Who Is at Risk for a Carrot Allergy?
Nearly any food can trigger an allergic reaction, and carrots are not an exception. A carrot is a nutritious vegetable that contains beta carotene. However, in some people, eating this veggie can lead to serious allergy symptoms.
An allergy to carrots can be a result of oral allergy syndrome, also referred to as pollen-food allergy syndrome. If you have pollen-allergy syndrome, you may react to pollens found in certain fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Exposure to potentially allergenic foods may cause you to experience an itchy throat, mouth, or ears.
You may also have a food allergy to carrots. In this case, the reaction may be more serious. People allergic to carrots or other foods should be examined by an allergist-immunologist.
In this article, we will talk about the symptoms, diagnosis, as well as control and treatment of a carrot allergy.
What Are the Symptoms of a Carrot Allergy?
If you are allergic to carrots, you will likely develop the symptoms when exposed to raw carrot. Cooking the vegetable can reduce the risks of a reaction, since it helps to break down allergens.
Allergy to carrots often causes itchy skin. The symptoms are usually mild but can range from mild to severe. Mild symptoms include: itchiness of the lips, mouth, tongue, throat, or ears, swelling in the mouth, as well as a scratchiness in the throat.
In some cases, you may experience severe symptoms of a carrot allergy, which may include: hives, swelling of the skin, runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, coughing, sore throat, tightness in the chest, and breathing difficulties.
Anaphylaxis is also possible in people with carrot allergy, but this is rare. If you notice the symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction after eating a carrot, you should seek medical help immediately.
When introducing new food products to you child, make sure to monitor their reactions. If an allergic reaction occurs, you should call your doctor instantly.
Is a Carrot Allergy a Common Condition?
In the United States, an allergy to carrot is quite a rare disorder. However, it tends to be more common in European countries.
How Is a Carrot Allergy Diagnosed?
If you think that you might be allergic to carrots, you should arrange a visit to an allergist. Based on your symptoms, medical history, family history, and allergy testing, the doctor will make a proper diagnosis.
Usually, doctors use a skin prick test to determine an allergy to carrots. This type of allergy testing involves introducing a tiny amount of the allergen into the skin surface. In case of an allergy, small red bumps will occur at the affected site of the skin.
You may also be advised to follow elimination diet for a few days and keep a food diary, which will help to determine whether you are truly allergic to carrots. At the end of the diet, you will perform a food challenge, which involves eating a small amount of an allergen to see the reaction.
Which Foods to Avoid If You Have a Carrot Allergy?
If you are allergic to carrots, you should avoid this food in your diet, both raw and cooked.
It may be challenging, since carrots are found in many food products and recipes. Many vegetable juices and smoothies contain carrots, so you have to be careful with these drinks.
When doing grocery shopping, make sure to read the food labels to avoid carrot-based ingredients. Be especially cautious with prepared pot roasts, marinades, canned soups and stews, many roasted meat dishes, premade cooking stock, some baked goods, prepackaged rice dishes, vegetable juices, and premade smoothies.
Carrot can also be found in some personal care products like lotions, face masks, and soaps. Check the ingredients labels of these products, as well.
How Do You Treat a Carrot Allergy?
Unfortunately, a carrot allergy cannot be cured. The most effective way to avoid the symptoms is to avoid eating carrots. You can also reduce and control the symptoms using antihistamines.
Sometimes, a carrot allergy may cause anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires an immediate treatment, involving an injection of epinephrine, followed by supplemental oxygen, injected antihistamines and steroids, and medicines opening the airways and facilitating breathing.
The symptoms of anaphylaxis include: low blood pressure, a weak or fast pulse, difficulty breathing, swelling of the tongue or throat, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, and fainting.
Who Is at Risk for a Carrot Allergy?
Having a birch pollen allergy increases the risks of a carrot allergy. Besides, if you are allergic to some other foods and plants that contain proteins similar to those in carrots, you may also develop an allergy to carrots.
You are more likely to develop an allergy to carrots, if you allergic to the following plants: parsley, celery, dill, coriander, parsnips, cumin, fennel, and caraway.
The Bottom Line
In most cases, allergic reactions to carrots can be prevented, if you avoid carrots in your diet. If you have a food allergy, make sure to read the ingredients labels when you do grocery shopping. If your symptoms are too annoying, you should visit a doctor who will recommend a proper treatment.