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Allergic Reaction to Pomegranate Juice

By Diane Marks

If you develop adverse reactions after drinking or touching pomegranate juice, you may have an allergy to it. Although pomegranates are not considered a common food allergen, some people may experience an allergic reaction. All symptoms need to be evaluated by your physician. Not all reactions after drinking pomegranate juice are related to an allergy. You may have a different condition that is causing the symptoms. Talk with your doctor for an assessment, diagnosis and treatment options.

Background

Your immune system protects your body from potentially dangerous substances such as bacteria, viruses and parasites. If you’re allergic to pomegranate juice, your immune system identifies the proteins in the fruit as a dangerous substance. The body reacts with its defense system, which leads to creation of immunoglobulin E, or IgE, antibodies. These agents fight off the proteins in the pomegranate juice, causing inflammation, swelling and irritation in various parts of the body. A severe allergic reaction can lead to death.

Contact Allergy

If you’re allergic to pomegranate juice, you may develop a skin rash simply by touching the juice to your skin. This condition is called contact allergic dermatitis and will develop within minutes of touching the fruit juice. Your skin will become red, bumpy and itchy in the area of exposure, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. To treat this condition, wash the affected area with soap and water, and apply hydrocortisone cream to reduce the swelling and itchiness.

Ingested Allergy

If you consume pomegranate juice, you may develop common food allergy symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramping, hives, eczema, itching, tingling in the mouth, nasal congestion, a runny nose, shortness of breath and chest tightness. An allergic reaction will cause inflammation in soft tissue and can restrict your ability to breathe normally. Get medical help immediately if you become lightheaded, dizzy or unable to breathe.

Treatment

Treatment begins with a clinical diagnosis. If your doctor suspects that you’re allergic to pomegranate juice, she may recommend allergy testing. The most common type of allergy test is an injection of a small amount of the allergen under your skin to see if it reacts. Once diagnosed, your doctor will recommend that you avoid pomegranate juice and all other foods or beverages that contain pomegranate. The use of any over-the-counter medications, such as antihistamines, need to be evaluated by your doctor.

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