Banana allergy: is it treated?
Bananas are considered one of the most versatile and affordable fruits in the world. In the UK alone, about 5 billion bananas are eaten during the year.
This fruit is no less popular in Ukraine. The reason is the high content of natural sugars with slow release in the gastrointestinal tract, as well as saturation with potassium, which strengthens bones and helps maintain normal blood pressure. In addition, this product is high in fiber and antacids to help maintain gut health.
But despite all the benefits, there are people for whom a banana can be deadly. However, there are few of them. After all, banana allergy affects only 1% of the world’s population.
WHO IS IN THE RISK GROUP?
People with the following diseases are prone to banana allergies:
• Eczema or atopic dermatitis;
• Allergy to pollen of various plant species;
• A history of allergy syndrome to any food;
• Family history of allergies, especially to bananas.
Most often, children have a negative reaction to these fruits. They generally need to be very careful about introducing complementary foods. Especially if the child suffers from atopic dermatitis or has another allergic reaction. You need to start giving your child a little peanuts, walnuts, soy, eggs and fruits, including a banana, no later than 6-7 months. Delay in introducing these foods increases the risk of food allergies.
In addition, parents or guardians should monitor babies for signs of protein-induced enterocolitis. Children with this condition develop severe gastrointestinal symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea, two to three hours after feeding on milk-based soy-based formulas, as well as when eating fruits, including bananas.
BANANA ALLERGY SYMPTOMS
Banana allergy symptoms depend on the type of allergy.
Oral allergies affect the skin of the lips, mouth, and throat. In severe cases of the disease, swelling of these parts of the body may occur. It is a manifestation of anaphylaxis. This reaction can be life threatening.
Oral allergy symptoms appear immediately after you eat a banana. Other forms of banana hypersensitivity can also cause anaphylaxis and appear immediately after the banana is consumed.
However, some people experience digestive upset. Infants may develop painful diaper rash, and adults may develop ulcers in and around the rectum.
Sometimes young children develop rashes around the mouth after eating bananas and other fruits. This is not a real allergy, but just a skin irritation. To reduce or eliminate these symptoms, babies’ mouths should be thoroughly dried immediately after feeding.
PRODUCTS TO AVOID IN BANANA ALLERGIES
Banana allergens are very similar to proteins found in other plant foods and foods. Therefore, it is very important to do testing to show which food or household items you should avoid.
Banana cross-reaction has been seen in patients allergic to birch, cereal and ragweed pollen. Therefore, during the dusting season, which is April-October, you should be especially careful not to consume this fruit during periods when pollen concentrations are especially high.
In addition to bananas, the following vegetables and fruits should be avoided during this period:
- citrus fruits;
- bell pepper
- edible chestnuts;
Banana allergy sufferers may also be allergic to latex , which is found in sanitary gloves, balloons, baby nipples, and condoms.
The good news: Many people who are allergic to raw bananas can eat cooked bananas. Indeed, during heat treatment, the allergen protein breaks down.
But the question of which protein is sensitive in your case can only be decided by a doctor after the patient undergoes allergy diagnostics. This may include skin prick tests, fresh banana testing, or a molecular allergy test. The latter will automatically show sensitivity not only to the corresponding banana proteins, but also to 99.9% of allergens that exist in nature.
SERIOUS ALLERGIC REACTIONS
Quite often, banana allergies occur in people who are not sensitive to either pollen or natural latex. This is especially true for young children.
Their symptoms can spread not only to the mouth and skin, but also to the respiratory system. Some people experience a drop in blood pressure, which can lead to loss of consciousness. Such manifestations are a sign of anaphylaxis . Such patients will be prescribed one or more epinephrine autoinjectors, which the patient should always carry with him.
With a severe form of hypersensitivity to bananas, you should completely abandon everything that this fruit may have in its composition. You need to watch out not only for salads and drinks containing bananas, but also for medicines and cosmetics with a banana flavor.
One medical journal described a case in which an eight-year-old girl experienced a severe reaction after ingesting a dose of penicillin, which included banana essence as a flavoring agent. Therefore, you should be careful not only with foods and medicines that smell like banana, but also products like shampoos and body lotions that smell like banana.
HOW TO DIFFER AN ALLERGY FROM THE INTOLERANCE OF BANANAS?
Unlike allergies, people with an intolerance to this fruit may not experience symptoms immediately, but even a few days after eating it.
This means that it can be difficult for patients to immediately determine the cause of the ailment. Therefore, in this case, it is extremely necessary to consult a specialist.
A food allergy occurs when the body perceives the proteins in the banana as foreign. This happens when small food particles pass through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream. The body sees a potential threat and sends antibodies to fight them. Thus, inflammation occurs that affects the skin and the digestive tract. In case of intolerance, as a rule, the patient cannot digest the product normally. This condition is most often due to the lack of certain enzymes.
Banana intolerance symptoms
Very similar to an allergic reaction to them. These are bloating and abdominal pain, excess gas formation, diarrhea, headache, rashes.
Intolerance, unlike allergies, can go away on its own and never recur.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO CURE BANANA ALLERGIES?
Alas, no. In this case, the main thing is to avoid not only the bananas themselves, but also products that have a banana filler or smell. These include fruit salads, yoghurts, smoothies, ice cream, alcoholic beverages, medicines, and cosmetics.
Therefore, when choosing a product, it is important to read the labels in order to know exactly its composition. But if the use or application of the product is extremely necessary, it is better to contact the manufacturer, who will tell you in detail how the product is made and what components it has.
In addition to bananas, you should avoid foods that can cause cross-reactions (see the list above).