Thanks for the information..I suffer from indigestion when I eat red onions in salads or burgers. I love how it takes, but after a few hours I suffer the consequences. .
Thanks so much.

January 3rd, 2015 | 8:25 am
CattyTatts:

I’m so glad I found this website as I suffer from an extreme hypersensitivity to the allium family and peppers. The hypersensitivity is so bad I can’t dine out or go walking around at major meal times. When I smell these things raw or cooked I end up with a panic attack, can’t breathe, extreme nausea, and a red face. I’ve had to tell friends what they can and can’t eat in their own homes when I visit. I’m wondering if there is anything I can do to make life better to control these over the top extreme allergies. I also wonder if my allium allergy makes it to wear I can’t take Sulfa antibiotics. Numerous times I’ve been to the E.R with an out of this world white blood cell count.

January 17th, 2015 | 10:20 am
GlacierDragon:

CattyTatts, I’m also allergic to onions and peppers so bad that I have to tell people what they can and can’t have at their house if I am going to be there. If it’s in the air, I am having problems. I’m also allergic to watermelon, marijuana and sometimes cucumbers (related to watermelon, apparently). I’m surfing the web looking for info because my Mom can’t let go of onions and peppers and made me quite ill yesterday. I had trouble breathing and head to toe hives. Then today my Dad tells me I’m not doing enough to cure my allergies. *sigh* So people really don’t get it.

Rena, you’re describing a severe onion intolerance. Good news is it won’t kill you, bad news is it will make you feel like you want to die. So definitely want to avoid it like you’re allergic to it. I get that with a specific antibiotic. It’s horrible.

February 21st, 2015 | 11:23 am

~to those of you who understand the difficulty of living with allergies to garlic, onion, and peppers…thank you.
are any of you also allergic to salty and/or vinegary foods? if so, could there be some kind of ‘gut’ link having to do with a lack of probiotics? any thoughts?

June 21st, 2015 | 3:50 pm
Kristina:

I have spent more than 13 years trying to figure out why I get an itchy tongue @ gums. Doctors and specialist have not been able to help me. I also suffer from mild asthma and the inhaler does nothing to help. I now believe I am allergic to onions and maybe garlic and peppers, I will need to change my diet and see if this is in fact what my problem is, starting tonight.

August 19th, 2015 | 10:22 pm
Steven:

I’m allergic to onions & carry an EpiPen. I’m also a member of several onion allergy groups on Facebook, and the thousands of us who have this condition share recipes & cooking tips, since we have to cook everything from scratch, and can rarely dine out. Thanks for this article.

September 16th, 2015 | 11:57 am
Julie Landers:

So good to know I am not alone with an intolerance to onions and garlic. I have suffered for years but always put it down to other things until I experimented by going without them then cooked with them one night and I was so poorly with violent diarrhoea, bloating, sickness and a general weakness all over my body. It’s so difficult having a diet without them; I’m vegetarian too! I will now look for groups to join and recipes to try (minus onion and garlic).

January 7th, 2016 | 9:50 am
Laurie:

I’m allergic to garlic and onions and so is my daughter. It started many years ago when I would notice raw onions made me thirsty for the next 12 hours and garlic gave me a burning in my chest. Years later, I have IBD and those two things seem to spark it. I get bloated, terrible discomfort in my abdomen, gas, headache and low back ache with low energy. I’m taking very powerful probiotics prescribed by my doctor which helps the IBD but still have problems with any garlic and onions – - which sucks because they are in everything.

January 16th, 2016 | 5:43 am
Dolores:

Wondering if anyone else has kidney and bladder problems along with the onion allergy?

January 22nd, 2016 | 10:27 am
Onions! :'(:

I discovered that I had an onion allergy when I was in my late teens. I always wondered why I suffered with bleeding sinuses and upper respiratory problems. I realized that when I ate anything having an oniony flavor that I experienced these extremely unpleasant symptoms. Later, I discovered that I had an allergic reaction to medication having sulfur. I would break out into hives, have debilitating migraines, and then suffer neurological disorientation. The sulfur actually caused the fluid in my spinal column to increase and put pressure on my optic nerve. Both of my eyes hemorrhaged causing blood clots to form. I was diagnosed then with a pseudo tumor and determined clinically blind. Only after being treated using spinal taps and steroids did a percentage 10% less of my formal 20/20 eyesight return. I never knew that onions and sulfur had such a chemically common relationship, and thusly would cause me such misery.

January 23rd, 2016 | 11:27 am
Martha:

I don’t think this is so “rare” anymore. One of the FB support groups has almost 2000 people on it from around the world.
We are all doing our bit, to TRY & make restaurants/people more aware, because it really makes us feel horrible and we can react horribly. As someone else mentioned, a strong probiotic is helping as well as total avoidance of garlic/onion/all alliums. VERY difficult in our society. Often limits anything in a restaurant to perhaps 1 think you can have. As I have learned from the support group, watch labelling such as general “spices”, “flavourings” “broth” “sauces”, “natural ingredients”.
If it does not specifically mention alliums, beware! Sometimes fries can be sprinkled with “spices”. I was shocked to know that ketchup and mayo contain garlic unless you find the brands that don’t. One of the members is writing an article on it for Huffington Post. A lot of people are writing food companies ASKING what products are Garlic/onion free. Makes travel very difficult, as food needs to be right for us and locations of bathrooms is always on our mind, as things can happen very suddenly w/o any warning.
Better than I was, thanks to this Garlic Allergy/Intolerance Group, but it is a difficult condition to always be alert. Some of the members and their children are anaphylactic to garlic & have been prescribed epi pens. Don’t let anyone tell you that it is NOT common or it is RARE! NOT anymore.

February 2nd, 2016 | 2:02 pm
Valoree:

Thank you. Have been suffering for years. Sick this morning because I ate out last might and there must have been onion powder or garlic in the risotto. Even though I asked, it was there. Bloated, sick in the stomach, headache…we really need to start a movement for labeling.

February 26th, 2016 | 6:34 am
apt11:

Does anyone have symptoms that feel like a hangover after eating anything with garlic in it? Joint pain? Muscle stiffness? Overall fatigue?

March 7th, 2016 | 5:35 pm
roxana:

I feel like I have a hangover after onions/peppers. I just feel awful and my intestines feel extremely inflammed…

April 1st, 2016 | 1:26 am
nancy:

and i thought i was the only one! At first when my tongue was tingling I didn’t correlate the grilled onions from dinner to the sensation I was having. After a few more times I put 2 + 2 together thinking I had an allergy to onions and knew for certain the other day when I had some chips and salsa and wouldn’t you know it happened again and I knew without a doubt. I;m 49 and this just began happening to me. So weird?

April 4th, 2016 | 11:44 am

I have a serious reaction to red onion. When I smell or accidentally ingest red onion I get terrible pain in my head,not headaches but like pressure in the brain
How can I ease the pain? Once it’s set I have to go for at least a week with this pain in my head.

