Saturday, July 5, 2008

Pollen, Fruits, Veggies Help Trigger Oral Allergy Syndrome

I came to Canada in the summer of 1996 and since then I have accumulated numerous allergies and allergic reactions and other health problems. Never had a problem when I was living in the Pacific Islands, actually I was barely sick of any condition.

For the past 12 years living in Canada, I have acquired the following:

  • Asthma - Yes, never had asthma before, I do now! I will forever be taking ventolin and Pulmicort. I don't know, but for some reason, the Canadian Environment messed up my health and my immune system. Now, the following allergies triggers my Asthma so I have to mainly avoid them as well to prevent an attack.

  • Cat Allergy - I am actually allergic to cats, like they would kill me if I am around them long enough without my puffer. Now, even if I take Claritin, Reactine or any of the kind drugs, according to an allergist they will not work for me. That is just the way it is, so avoid cats no matter what, the only thing that will save me from cats right now is my puffer. Once Asthma kicks in, the only thing I need is my ventolin - just one or two puffs and my lungs and throat dilates and I can breathe again.

  • Ragweed, dust, pollen, mildew and other misc allergic reaction - Ok, these can't kill me, but they make me sick enough that I need to take drugs, which is tolerable.

  • Birch tree and a couple other misc trees allergy - Oh, this one is big too like the cat one, but the good thing about it is that I don't go near trees all the time and I know how to avoid them if I see one.

  • Nuts allergic reaction- These can't kill me either, I only have a reaction to them. They make my tongue, lips, gums and throal itchy and my lips swell - that's all! So it means I can still eat them!

  • Shellfish Allergic Reaction - These can't kill me, how can they? they are so yummy! Yes, I do have an allergic reaction to shellfish, especially with crabs and clams. Now, don't get me wrong I still eat them just because they are so good, it counters the fact that I am itchy all over and that my lips are swollen after eating. It's a plus really, since my lips look like Angie's after - Muah!

  • Fruits and Veggies allergic reaction - Yes! Isn't that insane? Ok, I love fruits and Veggies and I know I wasn't allergic to them or had any reaction, but I do now. Apparently it's not just me that acquired the reaction from these types of food, but many people have the same reaction as what I am getting now. Read the following article below:

Cooking foods can reduce or prevent allergic reactions, group suggests

THURSDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Up to one-third of people with seasonal allergies may suffer oral allergy syndrome (OAS), which results from a cross-reactivity between seasonal airborne pollen proteins from weeds, grass and trees and similar proteins in some fresh fruits and vegetables.

Common symptoms of OAS -- also known as pollen-food syndrome -- include: itchiness, tingling or swelling of the mouth, tongue and throat immediately after eating fresh fruits, vegetables and certain kinds of other foods, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI). ( This is so true for me)

In some cases, people may suffer severe throat swelling or even a systemic reaction.
People with ragweed pollen allergies might experience symptoms if they eat foods such as bananas, cucumbers, melons, zucchini, sunflower seeds, chamomile tea and Echinacea.

People with birch tree pollen allergies may experience OAS symptoms if they eat food such as peaches, apples, pears, cherries, carrots, hazelnuts, kiwi fruit or almonds. (Ok, this is freaky - apples, cherries , pears and carrots definitely gives me the reaction)

In most cases, cooking these foods will reduce or prevent an allergic reaction. (Mmmmm yummy boiled fruit!)
The AAAAI recommends people consult an allergist/immunologist if they:

  • experience itchy mouth from raw fruits or vegetableshave

  • limited their diet based upon perceived adverse reactions to food or additives (why limit? If it doesn't kill me - then it's ok to eat right?)

  • have prolonged or severe symptoms of rhinitis (this is me)

  • have nasal polyps (is that a flower in the nose? He he he)

  • have co-existing conditions such as asthma or recurrent sinusitis (me again)

  • have symptoms that interfere with their quality of life and/or ability to function (me again)

  • have found medications to be ineffective or have had adverse reactions to medications (me again, wow I am a basket case!)

  • are a child with allergic rhinitis.

Immunotherapy may prevent the development of asthma. (too late)

More information
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has more about

oral allergy syndrome.
-- Robert Preidt

Now you have it, if you are my enemy - now you know how to kill me. If you are my friend - now you know how to make sure you don't kill me.

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