Cinnamon is a spice and people usually use it to bring tastes and natural smell in food. But some people have allergy to cinnamon which is quite rare in number but the allergic reaction can progress from mild to severe in most occasions depending on the sensitivity and the amount of consumption of patients. Some foods are really unsavory due to deficiency of this spice. On many occasions, we use it to replace the smell of a particular ingredient with its flavor in food. The cinnamon allergy should not treat casually or overlooked. It is also difficult to diagnose this allergy due to some reasons. One can suffer from this allergy by either touching it with hands, coming in contact or eating as an ingredient. It is more common among adults than babies or infants. But few baby foods contain the flavor of it. So, the cinnamon allergy in babies is always a concern for the parents. The parent should be very careful while buying baby food. It must not include any cinnamon at all if your baby has an adverse reaction to this spice. The reaction can be worse for babies as they are sensitive and can’t tolerate the hypersensitivity. Thus it is important to check out the list of ingredients before buying a baby food. The dermatitis is the most common symptoms for babies who are having an allergy to cinnamon. But skin rashes, hives and swelling tongue are also common for babies.
The most difficult part is to diagnose cinnamon allergy as it is crushed to make small pieces before using in the main food. The cinnamon that we usually buy from the shop is named “cassia” in particular. Cassia is the family member of cinnamon, but not an exact cinnamon. Also, some people confuse it with common cold or seasonal allergies and try to overlook it by assuming that they’re suffering from some other allergies. This spice does not include among the 8 most common food allergies and so it might not include in the food labels. Cinnamon is typically mentioned inside a generic group ‘spices’ on food labels. It is the responsibility of a user to scrutinize the list of ingredients of a packaged food to look out for this allergen.
What are the Reasons for Cinnamon Allergy?
The immune system of the body makes a mistake by detecting cinnamon as a threat to the body. Then it tries to block this substance from inserting into the body. As a consequence, the immune system produces antibodies (IgE) which fights against the protein of cinnamon. As a result a chemical is produced which is called Histamine. This chemical creates the hypersensitivity on different soft tissue such as skins and we call it an allergy.
What Symptoms are Prominent?
These are the most common symptoms of cinnamon allergy found in most cases. But the signs alone are not good enough to declare a patient is positive to it unless a doctor conduct medical tests.
- Anaphylaxis (a shock which is very rare)
- Itchy skin
- Runny nose
- Skin dermatitis (skin irritation, inflammation, eczema, blister)
- Swelling in face and throat.
- Upset stomach
- Watery eyes
What Tests Can Detect It?
As this allergy is difficult to detect thus multiple tests might need to conduct before the patient is declared to be positive to cinnamon allergy. The skin patch test needs a trace of cinnamon to place underneath the skin and check which symptoms are coming out. The doctors may take blood tests to detect the antibodies in the blood which is another way to detect the hypersensitivity. As you consult with the doctor, he/she should suggest your next approach.
What Treatments are Available?
The best treatment would be to take some antihistamine for quick relief. The antihistamine counter attacks the excessive histamine to cut its effect on the body. Antihistamine should start working within a couple of hours. Benadryl is a recommended drug for quick result which takes 5-10 minutes to show its impact. But this is always important to consult a doctor first. Upon taking proper tests, they will make sure whether you are really affected by cinnamon allergy or not.
Anaphylactic shock is not that common and regarded as a sign of the most severe reaction to this allergy. It only causes in extreme condition and the patient starts getting breathing trouble when it occurs. In such case, the patients need to take to the hospital as soon as possible. The symptoms of anaphylactic shock are fainting, extreme itching or swelling, difficulties in breathing etc.
For prevention, it is important to avoid foods which contain cinnamon. You should find substitutes which work the same way as this spice. Although this is difficult to find a replacement of cinnamon but you may try the ingredients such as mace, cloves and nutmegs etc. The flavor can also create the reaction, so beware of it. If it comes in contact with hands, immediately wash out hands with soap or detergent.