April 29th, 2016 | 8:26 pm
Kate Delaney:

Really glad to find this website, I have diagnosed fibromyalgia and IBS. The worst triggers are alliums (onions, garlic, leeks, shallots) and nightshades (capsicum, chilli, eggplant, tomato, paprika,cayenne). I find it impossible to eat out and dread dinner or restaurant invites. I make all my own meals – it can be a hassle sometimes but is worth it just to be free of symptoms and stop flare-ups.

May 3rd, 2016 | 4:36 am
melinda:

I have found my tribe. I have a severe allium sensitivity and also cannot tolerate capsicum (bell) peppers. For some reason, I can tolerate small quantities of paprika or garlic – still have symptoms, but they are manageable. But alliums or peppers = misery, severe stomach/chest/oesophagus pain about 3 minutes after eating something with even just a little of the ingredients, then bloating, gut pain, all the usual joys. And a sunburn-like rash on my face. I’ve recently tried a homeopathic item called “Histiminum” immediately upon having a reaction. 3-4 little grains dissolved under the tongue. Doesn’t cancel the reaction, but minimises the severity. (HOWEVER, I do try to avoid alliums/peppers at all cost. It’s just when something sneaks in that I use the histiminum.) It really is such a pain to go to a restaurant, yet I travel weekly for business…. Good to know I’m not alone though.

May 3rd, 2016 | 10:41 am
Sharon:

I can’t go into many restaurants. I am deathly allergic to onions. Fresh, sautéed, just breathing the air where an onion has been prepared. Last week my husband of 3 years thought that he could cook them with the chicken our butcher marinated them in and air out the house before I got home from grocery shopping. I told him if he ever wanted them he couldn’t open them in the house and would have to grill them outside. As soon as I got home I stepped out of my truck and smelled them/ felt them. So I raced into the house to get away from them but it was worse in the house. I went straight to my room but it was too late. 10 Benedryl and an Epipen later, I nearly died, again. Lost the entire next day, no, not sleeping, just so very sick.many people think I just don’t like them and will sneak them into my food to prove a point. It’s very scary. I didn’t become allergic until after my first child 34 years ago. Funny thing is that I craved them when I was pregnant. Onions, garlic and cilantro are the most dangerous allergies, but I have many secondary and terror allergies as well. Hate to say it, but I’m glad I’m not alone.

May 7th, 2016 | 5:24 pm
JJ:

I get a slight headache/pressure after eating garlic. Randomly started to get sensitive to so many different foods. My quality of life ****** blows.

May 14th, 2016 | 7:46 pm
Jasmine:

I am thankful to know that I am not the only one that does suffer from onion and garlic allergy. I have been dealing with this since I was a small child (now 27). I used to complain to my a**hole grandmother about how the loads of onions she dumped in her food would make me sick. She told me that I was just making it up. I ended up avoiding onions all together. But sometimes it’s hard cause there are onions in everything. I later found out that I have garlic allergy too. That made life suck so much more. Most foods don’t taste all that great without the presence of onion and or garlic. On the bright side, I found out that I can have onion and garlic ONLY when it’s fully cooked. Any trace of raw onion/garlic would lead to a strong after taste on the back of my tongue, then the scratchy throat, then a sore throat, and finally a full blown disgusting cold. I hate being sick!! I have read a lot of sites about this allergy and read up on a lot of remedies. I know of one very simple trick that no one has mention! If you accidentally come in contact with raw onion/garlic, IMMEDIATELY go scrape your tongue with an actual tongue scraper, then brush your teeth while paying special attention to the back of your tongue, and finally use mouth wash. This process is better than taking medicine because it kills the bacteria on the back of your tongue and will dramatically decrease your chances of getting sick!! For this, I am often considered the weird lady that carries oral hygiene products everywhere I go! But who really cares about what everyone else has to say when you’re not going to be sick the next day!

May 20th, 2016 | 1:09 pm
Felisha:

While I was growing up my father suffered from an onion allergy, and then when I was 36 I started noticing I was getting sick from them. Now my family and I affectionately (sarcasm) call it Onion Drunk. I get dizzy, brain fog, can’t see well, can’t breathe well, fatigued, headaches, muscle aches, sore all over, indigestion, constant burps (sometimes they are so bad I can barely catch my breath between them)… And I usually have symptoms lasting on average of 20 hours. Onion powder and garlic powder are practically in everything good. :(
Have any of you ever tried or heard of any kind of controlled introduction treatment for this? I’ve had a friend who has gotten her son to the point of eating small amounts of egg after his treatment plan by his allergy Dr.

May 23rd, 2016 | 3:48 pm
Bob Allardyce:

I’ve had this allergy for years even the smell of onions or garlic makes me violently sick , the taste is even worse

May 27th, 2016 | 3:08 am
Audrey Pease:

My Dad was allergic to onions and I got it from him. Mine is so bad that I stopped breathing from onions and now carry E~pens and have to use both and not just one. Onion powder is just as bad as raw onions. I’m also happy to see that i’m not also alone in this. I’m sorry that y’all have to be going through this too. Take care and God Bless You.

May 27th, 2016 | 11:59 am
Timothy:

I’ve been through every test imaginable, and have the bills to prove it. My symptoms aren’t much different than what’s described here. I’ve switched Dr’s, since the last one seemed to be baffled. My latest says, it’s just a severe form of IBS. I was prescribed Librax. About 4 days later (and eating nothing but white rice or Rice Krispies w/ almond milk) I started to feel a lot better, great even. Then, I ate some stuffing, and boom, right back to wanting to die to take away the pain. In response to “Onions! :’(:” from January 23rd, 2016, I think I may be in the same boat. I get a pain in my face, during the bloat period, that feels like I have knives, glass and needles in my mouth, and that’s no exaggeration. The pain nearly makes me pass out. Could be as you described, spinal column fluid increasing and pinching a nerve. I’m going through hell, and trying like mad to feel better. Wishing all of you the very best of luck and most of all, just to feel normal, it’s all I really want. I welcome any comments or suggestions.

June 16th, 2016 | 1:19 pm

Stuffing is loaded with everything onion. Allium vegetables and herbs are everywhere, lurking to disable us by surprise. My allergist said to test, go on an elimination diet and then add things back, one at a time, and when adding them back, add a large amount. I was sensible enough only to add a little amount but the amount of gastric upset way outweighed the small amount I had added. I become inflamed from my throat to the end of my intestines. Cramping and burning is extreme until everything is purged. Violently. I’ll occupy the bathroom for 60-90 minutes. Food allergies are not a joke. Mine has grown worse over the years and I’m now afraid of an anaphalactic reaction. So I’m super careful, eat mostly only home made stuff, eat out very seldom.

