Symptoms, what to avoid and more

Avocado allergies are rare, and currently the prevalence of avocado allergies is unknown. However, if you have an avocado allergy, you may also have a birch pollen allergy and/or a latex allergy.

Avocados are an excellent source of fiber and, despite their high fat content, they help improve LDL cholesterol. Its oil can be used for cooking, but it is also an ingredient in many cosmetics, including face and body moisturizers, soaps and shampoos.

This article will discuss avocado allergies, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and dietary alternatives.

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Oral or latex allergy

There are several types of avocado allergies. Two of the most common are oral allergy, which affects the mouth and throat, and latex fruit allergy (or latex fruit syndrome), which occurs when there is cross-reactivity with latex. Developing an allergy to latex and avocado can also occur with other foods like chestnuts, bananas, kiwi and papaya. These foods contain proteins similar to those found in rubber tree sap, which is also found in latex.

Symptoms

Symptoms of oral avocado allergy include itchy lips, mouth, and throat. Other symptoms include hives, rashes and vomiting.

Symptoms of a latex fruit allergy include swollen lips, sneezing, itchy eyes, upset stomach, hives and possibly anaphylaxis.

Complications

The most serious complication you could experience with an avocado latex allergy is an anaphylactic reaction that requires immediate medical attention. Epinephrine will be used to treat symptoms.

Your risk is higher if you or your family members have a history of allergies, asthma, or anaphylaxis.

Symptoms of Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis can be fatal if not treated immediately. Symptoms include:

  • Feeling light-headed or fainting
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Wheezing
  • rapid heartbeat
  • Moist skin
  • Confusion and anxiety

Diagnostic

Currently, there is no specific test to diagnose an avocado allergy. However, to confirm that you may have one, your healthcare provider may recommend a food challenge in a clinical setting. During the challenge, you will be given small amounts of avocado to see if a reaction occurs.

A latex allergy is usually diagnosed by a blood test because no skin test reagents for latex allergy have been approved by the FDA in the United States. While pollen allergy testing can be done through skin or blood tests.

Processing

For mild symptoms, your healthcare provider may recommend over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines. For skin reactions due to accidental exposure to avocado oil in cosmetics and shampoos, cortisone creams can alleviate rashes, hives, and itching.

If these over-the-counter products do not provide relief, your healthcare provider may prescribe stronger medications. If you have a severe reaction after eating avocados, such as anaphylaxis, you will need immediate medical attention and an injection of epinephrine to treat the symptoms.

What to avoid

Like many other food allergies, due diligence is required. Always read the ingredients of prepared foods like ready meals, salads, dips, dressings and sauces. Due to its creamy consistency and bland flavor, many dessert recipes like muffins, puddings, and smoothies may include avocado as a main ingredient to replace milk or butter. Always ask the food preparer if avocado has been used as a dairy substitute.

Food alternatives

If you have an avocado allergy but want similar options in terms of mild flavor, texture, and high fiber content, consider the following alternatives (some of which also contain healthy fats):

  • banana puree
  • Plantains
  • Nut butters
  • Hummus
  • Tofu spreads
  • Breadfruit

Recipes for each of these foods can be easily found online and in Keto, Paleo, and Whole30 cookbooks.

When to See a Health Care Provider

Contact your health care provider to discuss your symptoms if you begin to experience swollen lips, itchy lips, mouth, or throat after eating an avocado. Your healthcare provider will refer you to an allergist to determine if you have an allergy to avocado and other related allergies, including latex and birch pollen allergies.

Summary

Avocado allergies are not common, but if you have one, you may also have a birch pollen allergy and/or a latex allergy. Symptoms include itchy mouth, lips, throat, swollen lips, sneezing, nausea and possible anaphylactic reaction. To determine if you are allergic to avocados, your healthcare provider will refer you to an allergist who may recommend a food challenge test or a skin or blood test. Treatment includes removing avocado from your diet, along with over-the-counter or prescription medications.

A word from Verywell

It can be discouraging to experience unpleasant symptoms with any food, especially one that is so adaptable in so many recipes. But, your health is more important than your taste preferences. Don’t despair, there are other food options as tasty as avocados that you can enjoy.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between an avocado allergy or intolerance?

    An avocado allergy triggers your immune system, leading to symptoms that can range from mild to severe. An intolerance to avocado is less severe and can lead to digestive issues.

  • Do avocados cause bloating and indigestion?

    Due to their high fiber content, avocados can cause bloating and indigestion. However, each person’s digestive system reacts differently. If you suspect avocados are the cause of bloating and indigestion, reduce the portion and see how your body reacts.

  • Is there a cure for an avocado allergy?

    There is no cure for an avocado allergy. To eliminate allergy symptoms, avoid eating avocados or any other processed foods that may contain them. Also check ingredient labels for shampoos and lotions that may list avocado oil as an ingredient.

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