What is Pomegranate Allergy?

Pomegranate is a delicious juicy fruit with a high content of nutrients like Vitamin B5, potassium, polyphenols like tannins and flavonoids. However, a section of people report being hypersensitive to this fruit. A lot of oral allergy symptoms are associated with this particular food allergy which eventually leads to hay fever in adults. Food Allergies affect approximately 3-4% of adults and around 6% of children in the United States.

How is pomegranate allergy caused?

The otherwise harmless protein in the fruit is perceived by the body’s immune system as a threat. As a result, the immune system produces antibodies known as IgE antibodies. These antibodies bind with the protein in the fruit and produce the various allergy symptoms. These symptoms are primarily caused by histamine which is released by the mast cells located in the gut, skin and pharynx when the IgE antibodies binds with the protein molecules.Pomegranate Allergy

Symptoms of the hypersensitivity

Symptoms appear within minutes of eating food and are as follows:

  • Itching in lips, mouth, ear canal and pharynx.
  • Burning sensation around and on lips, mouth and throat.
  • Inflammation of lips, tongue and mouth and an uneasy tightness in throat is observed.
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, indigestion can occur.
  • Runny nose and watery eyes also affect the hypersensitive sufferers.
  • Skin rashes like hives, urticaria is common. The presence of excess histamine in the body causes itchy, red welts to appear in clusters all over the body.
  • In extreme case, anaphylaxis can occur. This is characterized by the abdominal pain and cramp, shortness of breath due to inflamed airways, severe coughing and wheezing.

Treatment of Pomegranate allergy

  • The fruit should be totally eliminated in every form from one’s diet. Reading food labels and making sure it is not present in any form in the food to be eaten is important for food allergy sufferers.
  • Antihistamines work by blocking histamines and relieving symptoms.
  • In case of an acute attack of anaphylaxis, the patient should be immediately injected with an emergency dose of epinephrine.

Diagnostic Tests

Generally skin prick test, blood tests, patch tests are conducted to confirm any allergies from this particular fruit. If you think you have the allergy, it would be a good idea to go to your allergist and get yourself tested.

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