What Is Kiwi Fruit Allergy?
Kiwi fruit, also known as Chinese gooseberry, is native to China. This fruit was developed commercially and exported by New Zealand and it is named after their national bird – the Kiwi. Kiwi fruit is eaten raw and is also used in fruit salads, puddings, juices etc. Inspite of its health benefits, the kiwi fruit can trigger an allergic reaction. Children are more at risk of kiwi allergy than adults.
Kiwi fruit allergy is caused when the immune system mistakenly identifies the protein in Kiwi fruit as harmful and reacts against it. In the process of attacking the protein, histamine is released in the body – resulting in an allergic reaction.
Kiwi Fruit Allergy: Closely Related to Birch Pollen and Latex Allergies
People suffering from birch pollen and latex allergies are more likely to have kiwi fruit allergy. This is because the protein present in kiwi fruit has a similar structure to that of birch pollen and latex. Grass pollen and mugwort pollen are also associated with kiwi allergy.
Those who have kiwi fruit allergy may also be allergic to apple, hazelnut, banana, and avocado.
Kiwi Fruit Allergy Symptoms:
Kiwi allergy can give rise to oral allergy syndrome, which involves the following symptoms:
- Burning/tingling/itching sensation of mouth, lips and tongue
- Swelling of lips, mouth, throat and tongue
Kiwi allergy can also cause hives, nausea and vomiting. In rare cases, it can cause anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening allergic reaction. In such cases, an epinephrine should be used to stop the anaphylaxis. It has been found that children are more at risk of severe allergic reaction than adults.
Kiwi Fruit Allergy Treatment:
Skin prick tests are the primary means to test for kiwi allergies. Blood tests can also be undertaken. Once kiwi allergy is diagnosed, complete avoidance of kiwi fruit is recommended. Kiwi fruit in all forms should be avoided to prevent kiwi allergies.
Kiwi Fruit Allergy is More Dangerous to Children – Research Study
British research indicates that an increasing number of children are suffering from kiwi fruit allergy. Eating this exotic fruit can even cause life-threatening symptoms in some children under five years of age. Children seem more at risk of this allergy than adults.
In a research study, 300 adults and children suffering from kiwi fruit allergy, were asked to detail their experiences. The study found that 40 percent of children with this allergy had suffered life-threatening symptoms including anaphylactic shock and rigorous breathing difficulties.
About 66 percent of the respondent children fell sick when they ate kiwi fruit for the first time. Many of the affected children were also allergic to eggs, milk and peanuts.