Some individuals in different parts of the globe have food allergy. Even though an allergic reaction to bananas is not included in the list of common triggers, it can still trigger life-threatening symptoms. A doctor should be consulted if a family member is suspected with an allergic reaction to bananas.
Intolerance to bananas
An actual allergic reaction to bananas is considered rare, but the body might not be able to break down a certain chemical present in the fruit. Amines are chemicals that are required by the body to generate an enzyme called diamine oxidase.
If the body could not produce sufficient amounts of this enzyme, the individual will end up with allergy-like reactions. This reaction is called banana intolerance which might involve abdominal cramping, headaches, heart palpitations, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, breathing problems and runny nose.
Allergy to bananas
While the allergy-like symptoms might be due to intolerance to bananas, an actual banana allergy is due to the inability of the body to break down the protein chitinase. This protein is also present in avocadoes and kiwis which trigger a type-1 allergic reaction.
When it comes to type of reaction, it is usually severe and almost instantaneous in which the symptoms manifest in just a matter of minutes of exposure or consumption of the fruit. Since these reactions tend to vary between minor discomfort and even death, the symptoms may or may not include rashes, itchy skin, eye problems, runny nose, difficulty breathing, stomach issues and even a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis.
Since a true banana allergy is considered uncommon, an allergic reaction to bananas can manifest from a broader allergy to birch trees and pollen. Always bear in mind that these allergies usually trigger a combination of symptoms called oral allergy syndrome within a few minutes of eating the fruit.
This is quite common among individuals suffering from hay fever and trigger symptoms such as itchiness, tingling sensation and swelling on the lips as well as the mouth and throat. Since these allergies develop after exposure to fresh fruit, cooking or momentarily heating up bananas can prevent a reaction.
Bananas contain a protein and potential allergen that is strikingly similar to those found in natural rubber latex. Once an individual experiences an allergic reaction when using surgical gloves, handling balloons or using condoms, the allergy might be due to latex-fruit syndrome.
Always bear in mind that this condition can result to hives and itchiness all over the body, vomiting, abdominal pain, breathing difficulties and even anaphylaxis. Since this is a potentially life-threatening reaction, it can occur soon after consuming a banana. It is vital to consult a doctor for immediate care if the individual experiences any indications of a severe allergic reaction.