Talking Allergies

Oral Allergy Syndrome - Up in Ragweed Season
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Author:  gwentheeditor [ Wed Aug 15, 2007 4:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Oral Allergy Syndrome - Up in Ragweed Season

A timely, informative release on this subject from the AAAAI:

AAAAI: Oral Allergy Syndrome Made Worse by Ragweed, Fruits and Vegetables

MILWAUKEE, Aug. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Does your mouth or throat become
itchy after eating fresh fruits or vegetables during the fall season? For
some people, seasonal allergy symptoms may be made worse by consuming fresh
fruits or vegetables due to "oral allergy syndrome" (OAS), according to the
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).
OAS is caused by allergens in the air such as ragweed, which begins to
bloom around August 15. "The pollen released from ragweed is the airborne
allergen primarily responsible for the onslaught of allergy symptoms in the
fall," said Clifford W. Bassett, MD, FAAAAI. "For the 36 million people
suffering from ragweed allergies, it is important to know about pollen-food
syndrome, also known as oral allergy syndrome. The most frequent symptoms
of OAS include itchiness, swelling and hives affecting the mouth, face/lip
and throat area. If not properly managed, these symptoms can take a heavy
toll on an allergy sufferer's quality of life," Bassett concluded.
Oral allergy syndrome may occur in up to one-third of individuals with
seasonal allergies and results from a cross-reactivity between seasonal
airborne pollen proteins (i.e. tree, grass, weed) with similar proteins
that are found in various fresh fruits and vegetables. Common symptoms
include itchiness, tingling and/or swelling of the mouth, tongue and
throat, immediately after eating fresh fruits, vegetables and other foods.
Individuals with ragweed pollen allergies might experience these symptoms
when consuming foods such as:
-- Banana
-- Cucumber
-- Melon
-- Zucchini
-- Sunflower seeds
-- Chamomile tea
-- Echinacea
Oral allergy syndrome is also common in people with birch tree pollen
allergies. Foods that can trigger a reaction in people with this allergy
-- Peach
-- Apple
-- Pear
-- Cherry
-- Carrot
-- Hazelnut
-- Kiwi
-- Almonds
Generally, if individuals with ragweed allergies experience any
symptoms of OAS, they should avoid eating the foods listed above,
especially during ragweed season. However, cooking the food will frequently
reduce and/or eliminate a reaction, though this is not always the case.
Sometimes, OAS can induce severe throat swelling or even a systemic
reaction in a person who is highly allergic. If you have any food
associated symptoms, see an allergist/immunologist for an appropriate
evaluation, including diagnostic allergy tests which will determine whether
or not you should avoid eating certain foods.
When to see an allergy/asthma specialist According to the AAAAI's
referral guidelines, patients should see an allergist/immunologist if they:
-- Experience itchy mouth from raw fruits or vegetables
-- Have limited their diet based upon perceived adverse reactions to
foods or additives
-- Have prolonged or severe symptoms of rhinitis
-- Have nasal polyps
-- Have co-existing conditions such as asthma or recurrent sinusitis
-- Have symptoms interfering with quality of life and/or ability to
-- Have found medications to be ineffective or have had adverse reactions
to medications
-- Are a child with allergic rhinitis, because immunotherapy may
potentially prevent the development of asthma
To find an allergist/immunologist in your area or to learn more about
allergies and asthma, visit the AAAAI Web site at
The AAAAI represents allergists, asthma specialists, clinical
immunologists, allied health professionals and others with a special
interest in the research and treatment of allergic disease.
Allergy/immunology specialists are pediatric or internal medicine
physicians who have elected an additional two years of training to become
specialized in the treatment of asthma, allergy and immunologic disease.
Established in 1943, the AAAAI has more than 6,500 members in the United
States, Canada and 60 other countries. The AAAAI serves as an advocate to
the public by providing educational information through its Web site at

Author:  Helen [ Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:07 am ]
Post subject: 

Generally, if individuals with ragweed allergies experience any
symptoms of OAS, they should avoid eating the foods listed above,
especially during ragweed season

This is news to me! I avoid most everything having to do with ragweed-related OAS anyhow, but I always judge what to eat on a case by case basis. i.e. while I drink camomile tea very rarely, I've never had a problem with it. I wanted to try sunflower seeds awhile back, but then suggested that maybe I'd better not do so during ragweed season----at which point my allergist advised against it period.

I generally avoid all the foods lin a raw state isted under "birch," but I have reintroduced fresh peaches lately. I eat them cautiously and in moderation because I do get OAS from peaches. I have a theory that it helps if I put peaches in yogurt or kefir (because the dairy product prevents the fruit from coming in contact with my mouth as much).

Author:  ficbot [ Fri Sep 07, 2007 8:33 pm ]
Post subject: 

I have had mild reactions from raw plums and peaches, and a very severe reaction from raw apples, but I can eat applesauce or canned fruit with no problems, and I have never reacted to raw bananas or melons. I try to avoid raw fruits with a pit :) The birch seems to be a bigger issue for me than the ragweed.

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