Garlic Allergy

Some people do not like to consume garlic due to its awkward odor when it is a raw. But there are plenty of valid reasons to ingest this health giving herb every day. The chefs love to use full garlic or its crashed version in recipes to make it savory. The garlic literally brings a unique taste in foods like onions. When it is used in dishes, the odor is no more available. There are numerous numbers of health benefits and everyone should consume a full garlic every day in order to reduce high cholesterol. It is a very powerful antioxidant like its smell which helps to prevent the free radical damage. For diabetes patient to regulate the blood sugar level garlic plays a vital. It also prevents different seasonal flu and protect the body from suffering frequent illness. But unfortunately some people obtain an allergic reaction right after consuming garlic or by smelling its smell. Those people suffer from garlic allergy which is very rare but can occur certain level of discomfort.

The severity of reaction can be mild to acute depending on how much the patient ate it and what level of sensitivity he/she has. One of the most common symptoms that is shown first is stomach cramping. As soon as a sufferer consumes, smell or even come in contact with it the reaction triggers. This leads the patient to a weird and discomfort stage almost immediately. For instance, some people can’t even finish the meal and have to get up. You will experience irritation and skin inflammation is very common among regular sufferers. Even in extreme cases heartburn or breathing difficulties may happen. But the severity of reaction is not that serious if you are having an intolerance to garlic. This is a different scenario from allergy and everyone can’t really understand this. So unless the patient does not conduct any medical tests, this is very difficult to differentiate. Or if you contact an allergist and tell him about the intensity of symptoms, they might help you out.

What Causes Garlic Allergy?

The reason of these two occurrences is different. The allergy problem causes due to the protein garlic has in it. Allicin is an active component of garlic which comes out when it is either crushed, chopped or sliced. This is abundantly available in raw garlic. But when it is cooked and used in dishes, most of the allicin goes away. It needs a high temperature and cook for a longer period in order to destroy this particular component. In restaurants, garlic might remain undercooked and the protein exists in it and as a result allergic reaction is always a probability there. This is why the sufferer should intake only home made foods and remain safe. For processed foods which are available in the supermarket, always look at the list of ingredients and make sure it does not include any garlic. Some manufacturers do not include in this list and it is confusing for the buyers. If you are allergic to other substances of the Allium family such as onions or ginger, then garlic can produce an allergic reaction as well. This happens due to the cross sensitivity between the foods under the same family.

Allergy or Intolerance?

Sometime this is quite difficult to anticipate which form of reaction you are suffering from. The garlic allergy is due to protein garlic has. The immune system infers this protein a harmful substance and tries to block it by unleashing antibodies. When the antibody IgE and protein comes with a contact and try to beat off each other, as a consequence a new chemical called Histamine is produced. This is the chemical which goes through the bloodstream in different parts and cause hypersensitivity. But intolerance is a bit different which causes because some of the foods can’t be digested normally due to the absence of a particular chemical in the body. The reaction is mild and does not exist for a long time. You might spend a full night without sleep, bloating and gas is very common for intolerance. Where garlic allergy may lead the patient to deadly anaphylaxis there an intolerance problem will not exist for more than couple of days. You might need medication to alleviate allergy problem but in most of the cases no medicine is needed for intolerance problem.

Typical Symptoms:

These are some of the common symptoms of garlic allergy and to indicate the problem properly this is better to contact the doctor and ask for medical tests.

  • Anaphylaxis (very rare)
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Eczema
  • Fainting
  • Gas
  • Hives
  • Irritation
  • Itching of the skin
  • Nausea
  • Rashes
  • Redness in skin
  • Runny nose
  • Skin inflammation
  • Stomach Cramps
  • Swelling
  • Swelling of the mouth
  • Vomiting

Diagnosis and Tests:

The medical test is always important to detect the exact type of problem. At home if you want you may avoid garlic for a particular time period and see what is the outcome. If any other foods did not trigger any reaction then you are convinced that no other foods are a problem for you. After a few days, try a trace amount of garlic and watch out if there is still a reaction you are having. If you are too much sensitive, then this test should be done under an allergist and in the hospital. There are several other tests to detect food allergy. The doctor might advise to do the skin prick test, blood test, patch test in order confirm garlic allergy.

Treatments for Garlic Allergy:

The prevention is always better as allergy problem is not curable completely. By avoiding garlic at all costs will definitely not trigger any reaction in the future. Try to find out the alternatives of garlic and use it while cooking in order to balance out the deficits that is being made in the absence of garlic. But if you have been suffering from it for a long time and the intensity of reaction has been always at its peak then you pose a high risk or probably anaphylactic shock. At this stage consult with a doctor immediately and take an antihistamine regularly. During the anaphylactic reaction, an epinephrine injection is a must.

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