What is sesame seed allergy?
Sesame seed allergy is an allergic reaction to sesame seeds and possibly every other food substance that comes from the sesame plant.
Individuals who develop an allergic reaction to sesame seed often develop allergic reactions to sesame oil as well.
Sesame seed allergy may not be as popular as having an allergy to nuts but it can be just as deadly.
In 2016, 15-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse was on her way to Nice when she suffered a fatal allergic reaction to sesame seed when she accidentally ate a baguette not knowing that it contained those seeds, which she is severely allergic to.
According to Natasha’s parents she bought the baguette from Pret A Manger, a successful sandwich chain with stores in Europe and the United States.
The baguette’s list of ingredients didn’t say that it contained sesame seed and so the teenager thought it was safe for her to eat.
When Natasha ate the baguette the reaction came quickly and it was so severe that even when her father injected her with two EpiPens the adrenaline from those two injections was unable to alleviate the young girl’s allergic reaction.
Natasha died in a hospital somewhere in France with her father by her side and her mother on a flight going to her location.
Many other individuals reported having a severe allergic reaction to sesame seed and some of those people also fell victim to Pret A Manger’s negligence in stating in their list of ingredients that sesame seed is included in some of their sandwiches.
If you suspect that you’re allergic to sesame seed or sesame oil consult a physician right away.
The number of people with sesame seed allergy is steadily increasing and experts are saying that it might be due to the increasing use of sesame in many dishes.
Sesame oil is considered to be a healthy alternative to other cooking oils, which is why a lot of people are turning to this substance when they are cooking their food.
Unfortunately, many people are developing intolerance to sesame seed/oil and their immune systems are seeing these harmless ingredients as a threat.
What’s more disconcerting is that most of the symptoms of sesame seed allergy point to a severe outcome unlike other food allergies where people only develop rashes, hives or wheals.
So it is very important to have yourself tested and see if you’re allergic to sesame seed.
Symptoms of sesame seed allergy
As mentioned earlier, most of the symptoms of sesame seed allergy indicate a severe possible outcome.
If you are experiencing the following symptoms you may be allergic to sesame seed:
- Shortness of breath
- Low pulse rate
- Abdominal pain
- The mouth itches
- Flushing in the face
As you can see the symptoms of sesame seed allergy can lead to a fatal outcome, which can also be referred to as an anaphylactic shock.
An anaphylactic shock is when your body reacts severely to a foreign substance that it releases highly potent chemicals that can lead to constricted breathing and a low pulse rate.
So it can’t be mentioned enough that those who suspect that they’re allergic to this ingredient should consult an allergist right away and be given the right kind of medication in case any of the symptoms above occur.
Diagnosing sesame seed allergy
According to allergists a food test needs to be conducted in order to determine if an individual is allergic to sesame seed.
What allergists will do is give the patient a small portion of sesame seed and they will gradually increase the amount until a reaction occurs.
Since allergy to sesame seed can be deadly no one should perform a food test without the aid of an allergist or physician.
Treating sesame seed allergy
After a person is diagnosed with sesame seed allergy an allergist will prescribe an epinephrine injection in case he suffers an allergic reaction.
The epinephrine shot contains adrenaline that can curb an anaphylactic reaction.
The allergist will instruct the patient to inject himself on the leg or the arm as soon as he feels that his breathing becomes constricted or right after he finds out that he accidentally ingested sesame seed.
Another way to avoid anaphylaxis caused by sesame seed is to simply avoid this ingredient.
It may be a simple solution but it can be a difficult task to accomplish since sesame seed and sesame oil are used in many foods.
Sesame seed can even be found on top of McDonald’s most famous burger, Big Mac, and a lot of Indian, Chinese and other Southeast Asian countries use sesame seed and sesame oil in most of their national dishes.
Fortunately, US, Canada and Europe have recognized the danger of sesame seed allergy and they have instructed food manufacturing companies and dining establishments to clearly state to the public/customers the list of ingredients for all of their foods.
But vigilance is still required because not all food establishments are strict when it comes to listing their ingredients for the public to be aware of.
Exercise caution whenever you are dining outside and make sure that the food you are about to eat is completely free from sesame seeds and sesame oil.