June 23rd, 2016 | 10:40 pm
Val:

I’m lucky that I don’t suffer as badly as many of you – but I have the same issue of people not quite believing me (including my mom), so frustrating. Mine is about 90% gastro reaction with 10% headaches. Reaction is sometimes instantaneous, but more often it’s 20 minutes to 12 hours later. Didn’t help trying to figure out what the issue was. My reaction to red onions is significantly worse than white/yellow onions – but shallots and green onions are pretty wicked too! I’ve never reacted to peppers, but I’ll be watching for that! Sadly, garlic is delicious and in everything making it almost impossible to avoid if you like eating out, which I do. I’ve gotten much smarter with my ordering and asking questions. Glad to have found this post! I feel your pain!!

June 24th, 2016 | 7:35 pm
Elizabeth:

I am just finding out about this allergy. 4 years I’ve been battling hives,stomach pain, sore throats, went in for a was and told it was because of a hiatal hernia. Until, 3 weeks ago, after eating garlic pita chips with cream cheese flavored with chive and onion I was rushed to the ER , I was suffering anaphylactic shock. Throat closed off I couldn’t breathe, nothing. I now have a epi pen. There is so much out there that I can not have. I’m learning to read labels .. my hives get so bad I can’t walk or use my hands. I did the elimination diet and took those out and cleared up, then I area pizza.. A cheese pizza. And then realizes that the dough had “spices” in it. Now I’m battling the hives again. I would like to join the Facebook group.

June 26th, 2016 | 4:19 pm
Elina:

How badly I wish there was a cure for this! I didn’t care for onions or peppers when I was a kid, since they weren’t used in cooking in my family home. After I moved out I learned to love them and pretty much put them in everything – until I turned 28 and found out why my folks never used them. Apparently my dad is intolerant to them, and now, so am I.

I feel like a total bitch demanding every waitress for COMPLETELY (not raw, cooked, visible, powder, nada!) allium and pepper free dishes, but if I don’t, I’ll suffer for the next 24-72 hours. The pain, the discomfort, the bloating, the nausea, the smell. When I travel, the first phrase I learn in the local language is not “thank you” or “how are you” but “without onion and peppers, please – it’s very important”.

If anyone should figure out how to cure this, I’d be thrilled to pay for the right pill to pop.

July 14th, 2016 | 4:00 pm
Pansy:

Hangover feeling? Yes! I actually have to go to sleep for about an hour if I eat raw onions or garlic. Almost pass out and can’t move. I just lay there awake and almost frozen until I fall asleep. Like a fatigue paralysis. So weird. I have learned just not to eat raw onions or garlic – no pico de gallo with raw onions! No leeks or shallots. It sounds like some folks have much worse reactions. However, I have learned how important it is to just lay down – not even try to do anything else. Would never drive in this state. It is a real allergy even if it is rare! Thanks to everyone who shared their stories on this site. I learned a lot!!!

July 14th, 2016 | 6:46 pm
winklecap:

Everyone,

Severely allegic for at least the last 40 years and thinking of writing a cookbook. Have become gluten and dairy intolerant in the last ten and now enjoy all the pleasures of diverticulitis (NOT!). Be aware of risks from foods you didn’t check or make yourself.

July 26th, 2016 | 1:05 pm
Staci:

I’ve had this allergy since I was 20 (30 years) but what no one is mentioning is if the allergy is the same when onions and garlic are cooked? It changes the chemistry of the food and for me, I do not have a reaction to cooked onion or garlic
I read that the allicin is removed this way?

August 8th, 2016 | 10:44 pm
Mike:

I was diagnosed with IBS as a teen (1970) and absolutely no consideration was given to the possibility of food allergies. GI doctors haven’t caught on even to this day. I now believe I had an onion intolerance. 6 years ago I went on Interferon and developed several immune problems. I am now allergic to onions. Before I caught on, I had brain fog really bad, along with all the GI issues. One day I ate a fast food hamburger and got a piece of onion under my tongue. In minutes I had a massive blister under my tongue and went into anaphylactic shock. I knew for sure then. I have developed a personal relationship with 3 local restaurants that know me by site and name. That helps but I cook almost everything from scratch. We need to force the FDA to disclose all products with alium. This Facebook site sounds like a good start. Let’s organize and do what the peanut allergy parents did. Real change often comes from grassroots efforts like MADD-which was started by one mom.

August 9th, 2016 | 9:37 am
Jill:

I have a horrible reaction fatigue, flu symptoms and weakness of muscles, and a glazed over feeling.
It’ is difficult to get enough air and I often have to lie down until it subsides. Garlic, onions, shallots, raw broccoli, and cabbage all have this effect. And I also am highly sensitive (severe crippling headaches) with drugs such as noticing, Sentra and macrodantin.

August 10th, 2016 | 10:55 pm
Holly:

I discovered that I have an allergy to onions on my own after visiting multiple doctors that couldn’t figure it out. Anyone else get terrible (painful)ulcers in their throat and mouth that last for days after eating onions? Also has anyone had their allergy testing done and tested positive for onion allergy?

August 13th, 2016 | 4:35 am
Phillip Holt:

Wow… who would believe this..but I sure do now. I am currently suffering from severe dermatitus from physically removing wild onions in my yard. The symtoms are just like poison Ivy.I sensed something was wrong last Saturday when working outside… but could not articulate until 4 to 5 days later the obvious ..the odor languished in the air and penerated clothing.I now have new respect for wild onions.

August 26th, 2016 | 7:10 pm
Sophie:

I have problems with onion and garlic too – it’s incredible how many people there are with this intolerance or allergy. I agree that more care needs to be taken in the listing of ingredients, and that it’s not good enough to have ‘natural flavourings’ or ‘spices’ on food packaging. It’s also incredibly frustrating to be so limited in what you can eat given that onions and/or garlic are in so many pastes, condiments, stock cubes, breadcrumbs(!). Eating out is always such a risk. I cook from scratch.

August 27th, 2016 | 9:51 am
Janice:

My allergist did a blood test for garlic, onions, etc. I was only allergic to garlic and now have an epi pen. I prepare 99% of my food at home. If I didn’t make it, it is suspect. I have suffered over 20 years. Stomach, head, eyes, brain, body pain. I discovered allergies to birch, cottonwood etc. these cross over to foods like oranges, apples, carrots, avocado, tomatoes. I can usually handle cooked fruits and some vegetables. Even with constant diligence I am often overwhelmed with symptoms.

September 1st, 2016 | 6:31 pm
Ashley Brown:

My allergy to raw onion and garlic is severely life threatening I ingested 1 mouthful last week at a wedding and was in anaphylaxis within 3 minutes my allergy is Syn-propanethial Which I guess most sufferers here actually have I now carry 2 epi pens as I don’t fancy having death by onion on my headstone

September 2nd, 2016 | 4:57 am
Shannon:

I feel so bad for those of you who require an Epi-Pen for Onion/Garlic allergies! I have had a sensitivity to both since I was little – gastric issues and painful red, swollen eyes that would sting for days. I avoid all forms of onion, and don’t cook with them. It is so hard eating out at restaurants or at people’s homes. I get told to “pick them out” by friends, and if I ask for “no onions” at a restaurant, inevitably my dish comes back covered with chopped up green onions! An onion is an onion no matter what “color” it is! They assume it’s a “dislike” instead of an allergy. I had a “Mora Allergy test” done a few years ago to see if I was gluten intolerant. I didn’t hold a lot of credence to this test, so I was keeping the onion/garlic issues quiet to see if they could be detected. They were. The lady doing the test was shocked as she didn’t believe anyone could have an intolerance to onions/garlic. Along with those, I am intolerant to wheat, dairy, refined sugar, chocolate, oregano, cumin. I find as I have gotten older and been pregnant, that I cannot tolerate a large number of foods – the body just changes so much. It is best to just cook everything yourself, as, only then can you actually feel good.

