Oral Allergy Syndrome

I have had OAS (oral allergy syndrome) for years, but I’ve found that a lot of people aren’t familiar with it. It’s basically a cross reaction to similar proteins…..hunh? Right, so basically you are allergic to proteins and sometimes a protein in one thing is really similar to a protein found in another thing and your body reacts to both. I have seasonal allergies and I’m allergic to trees. This means that a whole slew of foods (mostly fruits) contain a protein that is similar enough to my tree allergy that it makes me have an itchy mouth/throat, hives, cramping, etc. It is not the same thing as having a true food allergy, though OAS can cause anaphylaxis, so it’s best to avoid all culprits. A good and easy way to tell the difference between a true food allergy and oral allergy syndrome is to eat the protein in its denatured form…..so I can easily eat apple pie and cherry pie (cooking denatures the protein and therefore my body doesn’t react to it) but raw apples and especially cherries (this makes me quite sad) make my mouth very itchy and then it’s benadryl and sleepy time. A true food allergy would affect you regardless of whether it was cooked or not. Exception: nuts…..

I am starting to react to more foods on my tree allergy cross reaction list, and this includes almonds, walnuts and my most recent discovery: hazelnuts. My reaction to almonds is actually classified as a severe reaction so I avoid those at all costs.

Why am I mentioning this? Well, it explains why in the last few years I can no longer eat the aforementioned nuts and strawberries. My seasonal allergies are obviously getting worse and my tolerance is lower, so more of the similar proteine-d foods are adversely affecting me. I am readjusting my diet as a result of this and other issues, so I’m looking forward to having less reactions!

Here’s to no food reactions!!

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