What You Should Know About Banana Allergies

Posted on: 6 March 2019

When most people think about food allergies, they tend to think about peanut and milk allergies. In fact, some people think that peanuts and milk are the only allergy-causing foods around. However, this is simply not the case. Many foods can cause allergic reactions, including bananas. Get to know some of the important facts about banana allergies. Then, you can be sure that you take proper action if you ever find yourself having trouble with bananas. 

Banana Allergies Can Be Mild or Severe

The first thing to keep in mind about banana allergies is that there is a range of severity. Some people have very mild sensitivities to bananas, while others have severe reactions. As such, if you eat bananas on occasion and have minor symptoms, like an itchy tongue or mild stomach upset, you could still have a banana allergy.

Banana Allergies Can Worsen Over Time

Mild reactions to consuming bananas should not be taken lightly. These symptoms can sometimes be signs of more severe episodes and reactions to come. A person's allergy to bananas can get worse over time and seemingly for no reason. 

One day, a person can have some itching or diarrhea when they eat bananas. The next time they eat a banana, they might find themselves suffering anaphylaxis, which is a potentially deadly allergic reaction that causes swelling, hives, or even shock, which causes airways to close off so the person cannot breathe at all. 

Banana Allergies Can Be Related to Other Allergies

If you are allergic to bananas, there is a strong likelihood that you have other allergies or sensitivities as well. Rather than being allergic to bananas specifically, you might be allergic to a protein that is found in bananas and other foods and substances known as chitinase. 

Chitinase is also found in kiwi, avocado, and latex. When you go to the doctor, it is a good idea to let all of your medical caregivers know. They can then avoid using latex gloves and other latex items in your care as you may have a sensitivity or allergy without even realizing it. 

Banana Allergies Can Be Diagnosed by an Allergy Specialist

If you think you might have a banana allergy, the best thing you can do for yourself is to go see an allergy specialist for allergy testing. The testing process is known as a skin test. A skin test means that the doctor will place liquid solutions of the allergen onto the surface of the skin.

They will then use a small needle or pin to inject the allergens just under the surface of the skin. If you have an allergy to the allergen, you will develop a small bump or welt. The doctor will then be able to give you a list of which allergens you have a reaction to and which are not an issue for you. Bananas are one of those items you can be tested for. 

Now that you know more of the facts about banana allergies as well as what you can do if you think you have such an allergy, you can be sure that you take care of yourself as well as possible going forward.