September 7th, 2016 | 5:48 pm
Kira M:

I am so shocked to find this website with recent posts about this onion and garlic intolerance…. I have been searching the web for a year trying to make some sense from it. I’ll NEVER forget the first time onions made me sick. My dad made liver and braised onions, for some reason I just loved it and ate so much. The next day I have never felt so bad. My throat and mouth was BURNING I felt a huge lump in my throat not to mention my terrible moments in the restroom. I thought I just over-ate and was young so I didn’t think much of it. After 10 years of random (but-not-so-random) upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, and burning throat I now know 100% onions and garlic make me sick. I get that “hangover” feeling, exhausted, achy, headache, runny nose. And it definitely exudes from my breath and I feel like I sweat it out. I did a skin allergy test which came back negative so the allergist shrugged it off. I think it’s a localized allergic reaction (GI tract and mucosa). I’m aggravated that it’s blanketed under IBD/GERD/Celiac/FODMAPs.I can eat most other foods no problem. I love fruit and vegetables, especially raw veggies. I also am so disappointed there is no enzyme to take as there is for lactose intolerance. Avoidance is so hard and seems impossible at some times. “This only has a LITTLE BIT in it, you should be fine” I don’t believe it. Idk how many times I’ve gotten sick from eating food that I didn’t cook with a minute amount of garlic or onion. As I get older it just gets worse. I’m so glad I’m not alone, and that’s it’s not psychosomatic and other people validate that it is a real problem affecting quality of life and deserves proper recognition and treatment.

September 12th, 2016 | 6:57 pm
Mike:

I also have discovered I have allergies to onions and it caused panic attacks and really changed my life. I am a veteran of the Iraq war used to love to skydive and even got my pilots license at 18. I am now 35 and nearly 10 years ago I started to get panic attacks while driving and couldn’t figure out what it was, doctors prescribed me all kinds of anti anxiety medications and luckily I never took them after I looked up the side effects or I would be hooked on them now for sure. My allergies made me drive slow, be scared of heights and so many other things used to really enjoy I stopped doing because of the panic attacks, trouble breathing and so on. And again all the doctors wanted to do was prescribe 5+ medications… I am now a contractor and about a year and a half ago I had a bad reaction after eating lunch at a Sonic with raw onions (which I used to order on everything) and as I was sitting in a parking lot trying to get my breath and calm myself down I suddenly had an epiphany, what if the onions where causing this… and so I decided to not eat onions for a few days and see what happens because I was at a point that I didn’t think I would even be able to drive anymore because of this unknown illness that I thought might be some sort of a mental issue. Well it has been about a year and a half without onions and I now drive 95 on the highway (which I know is not a good thing) and feel like I am getting back to my old adventurous self again! I have had absolutely NO issues since I have been avoiding onions. I did have a reaction to a dijon sauce on a chicken dinner I ordered one time, but at least I knew what was happening. The next time we went back to the restaurant I had the waiter check and onions was the second ingredient on the list. My father committed suicide years ago after being on anxiety medications for years, and I can only wonder if he had the same undiscovered issues that made his life so difficult. I haven’t always been allergic to onions, only in the last 10 years or so I believe, I wish I would have found out sooner what was causing all my problems but at least I have found the source of the problems now and am grateful to be returning to my old self once again.

September 24th, 2016 | 11:55 pm
Bob:

Hi, I am a sixty year old medically retired Printer. Back in 1998 at age forty two or so, I suffered Toxic Encephalopathy from my twenty seven year exposure to solvents in the Printing Industry as an Offset Pressman. I was subsequently diagnosed with MCS or (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, also known as TILT or (Toxic Induced Loss Of Tolerance). It is virtually the same thing as Gulf War Syndrome, however I have never been in the Military. I got my chemical exposure from my work environment. Since my chemical exposure I have been severely allergic to perfume, fabric softener, scented candles, pesticides,diesel fumes and etc. I used to eat ton’s of onions and garlic all of my life. About eight years ago I was having a peanut-butter/raw onion sandwich (Yummy…………don’t knock it unless you have tried it! LOL! Anyway, the roof of my mouth started hurting bad all of a sudden. I looked into my mouth in the mirror, and I had big open sores all over the roof of my mouth. From then on, I identified bad food allergies to eventually include Garlic, onions,cabbage,paprika,vinegar, and mustard,peppers/capiscan and all nightshade vegetables. Pretty much everything I absolutely LOVED to eat! Now I know that it is true, that people can unfortunately become instantly allergic to virtually “anything” they eat like overnight. I get a different symptoms here than most but some the same. After eating any of the above I first get very tired with flu-like symptoms and maybe pass out for an hour or two feeling very weak. Then later on that same night it gives me raging insomnia and itchy palms, along with a very bloated abdomen.I also get very bad muscle cramps as well especially in my neck. I regretfully eliminated or greatly limited all these foods over time and feel much better, but it is very hard to do. About two years ago I married my Filipina wife. She loves onions and garlic as I used to. Yesterday she was eating like a seafood okra gumbo “that I fixed her” Duh! That was loaded with raw garlic and onions (I did not eat any of it), and almost choked when cooking and preparing it. She ate it around noon yesterday. We went to bed early at like 8:30 pm, and I woke up about two and a half hours ago at midnight and here I am. At least I found this website, so not all bad. :) The thing that many people do not understand is that GMO foods, (in almost everything not organic). Are known to cause food allergies! Therefore I have ate mostly all organic for years now and it has helped dramatically. Round up ready GMO crops like corn, GMO tomatoes, soybeans, Hawaiian papaya and etc. inflame ones gut. They have Roundup built right into them. So when the insect ingests the crop, they die from “gut issues”. What do you suppose that does to humans when they eat GMO crops, and animals brought up on GMO feed? I am suffering from leaky gut (or intestinal permeability) as well. That is where tiny perforations in ones intestines, allow toxins in food to enter the bloodstream while trying to be digested. Causing bloat, food allergies, and a host of other allergic reactions. Google Dr. Axe for how to address that). I’m sure you have heard the term “Health begins in the gut”? Well by inference “disease begins there as well” when your gut is not functioning optimally. Anyway I just woke up and threw all of the garlic, onions fresh and powdered in the trash. I am very sorry to have to break the news to my wife when she wakes up. It is bad enough my allergies have to ruin my life, as well as hers now. I have done several water only fasts in the past. The longest of which was twenty one days. I started this one two days ago on Saturday. Every time I do one I feel almost like 100% better for quite sometime after. It gives ones body time to rest and heal from all of the onslaught of toxins that it is hit with on a daily basis. I had never really Googled garlic/onion allergies but I already knew they existed. It is great to find out I am not the only one deprived of the foods I love, this seems like a great group to be in! Glad to meet you all……… Bob in Misery (Missouri) : )

