August 28, 2017

How to Deal with Mango Allergy

Mango is extremely popular in the USA as well as other countries. It was cultivated in India several centuries ago, and today it is grown in various climates, including Mexico, Southeast Asia, Brazil, Spain and Australia. This fruit can be consumed in different forms, such as juices, jams, smoothies, etc. Not many people have an allergic reaction to this fruit, but it may occur in three different ways.

Anaphylactic Reaction to Mango

Anaphylactic reaction to mango is a severe condition caused by the IgE antibody that requires urgent medical help. Symptoms of anaphylactic reaction occur right away after eating a mango. The following are typical symptoms of anaphylaxis:

  • Chest tightness;
  • Urticarial;
  • Shortness of breath;
  • Wheezing;
  • Angioedema, etc.

Anaphylactic reaction to mango and other products is treated in the same way. Severe reactions to this fruit can be diagnosed with the help of blood or skin tests. In the USA, a “prick-prick” method is used, when a special device is pushed into a fresh fruit and then applied to the skin. The result will be seen in about 20 minutes. Positive reaction will occur in the form of a wheal and redness.

People with such a severe reaction to eating mango should avoid consuming this fruit. It is important to remember that mango can be used in different products like fruit smoothies, and it is also possible to consume products that have the same cross-reactivity as mango, which means that injectable epinephrine should always be available in case of occurrence of this allergic reaction.

Skin Reaction to Mango

Contact dermatitis is another reaction that you may experience after eating a mango. It usually occurs on the face within several hours after eating the fruit and may last for several days. You can find itchy blisters on your skin that may peel within the next several days. Such reaction is not caused by IgE antibodies, but by CD4+ T cells (white blood cells) as a reaction to some chemicals in mango peel or other parts of the fruit. Urushiol is one of those chemicals that may cause contact dermatitis, and it is also present in a range of plants, including poison oak, poison ivy and poison sumac. So, if you have contact dermatitis to mango, you should also avoid contacting these plants.

Although contact dermatitis is not life-threatening or dangerous to health, it does make people feel uncomfortable. This reaction to mango is treated with systemic or topical corticosteroids, which depends on its severity. Usually, there is no need to perform any tests to diagnose this reaction if a person contacts a healthcare provider who will be able to observe the reaction on his/her face. At the same time, your doctor may recommend you to perform patch testing, which means that a piece of fruit will be applied to your skin. This is a fast and painless procedure that allows gathering more information about the problem.

OAS to Mangoes

OAS stands for oral allergy syndrome, which is an allergic reaction activated by IgE (the same as anaphylaxis) with mild symptoms, including burning, itching and fullness of the mouth. It typically occurs instantly after eating a mango, and it takes only several minutes to stop the reaction if the right treatment is used. It is possible that OAS develops into anaphylaxis, but this happens rarely. In most cases, mango protein causing an allergy is broken down by the saliva of a person, and all the symptoms of an allergy occur only in the mouth.
It is also possible to experience OAS due to similarities between mango proteins and latex protein or pollens. Pollen allergy allows suspecting that a person is likely to have an allergic reaction to tree or weed pollen. OAS symptoms may also occur due to latex allergy after eating a mango.

OAS to mango may be diagnosed clinically if a person who has an allergy to pollen or latex starts experiencing OAS symptoms after consuming a mango. Additionally, a “prick-prick” method can be used for diagnosis of this condition.
Although OAS usually does not lead to any severe consequences, people with this allergic reaction are recommended to avoid eating mango. There is a 10% possibility that OAS may develop into anaphylaxis, which should be avoided by all means.

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