Food allergies should not be taken lightly. Even when an individual has an allergic reaction to an apparently harmless food such as avocado, the body could not recognize the proteins in the food but as a threat.
The immune system initiates an attack as it struggles to deal with the foreign proteins. Even though some symptoms of an allergic reaction to avocado are mild, some can be considered as severe and debilitating in some individuals.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Once an individual ingests avocado, the mouth will start to tingle while the lips become itchy. Even handling the fruit can also trigger itchiness and possibly rashes. After consuming the food, the individual might end up with watery eyes as well as wheezing. Take note that these symptoms might manifest right away or several hours later in some cases. In addition, as the allergen moves within the digestive tract, the individual can end up with abdominal cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.
Once an individual is severely allergic to avocados, the throat will start to swell up which makes it difficult to breathe. This requires immediate medical attention since this might be anaphylaxis which is a life-threatening condition.
If the individual has a known allergy to avocado, the doctor will most likely provide a prescription for an injectable epinephrine. Once contact with avocado occurs, a shot of epinephrine can be administered to prevent the symptoms from getting worse. If the individual was able to provide a shot, he/she still requires emergency medical care to ensure that the allergy has subsided. When a shot is given, the medication helps counteract the symptoms of a reaction.
Possibility for cross contamination
Eating any food that contains avocados or guacamole is likely to trigger allergies. In some cases, the individual can also end up with symptoms due to cross contamination. In a restaurant, the chef preparing a sandwich is unaware of the allergy, thus he/she may use the same knife used in slicing an avocado to slice up onions for the sandwich.
Even though the entrée does not contain avocado, it has been cross-contaminated with avocado. Due to the possibility of cross contamination, it is important to alert anyone preparing your food regarding the allergy.
Issues with latex
If an individual has latex allergy, he/she is more likely to be allergic to avocados. Almost half of individuals with latex allergy might end up with outbreaks not just from avocado, but also from strawberries, bananas, kiwis, tomatoes, chestnuts, plums and passion fruit.
This typically occurs since some of the proteins in latex are strikingly similar to the proteins present in these foods. Once an individual is sensitive to latex, it is best to consider strict avoidance of avocados as well as other types of foods or undergo proper testing for these potential allergens.