Less Common Food Allergies You Should Be Aware Of

This entry was posted on Friday, June 9th, 2017 and is filed under Blog by AENT Associates

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red meat allergy

Most people are familiar with some of the biggest food allergies such as dairy, soy and peanuts. When sensitive individuals come into contact with these substances they exhibit a number of visible reactions. Although not as common, there are a number of other food allergies that can be just harmful. Here are just a few foods to take seriously.

Red Meat

Some people display a severe allergy to red meat, commonly referred to as an alpha-gal allergy or mammalian meat allergy (MMA). The allergic reaction is caused by a reaction to the carbohydrate galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose (alpha-gal).

Alpha-gal is naturally found in all animals except for apes and humans. Development of the allergy is thought to be connected to the bite of the lone star tick. When the tick feeds on the blood of cows or other animals, the alpha-gal is transferred into its system. If the tick then feeds on a human the alpha-gal can travel into the person’s bloodstream and cause the immune system to release antibodies to fight off the foreign carbohydrate.

Unlike other allergies, symptoms usually don’t occur for at least three hours after consumption of mammalian meat products. However, the bodily response is generally the same; itching, gastrointestinal distress and respiratory distress are all common. It is possible for an alpha-gel allergy to disappear over time as long as the person is not bitten by another tick. Recovery can take anywhere from eight months to five years.

Corn

Corn allergies are quickly becoming more common. Whether you’re aware of it or not, corn exists in many forms inside a wide variety of processed foods. Products that use corn flour, such as chips and tortillas, are easy to avoid but high fructose corn syrup can be found in everything from cereal to soda. Corn starch, vinegar and vanilla extract can all cause allergic reactions.

Symptoms of corn allergy can resemble that of any other food allergy. Side effects occur soon after ingestion and include itchiness, hives and even anaphylaxis.

Avocado

Latex allergies often manifest after individuals are repeatedly, constantly exposed to one or more of the proteins that naturally occur in raw latex. Strangely enough, nearly half of those with an allergy to latex will have a similar reaction to foods such as bananas, kiwi and avocados. Rubber latex contains many natural proteins, so it’s assumed that one or more are similar to those found in natural fruits and vegetables.

Reactions due to a latex allergy can be life-threatening, but food allergy symptoms related to latex tend to be less severe. The easiest treatment is to avoid problematic foods.

Mango

Like avocado allergies, mango allergies are closely related to people who have a preexisting allergy to latex. However, people who have reactions to mango are also likely to have severe reactions to poison ivy and poison oak. All three plants contain urushiol, which causes skin irritation on contact. In mangoes, the urushiol allergen is present in the fruit peel. Although the skin is edible it tastes bitter, so an allergic reaction due to ingestion is uncommon.

Allergy Treatment Specialists in Houston

Allergy & ENT Associates provide specialized care for the diagnosis and management of all types of allergies and hypersensitivities affecting the lungs, skin, ear, nose, throat and stomach. Our team of 15 allergy centers, doctors and support staff is the largest specialty allergy, asthma and immunology group practice in Texas. Contact us today for more information about our comprehensive services and procedures.