Pollen/Oral Food Allergy Syndrome

Spring is in the air and that means pollen and it can also affect you via food that you eat! Pollen or Oral Allergy Syndrome is very common in those with pollen allergies and very common in adults. I am allergic to just about every tree, grass, hay, wool, feathers, pet dander (cats, dogs and more) and really did not know much about the cross reactions with food.

Basically, a person with a pollen allergy can develop allergic symptoms to foods that are related to that specific pollen. The symptoms can be an itchy or mild swelling of the throat, lips or mouth when they eat certain raw fruits and vegetables. What is happening is that the immune system is identifying them as the pollen that the immune system already has a trigger to.

Birch Tree Pollen: Apples and Pears

Birch Tree and Mugwort Weed Pollen: Celery and Carrots

Grass Pollen: Potato

Symptoms may be worse during or after that related pollen season. Less than 10% have widespread reactions and only about 1-2% have had anaphylaxis. Cooking the fruit or vegetables before eating breaks down the protein and will make the food less allergenic.  To see the article featuring Dr Hemant Sharma of Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC; click on link below.


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