Banana is a very familiar fruit all over the world. This fruit is safe to eat and contains many nutrients such as Vitamin A, B, C, fiber, iron and so on. Some people use it to make dishes savory and different from others. This brings a unique taste in foods. The raw banana has a green color and transforms to yellow when it is ripe. But unfortunately some people are allergic to a safe food like banana. The allergy to banana is found in both babies and adults. Most of the babies can outgrow banana allergy when they grow up but few of them can’t. A few months earlier a staff at the BBC was seriously suffered by this allergy after consuming a banana. After this incident, consuming bananas is banned inside office to make sure no more stuff gets this reaction any more.
Why do Some People Suffer from a Banana Allergy?
The exact reasons behind this allergy are still obscure. Some people born with it and some develop it in adulthood. The immune system of body works like a lifeguard and block everything which it regards as harmful although actually it is not. When someone consumers banana, the protein comes out as a suspicious substance of the immune system which releases antibody IgE to kill it. As a consequence a new chemical called Histamine is produced in the body. But the excessive amount of histamine can react with the soft tissue of the body and create symptoms like swelling, itching, inflammation etc. The reaction starts from mouth as this is the first place that comes into contact with banana while consuming it. Later, the itching symptom approaches towards the tongue and throat. The abdominal pain and vomiting are other symptoms. The severity can turn to catastrophic if immediate action is not taken to prevent it. The anaphylaxis is quite rare for this allergy, but in extreme cases it can happen which usually causes the sufferer to death. The reaction can start within a few minutes to an hour. There are typically two types of banana allergies – the tree birch pollen and allergy to latex. Those who are allergic to latex are most likely going to suffer from this allergy too. Sometime latex gloves are used by doctors or nurses in clinic or hospitals. Beware of those as they could be potentially spreading banana allergies.
Are You Suffering from Banana Allergy or Intolerance?
The banana intolerance is a bit different from banana allergy in terms of severity, but the symptoms are almost similar. Thus sometime it creates confusion among the patients whether they are suffering from an allergy or intolerance. But usually intolerance can take up to a couple of days to show its impact. The symptoms are not severe rather mild. It is not related to the immune system of the body rather it happens due to weakness of the digestive system. The allergy shows bold reaction, can be life threatening and usually shows the reaction immediately. Some people are only allergic to raw banana and they do not feel any problem after consuming a ripe banana. A lot of people suffer from either of them. So, individually one will have to check which one is creating problems for him/her. After finding the reason of adverse reaction, avoid this fruit completely from the diet chart. It is reported that some people can outgrow it at one stage of life. But you can only consider yourself allergy free when the doctor confirms it.
Banana Allergy Symptoms:
These symptoms are usually found in a patient who have allergy to banana. You may still have a different symptom which is not present in the list. In this case, the best way to opt is consulting a doctor.
- Abdominal pain.
- Anaphylaxis (rare)
- Difficulty in breathing.
- Difficulty in swallowing.
- Itching in the mouth, lips, throat, tongue, eyes, skin etc.
- Nasal Congestion
- Rash in babies.
- Skin inflammation.
- Swelling in the mouth.
How to Conduct Tests:
If you are unsure and unable to detect the exact problem by looking at the symptoms, then don’t make any delay to consult with a doctor. There should be allergists around your home as this is a common disorder. Upon consulting with a doctor, he might advice for medical tests. They will decide which test is going to catch your problem. Some of the most common tests for determining banana allergy are the skin prick test, blood test, food elimination test and so on.
What Treatment is Available?
It is hard to survive without a fruit like bananas which enriches with so many necessary vitamins and nutrients for the body. But allergy creates a certain level of discomfort up to several days. So, it is better to avoid every recipe which includes bananas even with a tiny amount. As you are eliminating bananas from diet, make sure you are getting some alternative source which includes those missing nutrition. The alternative potassium source can be potatoes, mangoes, tomatoes, pears etc. As you know the excessive Histamine causes allergy reaction, thus carrying antihistamine tablets is always wiser. As soon as you feel such reaction, take tablets and this should provide relief within a few minutes. In case, the reaction is at its peak and anaphylactic shock triggered, then contact the concerned doctor as soon as possible. Also, you can carry two doses of epinephrine injections to survive from emergency condition.