08 July, 2011
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Pear Cider & Allergies
It would seem odd that eating pears doesn’t have any affect on your body but that when you drink pear cider you develop allergy symptoms. This is a sign of a condition called histamine intolerance. Histamine intolerance symptoms are similar to allergic reaction symptoms, which can confuse the diagnosis. Make an appointment with an allergist or a family doctor to determine the cause of your symptoms. Other possible considerations are pollen-food allergy syndrome or a genuine food allergy.
Histamine is a chemical that occurs in soft tissues and helps protect against infection. Histamine is one of the main chemicals that causes allergic reaction symptoms after consuming a food or beverage or inhaling airborne allergens. Histamine intolerance is the inability to process naturally occurring histamine in foods and beverages. According to Michigan Allergy, Sinus and Asthma Specialists, ciders contain high amounts of histamine because of the fermenting process. If you’re histamine intolerant, you may develop throat irritation, a runny nose, skin rashes or skin flushing from drinking pear cider.
Pollen-food Allergy Syndrome
Talk with your doctor if you only develop allergy-like symptoms in your mouth from drinking pear cider. You may have a condition called pollen-food syndrome or oral allergy syndrome. This condition is the confusion of certain pollens with the proteins found in some fruits and vegetables. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia states that if you’re allergic to birch or alder pollen, you may develop mild to severe itching in your tongue, lips, throat and mouth. This condition rarely triggers a severe allergic reaction.
A genuine food allergy to pear cider will need to be determined by allergy testing. A food allergy to pears will cause the presence of immunoglobulin E antibodies. Antibodies are disease-fighting agents that help protect the body from infectious organisms. During a food allergy, your immune system makes the mistake of reacting to the proteins in the pear cider as if they were dangerous. This triggers a chemical chain reaction throughout the body, causing the production of histamine. Allergy tests will take a sample of your blood and send it to lab where technicians will insert your blood with pear cider proteins to determine if your blood creates IgE antibodies.
If you develop the following symptoms, call 911, according to National Institutes of Health online medical encyclopedia Medline Plus: fainting, dizziness, lightheadedness, anxiety, coughing, confusion, abdominal pain, cramping, wheezing, trouble breathing, difficulty swallowing, diarrhea, nasal congestion, slurred speech, hives, itching, heart palpitations and a drop in blood pressure.
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