Food allergies typically affect a small percentage of adults as well as children. Even though cherries are not included in the list of the top food allergens, they are capable of triggering allergic reactions in some highly sensitive individuals, especially those who have pollen allergies. Since the allergy symptoms can start as a minor annoyance, they can become worse with repeated exposure to the allergen. If there are indications of a potential allergy to cherries, a doctor should be consulted.
What are the typical signs and symptoms?
Cherry allergy is known to trigger mild to severe symptoms. The actual allergy symptoms typically involve the skin and the intestines. If the individual eats cherries and allergic or sensitive to them, he/she will end up with tingling sensation in the mouth, hives or itchiness, nausea and vomiting, metallic taste in the mouth and nasal congestion. Remember that this can be the extent of the symptoms or they might progress into severe symptoms which is called anaphylaxis that can be life-threatening.
What is anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis is a severe reaction that involves the respiratory and cardiovascular system and can manifest rapidly. Some of the symptoms include swelling of the lips, throat and tongue, difficulty breathing, wheezing, fainting and loss of consciousness.
Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency and can be life-threatening without immediate care. If the individual ate cherries and ends up with an anaphylactic reaction, the doctor will prescribe an injectable epinephrine that should be used during future reactions. Whether the individual has an on-hand epinephrine auto-injector or not, call for emergency assistance right away if the individual starts to exhibit symptoms. Do not wait for the symptoms to worsen since the individual might lose consciousness.
Oral allergy syndrome
When it comes to cherry allergy, it can also indicate an allergy to birch pollen. The individual might end up with oral symptoms of this allergy when eating other vegetables or fruits that contain proteins similar to the protein in birch pollen. These include apples, peaches, kiwi, pears, plums, parsley, carrots or celery. In most cases, the symptoms of oral allergy syndrome include tingling sensation and itchiness of the mouth and throat. In some cases, it might also include swelling that can disrupt with the breathing and must be treated as anaphylaxis.
One way to test for cherry allergy is under the supervision of an allergist. The testing is required in order to eliminate cherries from the diet to check if the symptoms subside. In case the individual does not experience any severe reaction to cherries, the allergist might recommend cherries again to check if they instigate similar symptoms.
In case the individual had a serious or severe reaction to cherries in the past, the doctor might recommend a skin or blood test to confirm a diagnosis of an allergy. If the individual is suspected with cherry allergy, do not attempt to trigger a reaction since this can be dangerous.