October 3rd, 2016 | 12:52 am

Hey every one im here to share with you a Seasoning company Your flavour Seasonings who specialise in making Onion & Garlic Free Seasoning in australia & they ship World wide. maybe its worth having a look on their website.
http://www.imyourflavour.com :)

October 11th, 2016 | 12:36 am
Liz Gilbert:

Like someone else here my initial reaction is an unquenchable thirst then there’s the bloating and the mucus over-excitement. Very frustrating because I love Italian food. I also like Indian food, which is a real bonus because Hari Krishnas and a number of Indian castes and religions do not eat onion or garlic. It’s called a “sentient diet”. You can buy Indian pre-mixes that say “onion and garlic free”. everything else, though, flavoured snacks, savoury biscuits, even sundried tomatoes have garlic or onion powder added. I’m heading for 60, and it is getting a lot harder these days to find onion/garlic free. Great to find this space.

October 23rd, 2016 | 7:56 pm
Laura:

I’m happy to hear I’m not alone. Though my symptoms are not nearly as severe, when I eat onions raw or consuls onion powder my face breaks out in an itchy sweat. Does anyone else experience this ? It goes away on its own in a few hours but it’s bad enough that I stopped eating certain foods that I really enjoy.

November 3rd, 2016 | 7:54 pm
Jennifer:

Wow. I just Googled “onions make me sick” and now I know why. I recently subscribed to an uncooked meal delivery service and I made a meal using a whole shallot last night. I think I ate half of it. All evening and up to today I don’t feel well. I never realized the problem was this widespread. I always avoid raw onions for this reason but this one cooked meal is making me decide to never use them again even in cooking.

November 4th, 2016 | 7:57 am
fitzsi:

I can’t handle the whole allium family – onions, garlic, shallots, leeks,etc. and I do not miss them in my food one bit. I use horseradish instead to add flavor. Radishes can also be a good substitute in salads and other recipies.

November 19th, 2016 | 10:02 am

I can empathize with these posts as I have food intolerances that can make me very sick, inflamed and incapacitated … this is my second Thanksgiving day spent in pain from eating what I KNOW I should not (based on blood testing and experience) and garlic is one.
Even though I became an integrative nutrition health coach, worked with a broad-scope chiropractor and have spent the past four years delving into functional health, inflammation and autoimmunity … I slip up!
The science around autoimmunity, intolerances and diet is extraordinary and readily available.
Among a wealth of resources, there is Dr. Tom O’Bryan’s recent (Nov 2016) series called “Betrayal” about autoimmunity and diet.
For a deep dive into food intolerances, read Dr. Aristo Vodjani’s papers in Alternative Therapies. Consider testing the IgG, IgA immune pathways for reactions to foods, additives, molds.
Dr. O’Bryan’s work will open up a world of health professionals who “get it.”

November 24th, 2016 | 4:45 am
Lisa:

I got a genetic profile done and found out why I get bad migraines and total digestion crashes from garlic and onions, even just a pinch of some dried. I have a gene for dealing with dietary sulfur that is very flawed. This is also why I cannot tolerate aged or fermented foods. The amines in them break down too quickly to sulfur and ammonia in my system and then I can’t deal with the excess sulfur. Check out the cystathionine beta synthase polymorphism info online. I was lucky and got my profile done before 23andme went way up in price. But I am finally remaining headache free after fifty years of migraine agony. Good luck everybody.

December 1st, 2016 | 3:50 pm
Erin Rising:

Anybody else allergic to sulfa drugs as well? I’m just curious if there is a correlation

December 17th, 2016 | 3:46 am
The NPP:

My reaction at the major level is like getting a cold: Fever, sneezes, coughs, running nose, hot skin. I know it’s not a fever or cold because it doesn’t burn off, it wears off.
I discovered I have ‘some” tolerance to fresh onions, but the “crap” Burger King and White Castle uses (if you’ve never seen the slimy bags their onions come in, it is revolting) send me over the edge within hours.
But I have discovered I can consume a little bit of fresh onions as long as I do so in doses separated by several days/weeks. Usually, when the symptoms present themselves, I abstain for a week and it resets until I overdose again.
I am trying to build up the tolerance I had as a kid by constant, small doses. :-)

December 30th, 2016 | 12:54 pm
Christine:

I’m not nuts! Feel horrible for those who have it worse than I, truly. I can’t imagine it to those extremes. Only posting this reply to lend further credence to those who’ve mentioned instead of typical allergy symptoms, they feel like they have a hangover the next day. Thats me. And it’s like the worst hangover ever – will sleep the entire day if I can or am not disturbed. Have yet to find what precisely causes this type of a reaction, but it sure helps to know I’m not alone! Thank you for this site!

January 17th, 2017 | 5:12 pm

As everyone has mentioned I have an allergy to the Alium family. If we eat out it becomes boring when all I can eat is “jacket potato” or something on toast, no salad in case they have used the same knife as they have used to cut onion. Life is very stressful with this problem “but good that I am not alone as I usually feel “. Tined foods like baked beans,spaghetti,ravioli etc all contain onion juice or powder. There was a mention of someone writing a cook book, I would be very interested. Thanx for this site.

January 28th, 2017 | 10:38 am
Adrienne Petty:

I have known for a few years that onion give me severe migraine. However, I recently discovered that the sensitivity is only to gmo onions. I am grateful to have figured this out but am now very worried about what gmo foods are doing to us that we don’t know about.

January 28th, 2017 | 8:47 pm
Adrienne Petty:

To Erin rising- I am also allergic to sulfa drugs. They cause my blood platelets to become severely depleted.

January 28th, 2017 | 8:50 pm
Bill:

I am an aspiring chef (amateur) and have forever been challenged about why I totally avoid certain ingredients….it wasn’t until cooking/hosting a thanksgiving dinner where my brother in law (who is a hs biology teacher), said “dude, all of those are in the same famialy of plants”….this site is the first I knew I was not alone. Thanks.

