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Mandarin Oranges and Allergies

By Diane Marks

An allergy to mandarin organs is considered uncommon. If you are allergic to mandarin oranges you suffer from a citrus allergy and may have similar allergic reactions to other citrus fruit, such as lime or grapefruit, according to Family Allergy and Asthma Care of Montana. If you believe you are experiencing an allergic reaction after touching or eating mandarin oranges, you should see a doctor immediately. While most symptoms of allergy to mandarin oranges are mild and harmless, there remains the risk of anaphylactic shock.

Background

The Food Allergy Research and Education website, or FARE, says a food-related allergy, such as an allergy to mandarin oranges, causes an overreaction of the immune system. The proteins from the mandarin orange cause the immune system to respond by creating a defense system. The immune system mistakes the mandarin orange proteins as a harmful substance and develops antibodies and histamine to fight them off. This chemical reaction in the body leads to common food allergy symptoms.

Common Symptoms

Common symptoms an allergy to mandarin oranges include tingling sensations in the mouth or cheeks, ulcers in the mouth, watery eyes, vomiting, diarrhea, cramping in the abdomen and respiratory complications, according to the FARE website. Respiratory symptoms may include nasal congestion, postnasal drip, runny nose, sneezing and sinus pressure. Asthma symptoms can develop, such as wheezing, coughing, chest pain and difficulty breathing, according to MedlinePlus.

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Contact Dermatitis Consideration

Contact dermatitis is and allergic reaction of the skin that is common in people with a citrus allergy. It occurs most often when certain citrus substances come in direct contact with the skin. According to the Merck Manuals, the skin becomes inflamed and forms small blisters that are extremely itchy and can burn. If exposure to mandarin oranges causes contact dermatitis, wash the affected area to get rid of any residue, use a cold compress to reduce the itch and take an antihistamine to relieve inflammation.

Treatment

The most effective treatment for an allergy to mandarin oranges -- or any food -- is to avoid exposure to them, according to FARE. Avoid all citrus fruits and to read the labels of any food or beverage before consuming. Other treatments include taking an oral antihistamine to alleviate mild symptoms, such as sneezing or itchy eyes. An injection of epinephrine may be required if symptoms of anaphylactic shock are present.

Warning

Although rare, an allergy to mandarin oranges can lead to a severe allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis is a condition where excessive amount of histamine are produced in the body, sending the body into a state of shock. Get immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms such as inability to breathe, hives or a drop in blood pressure.

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