Allergies

Coconut Milk Allergy: Causes, Prevention and Treatment

Coconut milk is derived from the meat of the coconut. Coconut milk is used in tropical cuisines and other foods. It is also known for its health benefits. However, coconut milk can cause allergy, resulting in itching in the mouth and skin reaction. People having a coconut milk allergy would be allergic to coconut and its derivatives. Hence, avoiding all forms of coconut is recommended.

Coconut allergy is extremely rare, but it exsts. Coconut milk allergy is caused due to the proteins present in the coconut. These proteins are passed from the coconut to the coconut milk during processing.

Symptoms:

  • Itching, burning and tingling sensation of the mouth, lips and tongue
  • Skin reactions such as itchiness, hives, redness and rash
  • Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
  • Severe symptoms such as dizziness, breathlessness and low blood pressure. These symptoms can indicate anaphylaxis – a severe allergic reaction. If these symptoms are observed, the patient should be immediately administered epinephrine

Prevention:

  • Avoid coconut milk and foods containing coconut milk
  • Read the labels and avoid those products which contain coconut/coconut milk
  • Be careful while eating out and find out about the ingredients
  • Always carry an epinephrine to prevent an anaphylactic reaction

Treatment:

  • Skin prick test and blood test are done to check for coconut allergy
  • Once allergy is confirmed, your doctor can prescribe you antihistamines or corticosteroids for treatment
  • In case of severe allergic reaction, epinephrine should be used to stop the reaction
  • If you have doubts about coconut milk allergy, do consult your allergist for testing and treatment

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