January 29th, 2017 | 4:09 pm
Debbie:

I’m 47 years old and first discovered I had an allergy to onions when I was 12 and I stayed at a friends house over night. She made me a cheese and raw onion sandwich which was very nice but omg with in a short amount of time I started to be sick, in total I threw up 9 times all through the night, in the end I just sat in her bathroom all night because there wasn’t much point trying to go to bed. Before this I would have the odd cooked onion in meals (when your a kid you are considered difficult if you are fussy about what you eat) so after every meal that had onion I would then spend the next few hours back and fourth to the bathroom with upset tummy and feeling sick and very bad gas, my family just thought I was like it with most things and we didn’t realise it was caused by onions, So at 12 years old I discovered that raw onion had a much worse affect. It is very difficult trying to pick your way through menu’s and if you fancy soup as I did recently after a tooth extraction I end up sieving the ingredients so that it is easier to pick the onions out. Friends that invite us round to dinner are told by my husband that under no circumstance can I eat onion which I think puts people of inviting us and I was once at a wedding where the meal came with onion gravy, I wasn’t warned and ended up missing the rest of the celebrations as I had to go because of the affects. Weirdly though I am not allergic to garlic or spring onions and I’ve discovered if I cook a hotpot and cook it all day with an onion I can eat a tiny amount of the centre of the boiled onion and it doesn’t affect me as badly I do not know why this is, unless the onions are less toxic when boiled for 8 hours.
I have met one other person (a guy I used to work with) who also had the same allergic reaction to onions as I did, so I think there are more of us out there and maybe a lot of these people do not realise it yet especially as it is not mentioned very often like the usual nut allergy. I am also allergic to some dairy products and have found many good substitutes but I think as you get older it is difficult to build up an intolerance because we become more sensitive to foods the older we get for some reason.

January 31st, 2017 | 8:36 am
Mike:

Wow, this is crazy how many more people than myself have these reactions to onion and garlic. My symptoms are not as bad as others here, but I have severe heartburn with both, and I have reactions to cucumber, watermelon, avocados, bananas, cantelope, almonds, walnuts, and pecans. When I had my allergy tests done, my doctor told me my food allergies were related to my tree allergies – some kind of protein (maybe sulfur like) that causes the main issue. Then thinking to the concept of WHY did this happen, my family decided to take a stand against getting our kids vaccined. I’m happy to announce none of my 3 kids have any of the severe allergies (or any) I have. When doctors say allergies are genetic, I completely disagree now. We may have genetic disopisions when combined with vaccines once administered at birth, sure … then a doctor can claim that. I’ve been a hunt lately trying to see if I can cure my allergies by some form of detox, but nothing has shown it’s head to me. If anyone thinks of the best method to cleanse your body from allergies (and not doing those allergy shots – tried them – only a band aid – no cure), I’d love to learn people’s experiences. Our bodies are amazing things and vaccines are just science experiments. The biggest factor to curing global disease was not vaccines, it was clean water, food safety (electricity for refridgeration), body hygene, wound cleanliness. When you combine all that, it makes vaccines look like the hero – yet death and disease from them is ignored. Always stay thirsty for the truth. Until then, we struggle with our allergies. God Bless.

February 4th, 2017 | 10:21 am
Viviana:

Hi I’m allergic to onion and garlic I can eat it but I can’t touch it If I touch I got rash in my hands itchy and redness.

February 9th, 2017 | 1:43 pm
Kay:

Very interesting website. I’ve had an issue iwith my 3yr old son this evening. We had homemade Mexican food for tea with raw red onion and garlic, although he didn’t like it and hardly had any of it. However at bedtime we noticed hives on his stomach and under his arms. This was where I’d been rubbing and tickling him after I’d cooked the food. I did all the peeling and chopping of the onions and garlic – there was loads of it as I froze all the leftover chopped vegetables. I’m wondering if he’s reacting to the trace oils of the raw veggies on my hands? I usually use bought pre-chopped onions and garlic in my cooking, so don’t handle it. As far as I know, he’s never eaten raw onion or garlic before, but eats it cooked all the time without any issues. I think a trip to the doctors is needed, especially reading all your stories above. After some piriton, the hives have calmed down a lot thankfully,

February 11th, 2017 | 3:46 pm
EnerGbug:

Growing up, my mother could not eat garlic. Garlic powder, yes, but not garlic. She gets gassy and bloated. I was fine as a kid, but about 10 years ago I developed an allergy to garlic. If it’s cooked for a long period, I’m usually ok. Maybe I would get stuffy, but that’s tolerable. So I try to avoid it.

When I go out to eat, or order out we always say NO GARLIC. Last night we ordered Thai food NO GARLIC, it was soooo good. Got super tired, passed out at 10. Popped up 12, time to plant me arse on the bowl and up chuck into the tub! It’s always the same. Usually it’s one violent session and done. Oh you end up naked when that happens too, because you start sweating. Real fun stuff.

I’m pretty used to it. Freaks my husband out.

So last night, instead of one and done, I ended up waking is with a second round of diarrhea around 4. Then this am I woke up around 9 stoMach still felt iffy, so I did my morning cigarette and coffee to speed up the process if “getting it out”. And my TP was pink. Looked in the bowl and diarrhea was red. Freaked me out! Not sure what to do. Happen to anyone else?

February 19th, 2017 | 8:22 am
Mark russell:

I can’t touch garlic and onions but I can eat them it only effects my skin

February 27th, 2017 | 10:22 am
Stephanie:

When dining out I often ask for my food to be as plain as possible: no spices, seasonings, sauces or marinades. I may even ask them to leave garnish off. I also found it can simplify things to ask for a children’s menu. At a fancy restaurant that doesn’t have kids menu, ask what they would offer to serve to a kid.
My allergy to onion and garlic has been all my life. If I happen eat anything like salad dressing or meat that’s been marinated with it, my mouth begins to itch to the point I’d like to reach my hand in to scratch my tongue with my fingernails. At that point I must put my fork down and stop eating. If an onion somehow gets into my mouth, I can not swallow and must spit out everything. Which can be embarrassing on a date or meeting boyfriend’s family.
Some of you may also want to look into AngioEdema.
I am also a SUPERTASTER, anyone else?

March 10th, 2017 | 10:47 am
Karen:

I have just read a majority of these posts and can relate to a lot of them. Funnily enough I was searching for answers for intolerances to onion,garlic,and vinegar. The immense pain, gas and inflamed guts I get after I eat any of these foods are incredible. I am also alergic to a rhematoid drug called sulphazalazine and think now along with my auto immune diseases (Rhematoid arthritis and hypothyroidisum) they are all interlinked. Ive never connected or linked the allergic reaction to the sulfa drug with onions or garlic but after reading the posts above about how their properties are chemically similar to each other I will now be doing some extra investigation! Thank you to everyone who has shared their stories. I wouldnt have found out anything without you sharing your circumstances.

Regards

Karen

March 14th, 2017 | 6:35 am
Aixa:

i had been suffering from some kind of allergy for the past several years but getting stronger the past 6 months and I was not able to pinpoint the issue until today.
Today, a coworker brought a salad for lunch. I can smell the onions and I started to feel awful. I started sweating, and turning read. I needed to leave the room to another location. I then decided to make an appointment with an allergist. Wish me luck. It is so uncomfortable.

