As the saying goes, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” but for those rare people who are allergic to apples this statement is completely fallacious.
Although quite rare, an allergic reaction to apples is quite real and people who suffer this often display the following symptoms:
Symptoms of apple allergy
- itchy throat or mouth
- swollen lips or throat
- stomach discomfort and cramps
- rash or hives
Some people have a severe allergic reaction to apples that they can experience anaphylaxis, which can be fatal if not treated right away.
Symptoms of anaphylaxis are as follows:
- difficulty breathing
- swollen throat
- swelling in and around the mouth
- difficulty in swallowing
- low pulse
People who experience the symptoms above should be administered with an epinephrine shot immediately otherwise they might go into shock and die.
Causes of apple allergy
As with most allergies, people who are allergic to apples have an immune system that deems apples as a threat therefore they produce histamine to combat the foreign substance.
What happens in your body is that your immune system releases immunoglobulin E (IgE) and this IgE attaches itself to mast cells, which can be found all over your body but are more concentrated in your nose, throat, lungs, skin and the gastrointestinal tract (GI).
That is why most people who have food allergies often experience diarrhea after ingesting an allergen.
There are two variations of apple allergy:
- An allergy to a protein in the apple that can also be found in peaches
- An allergy to a protein in the apple that can also be found in birch tree pollen
Those who are also allergic to peaches often experience a severe allergic reaction to apples, while those who are allergic to birch tree pollen have milder symptoms after ingesting an apple and they often only display allergic reactions in and around the mouth.
Also, those who are allergic to birch tree pollen are likely to have respiratory allergies as well and could have hay fever too.
Treatment of apple allergy
Most physicians will advise patients to simply avoid eating apples as a way of treating this condition. Although, when apples are cooked the cooking process could alter the proteins in the fruit therefore it will no longer pose as a threat to the patient.
But before trying this out it’s important to consult your physician first and have yourself checked thoroughly to see the extent of your allergy to apples.