It is important to note that food allergy is a common health issue that affects millions of adults all over the world. Although allergies to foods such as wheat, soy, milk, fish, nuts and shellfish are quite common, allergy to any type of food can still occur. Red grape allergy can trigger reactions to grapes and grape products including wine, juices and raisins.
What are the possible causes?
When it comes to red grape allergy, the immune system of a highly sensitive individual wrongly identifies the food as a foreign material and a potential threat to the body. The immune system produces antibodies known as immunoglobulin E or IgE to the red grape.
The next encounter of the individual to red grape or grape products will cause the IgE to react to the food and trigger the release of chemicals that starts the manifestation of an allergic reaction.
What are the symptoms?
The signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction to red grapes usually manifest in between a few minutes up to an hour after ingestion of the food. It is important to note that you know how to recognize the symptoms.
In most circumstances, the symptoms might be limited to the skin and manifests as an itchy rash or hives, but a systemic reaction typically includes vomiting, nausea, coughing as well as shortness of breath, dizziness and changes in the voice. In case of a severe reaction or anaphylaxis, it is considered life-threatening and requires immediate emergency care.
An individual with red grape allergy has the tendency to be highly sensitive to the grapes themselves or to other substances present on the grapes. Pesticides, yeast and mold are also present on the grapes and are considered as potential triggers of an allergic reaction.
Take note that grape products often have sulfites added which is also a potential contaminant that is capable of triggering an allergic reaction.
Diagnosing red grape allergy
A thorough history or discussion of the events that led to an allergic reaction is useful in determining the exact cause of a reaction. In case a reaction to grapes tends to occur every time red grapes were ingested, the grapes themselves are most likely the cause. If the reaction manifests in an intermittent manner, it is more likely a contaminant present on the grapes.
A skin prick test is a procedure performed that involves scratching the skin surface with the allergen and monitoring for a skin reaction. This is also used in diagnosing the exact cause of the allergy.
The avoidance of red grapes as well as products that contain the fruit is the main mode of treatment for red grape allergy. In case accidental exposure occurs, antihistamines are usually given for localized or skin reactions.
As for systemic reactions, injectable epinephrine is administered to help counteract the reaction. Once an individual experiences a systemic reaction that requires a shot of epinephrine, the individual should be taken to the nearest emergency department for further assessment and treatment as soon as possible.