March 15th, 2017 | 11:46 am
Rhonda:

My nurse neighbor made a comment about a possible connection between my onion intolerance and my sulfa drug allergy. According to what I’ve read, there really isn’t supposed to be that big of a connection. Thank goodness I am not as bad as some of you, but I am beginning to get paranoid about onions as I seem to be getting worse. Originally, I could eat raw or cooked onion. Then, only cooked. The raw ones make my mouth feel like something (bacteria??) is growing inside. I brush teeth and eat mints to no avail. Then a headache comes. Lately, I’m beginning to think my episodes of food poisoning were onion related. The first time, I even had convulsions and the cold sweat after sitting on the john for ages. Second attack started with burping sulpher. Then the vomiting and diarrhea. Had anyone ever done that before? I even read that once you cut an onion, it starts to go bad. So now I am afraid to even cook an older onion. So sorry to those who are more sensitive than I am.

March 25th, 2017 | 12:51 pm
Manuel:

I realized I was allergic to onions and garlic 7 years ago, when I was 25. My allergies are mostly located on GI tract and mucosa (like Kira M), but I also suffer from sporadic skin rash for no reason (pollen I guess).
I’ve suffered digestive problems ever since I have memory. I already knew I was a little bit lactose intolerant, but in my twenties symptoms started getting worse. I was diagnosed IBS, but allergy doctors couldn’t figure out my allergy. I passed out twice because of eating a meal with too much leek on it. I discovered by starting a food journal, encouraged by my doctor.

Since I discovered it and my family finally accepted is not just a whim, I have only suffered mild symptoms for being exposed to very low quantities of it. However, I believe things are getting worse lately. The other day I washed some dishes without gloves on a party and I started feeling severe dizziness, just for being in contact with some tomato sauce containing onion! I really hope not to have to need an Epi-pen and not being near one, and I really sympathize with you people depending on an Epi-pen because of this damn genre of plants.

March 27th, 2017 | 4:45 pm
Jessica:

I believe I have an allergy/intolerance to the allium family including onions, garlic, shallots, leeks, scallions, etc. Onion and garlic powder seem to be tolerable with mild symptoms but the fresh and wild foods produce unbearable symptoms. These include fatigue, headache, fever, body aches, nausea, and diarrhea. Symptoms can start immediately or within 12 hours, last one to three days. I am starting to undergo medical testing. I also cannot eat any beef, pop tarts, or most vitamin supplements- anybody relate to this? I am also allergic to Benadryl???

March 28th, 2017 | 3:27 pm
Kathi:

Just read through all the comments- thankful to find I’m not alone in my onion allergy. I spent the night with severe cramps, vomiting and diarrhea. I cooked for myself, using a jar pasta sauce I’ve used before with no issues, but I sautéed garlic first. I’ve never reacted to garlic that way before, even though it’s in the same family. I guess garlic goes on my list to avoid, along with all the raw fruits and veggies that I react to with Oral Allergy Syndrome! I’ve found that when I just have to “have” a salad (react to lettuces) I can quell the oral reaction by drinking a Coke! I’m frustrated by the medical community, and anyone who tells me “it’s not an allergy”. I’d like for them to tell suffer the pain from the reaction, and the side effects I still have today- headache, upset stomach and pain from the violent vomiting.

April 7th, 2017 | 8:38 am
Elliott:

Does anyone know of a good resource that will help to come up with substitutes for onions, garlic, etc? I am allergic to the whole allium family, and have been tasked with converting family recipes over.

To start, I could use a good broth recipe

May 4th, 2017 | 4:14 pm
Carol:

I too have a garlic allergy or intolerance. I avoid eating it which means no eating out at all because here in Australia it is in EVERYTHING – it’s insane! It’s in most processed foods as well so everything I eat I prepare from scratch and I only use organic. It’s a very simple diet but so much better than the week long migraines and the feeling of being poisoned all through my body!

I don’t really have a problem avoiding it myself however I still react badly when someone else eats it and I inhale their garlic breath!

I have done a lot of research trying to find out why I react to garlic breath and I think possibly it is to do with the sulphur compounds excreted.

Anyone else have this problem?

May 23rd, 2017 | 10:38 pm
Lisa:

I have suffered from this allergy for over 30+ years and now my daughter is having issues. Does anyone know of any apps that can help with shopping for foods not containing onions.

May 26th, 2017 | 9:30 am
Therese:

I started realizing what had been pain in the neck embarrassing gas problems in my thirties was in reality the start of my allergy to onions and garlic. Didn’t figure it out until my late 40′s when my sister figured that she had it. By that time, I was starting to get terrible coughing fits not to long after eating it, indigestion, heartburn so bad I’d throw up after a few hours, then diarrhea, cramps, wiped out hangover feeling. The symptoms have gotten progressively worse. If I only get a little bit it’s usually restricted to more gastrointestinal that are delayed. But if I get a bite with a higher concentration, I can have trouble swallowing and end up wrenching every ten minutes for up to 3 hours. Saving grace there is that it’s over. no long term symptoms. Otherwise I have a lot of gastroinential symptoms and on top of that, I’ll wheeze all night.
As I travel a lot, I’ve become an encyclopedia of lessons learned the hardware. For instance, most fast food restaurants have onions or garlic in the burger meat itself. McDonald’s kids burgers do not. Same with Burger King. The most effective way to get a waitress who doesn’t seem to be getting the importance of no garlic or no onions is to say, “This is really important. If the cooks don’t get it right, I won’t have time to get to the restroom. There will be a mess.” Don’t often have to use it but it works. Other tricks, find two or three mom and pop ethnic restaurants where things are made from scratch. Get to know the cooks/owners. Then you have places to go with friends that are pretty safe. Even so, I always change up the dish so that a waitress can’t accidentally pick up a regular dish. For instance I’ll order “Schzewan string beans with Soy, ginger, and the hot peppers sauce rather than the regular but I’ll ask for carrots or another vegetable to be added in. If you go to Italian restaurants, go to ones that make things from scratch. I then get ravioli or plain pasta. If they have tomatoes for pizza topics you can usually get them to add them on. Otherwise I just ask for butter and grated cheese and some parsley. Steaks are usually a good fall back item as long as they are not marinated. Avoid the big chain restaurants. They usually have everything pre-prepared and just reheat. When you ask if there is garlic or onion, make sure you tell the server to get the box for the hamburger meat or chicken or whatever and read all the ingredients. Often when you say no garlic or onions they think you mean’ That we add” You need to educate them that you mean, no I also mean in the food that you buy to prepare my dish. I also tell them that if salads are prepped in advance with onions they can’t just take the onions off. There again, asking for a unique combination of salad ingredients and stressing no onions usually results in their making a salad from scratch. Then I just get oil and vinegar for dressing. Balsamic is great. Lots of flavor. In Mexican restaurants, I tell them to make me a Cheese Quesadilla with only cheese (sometimes I’ll add shrimp or something else that is not likely to be marinated or pre-prepared with garlic or onion). Another trick is just to eat a bunch of side vegetable dishes. And then every now and then, there is the nuclear option: skip the meal and go straight to desert! (Hoping thatr garlic ice-cream and onion cake never becomes the new fad!)

