Allergies

Causes, Prevention and Treatment of Strawberry Allergy

If you have swelling of the mouth, tongue and rashes on the skin immediately after eating strawberries, you may be having strawberry allergy. Strawberry allergy is a kind of food allergy which affects many people. If you have strawberry allergy, staying away from strawberries is the only way to manage it

How Strawberry Allergies are Caused?

Strawberry allergies are caused when our body’s immune system mistakenly identifies certain proteins in strawberries as harmful and reacts to them. This reaction of the immune system to protect our body results in various allergic symptoms.

Scientists have recognized a protein in strawberries which may be responsible for triggering allergies. This protein is associated with the red color of the strawberries. Due to this reason, scientists report that white strawberries may be safer for people with strawberry allergies.

The allergy-causing protein in strawberries is similar to the allergy-causing protein in the birch pollen. Hence, if you have birch pollen allergies, you may be allergic to strawberries as well.

Strawberry Allergy Symptoms:

Strawberry allergiey can result in swelling of mouth, throat and tongue. It can also cause itchiness, rashes, hives, watery eyes, vomiting and diarrhea. Some severe cases may also result in a life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylactic shock. Self-injectable epinephrine can be used to prevent anaphylactic shock.

Strawberry Allergy Tests:

Skin test and blood IgE test can be done to identify if you have strawberry allergies. Strawberry belongs to Rosaceae family which includes apple, almond, peach, plum and pear etc. So, if you are allergic to the above foods, you may be allergic to strawberries.

Managing Strawberry Allergies:

Staying away from strawberries and strawberry-based products is the only way to manage strawberry allergies. Strawberries are used in various products such as cosmetics, desserts, cakes, jams, candies etc. Hence, it is important to be careful with anything with strawberry in it

Scientists are researching to develop strawberries which are non-allergic, by isolating the allergy-causing protein. However, till that time, avoidance of strawberry is the only way to be safe.

More Treatments for Strawberry Allergy

The main thing is to avoid contact with the allergen. So, dietary modification is necessary to exclude strawberries. Other useful treatments include:

  • Nasal sprays, including antihistamines and topical steroids, for allergic rhinitis.
  • Eyedrops – olapatadine, ketotifen, levocabastine and ketorolac for allergic conjunctivitis.
  • For asthma, take inhaled corticosteroids and inhaled beta agonists.
  • Take oral steroids for moderate allergic symptoms, with skin conditions or asthma.
  • Desensitization to get used to the allergen.
  • In case of anaphylactic reaction, hospitalization may be necessary.

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