When you have gone through your life without giving food allergies much thought, it may be frustrating to find yourself suddenly experiencing issues when you eat certain foods, like strawberries. If you are thinking that you might have an allergy to strawberries, there are some important facts that you should know. Once you know more about strawberry allergies and what you can do about them, you can start dealing with your potential food allergy problem right away.
Strawberry Allergies Can Be Related to a Birch Pollen Allergy
One of the facts that you likely do not know about strawberry allergies is that they are often linked to an allergy to birch pollen. When a person has an allergy to a food or to a pollen, they are actually allergic to specific proteins in the food or pollen. The proteins that cause allergies to strawberries are very similar to those that cause allergies to birch pollen.
If you have previously been tested for pollen allergies, you may want to check with your doctor to find out if birch pollen was one of the allergens that affected you. Should this be the case, you are much more likely to be allergic to strawberries. Additionally, the reactions can be much stronger when you also have a birch allergy.
If You Are Allergic to Strawberries, You May Be Allergic to Other Fruits
Strawberry plants are a member of the Rosaceae family (also known as the rose family). They are not the only fruit-bearing plant that are a member of this family. Other fruits from the Rosaceae family include apples, pears, raspberries, and cherries, among numerous others.
If you have an allergy to strawberries, you may also have allergies to other Rosaceae family fruits. You could also have merely a sensitivity to other fruits in the family, meaning you have mild symptoms, like an itchy tongue or throat irritation, when you consume them.
You Should Keep Allergy Treatments On Hand Just in Case
Should you and your doctor determine that you do have an allergy to strawberries, you will want to take precautions. To avoid an allergic reaction to strawberries, you will want to avoid coming into contact with them or consuming goods that contain strawberries. However, there is always the chance that you will come into contact with strawberries accidentally.
You need to be prepared in case this happens. Antihistamines are one option to keep on-hand in case of accidental contact with strawberries. Taking an antihistamine can help with mild reactions like a skin rash, itching throat, or hives and mild swelling. It is also possible to have a severe reaction if you come into contact with strawberries. This can mean that you could experience anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening.
To deal with this, you should always carry an epinephrine auto-injector or pen with you. The epinephrine pen will get epinephrine into your bloodstream immediately, opening up your airway and allowing you the time you need to get to the hospital for further treatment.
Now that you know some of the facts about strawberry allergies, you can be sure you take the best possible care of yourself going forward.