June 3rd, 2017 | 11:50 pm
Rosie:

Hiya, thought I was alone! I cannot eat onion of any kind, but CAN eat leeks, garlic! Even powdered onion gives me such terrible abdominal pain. Just not worth taking a chance, but can eat leeks and garlic. How strange is that…they have to be cooked though. No onions…..no symptoms. IDifficult as onions are in loadsa shop bought products. I make my own stock, casseroles etc. Friends know and cook without onions. Restaurants are ok if I pre warn them. Condition is difficult but liveable. Feel sorry for sufferers who do not know they are allergic to onions and struggle on. Thanks.

June 5th, 2017 | 4:48 am
Babs:

When a vimpire like me eats garlic, chives N raw onions etc… I can’t breath. ..I get the awesome painful muscles n headaches after n not forgetting the awesome 2 days of shutdown after.
Found an antihistamine called EBASTINE. Way to go guys. ..try that before reaching for that nasty epipen jab. ..loves Barbs

July 9th, 2017 | 9:34 pm
Leah:

This happens to me now too. I haven’t been able to eat garlic or onion for over a year now. But, it’s gotten to the point that if my husband or daughter went to dinner and they come home with it on their clothes or hair…I am runny nose, chest heavy pressure, wheezing, itchy throat. I won’t even know because I won’t smell the garlic or onion. I just know from how my body suddenly acts crazy. I have to go sit in the car out in the driveway or have my husband bring me my oxygen tank that I use. I have mold poisoning from a past home we lived in. All my health problems began after that.

July 26th, 2017 | 6:56 pm
rona may:

I suffer swelling, reddened & hot to touch of my finger when i cut some garlic and onion ingredients for the food to cook.

August 17th, 2017 | 8:15 pm
Leah:

Does anybody get this from smelling someone’s breath after they ate garlic or onion or tomato sauce even? My body is becoming so sensitive. It is making it difficult for my family to eat anything around me containing it.

August 20th, 2017 | 7:08 pm
Joan Baldwin:

My life was one long hot flash from onions…with a constant burning rash on my face, at my hairline in the back of my head, between my eyes, around my ears and nose. Through an elimination diet I finally determined (seven years ago) it was the onions. The insufferable smell of onions seems to take Mr breath away. Nowadays, if I happen to accidentally ingest onion, taking a high quality broad spectrum digestive enzyme helps to alleviate the inevitable rash that follows. Four years ago I was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disorder. I am convinced it is the end result of the long term, ongoing, inflammatory onslaught I suffered from unwittingly eating onions.

August 21st, 2017 | 2:27 am
Val:

I have LPR reflux, coined the “silent reflux”. Onion & garlic are the two main notorious spices. This really hinders me in every respect. I’m so grateful that I happened upon this site. No carbonation, i.e. beer champagne soda coffee tea. No smoking, chocolate, peppermint, menthol, cough drops, nor any juice, unless I make it via an extract device ONLY as it requires H2O to make it. Juicer machines are off limits. NEEDLESS to say I drink H2O. Limited fried food no rotisserie chicken,keebler crackers, etc. because they both contain onion, etc.. Abd no salad dressings. What a bummer. I basically eat at home. Thanks for reading. Might anyone know of a support group? Thanks in advance.✌

September 3rd, 2017 | 1:39 pm

Like you all, no matter how careful I am, I’ll wind up eating something that has onion in it (or chives/shallots/leeks). Last time it was mayonnaise! I have found that drinking children’s Benadryl liquid brings relief.

October 9th, 2017 | 10:05 pm

Hi, I don’t know if I have an intolerence or allergy to onions, but my husband was cooking Mexican fajitas tonight with fresh onions and bell peppers and I could not stand the onion fumes! My eyes began to burn uncontrollably and I escaped to the bedroom, shut the door, and put artificial tear drops in my eyes. The drops burned like crazy. My husband thought I was crazy. He brought me my supper here in the computer room, but I refused to go back into the kitchen/family room. This has happened once before with garlic and onions being cooked. I woke up with burning eyes because my husband was cooking those two ingredients together. I have also had intense burning when cutting peppers (jalapenos, usually) and used every ice cube in the house to soak my hands in. My dad came home with a jar of Vaseline, though, and told me to dry my hands and rub the Vaseline into the pores of my hands. He said that it would get the pepper juice out of my hands. It worked! My mother also had trouble with peppers and did not discover it until she was pregnant and canning peppers. She said she received burns on her hands from the juice and was worried that it could have affected her baby. Thanks for all your tips and knowledge. I read every one of your posts and will now go take a shower, wash my face really well, and take some Benadryl. Take care and let’s educate the public.

October 18th, 2017 | 8:37 pm
J Paul:

Having a lifelong (60+ years) aversion to onions, garlic etc I sympathize with those whose allergy symptoms are far worse than my own. It was tough growing up in a family that loved onions and served them with nearly every meal. I strictly avoid raw onions and am extremely sensitive to the taste which to me is quite revolting. Recently my wife got some cole slaw from KFC that I rejected after tasting onion. Everyone else at the table swore there was no onion in the slaw and it was suggested that I was either nuts or engaging in theatrics. That was until I looked up the recipe online. Been there & done that on so many occasions with various dishes that I could write a book. I also avoid cooked onions as the taste of foods with cooked onions is also unpleasant to me.
This forum has helped me understand why I often have gastro-intestinal distress after eating Italian foods with various tomato/onion based sauces. I suspected the cooked onions but wasn’t entirely certain. For those who love tomato sauces (as I do) and can tolerate small amounts of cooked onion it seems that pizza sauce is the least problematic. It’s interesting to note that a number of people with onion allergy also have lactose intolerance since I acquired that same intolerance in my thirties. Thanks to those who have contributed to this forum and helped others deal with this poorly understood problem.

October 22nd, 2017 | 1:02 pm

Lots of similarities here!
Ya gotta Wonder!
Ro🌷🌷🌷
Something else to consider, that may help…xp
🌟Ro🌷🌷🌷

October 30th, 2017 | 9:31 pm
Kellie:

Thanks to everyone who is sharing info and experiences. I was prescribed and epi pen, but have never had that severe of a reaction. Mine is all dermal for the most part. Upset tummy and intestines aside.
I have steroids for when I am having serious issues, but taking them is such a trauma. I have so many adverse reactions to the pills.
I am sorry so many people are suffering too, but I feel less alone and ridiculous knowing I am not a crazy drama queen.
My lips are currently peeling like crazy and cracked at the corners. Its a drag.

November 17th, 2017 | 7:21 pm
Penny:

Onions,even a postage size piece raw can give me actual blackouts.Yet,go in a cafe and try to order something and say”no onions,please”,all you get is blank looks or they just ignore you! Even in a hospital despite me warning them of my allergy,salad arrived with raw onion!! Middlesborough hospital in Teesside actually took my allergy seriously though.

November 23rd, 2017 | 3:08 am
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