Potato Allergy-Causes, Symptoms, And Cure
Potato Allergy affects about 4% of adults in America while the number visibly doubles when it comes to young children under the age of three. This in itself is not quite so alarming as the possibility of being allergic to the popular tuber is not so common. However, it is better to learn about it in details in order to remain safe in case you or any of your loved ones develop the allergy.
Reasons for Potato Allergy
Scientists and food nutritionists believed the potato to be a harmless vegetable as far as allergies were concerned. But the new research studies have uncovered startling facts which point to the tuber being allergic to some people both in its raw state as well as when eaten cooked.
A member of the Solanaceae family, the potato contains Sol T or patatin which might cause our immune system to react violently leading to allergy like symptoms. Tomatoes contain the same protein too and there has been enough evidence to believe that cross reactivity exists between the two vegetables making it likely for a person to be allergic to both the vegetables simultaneously.
Exposure to potato dust or pollens may also be the reason behind allergic reactions and workers who handle large quantities of the vegetable at processing plants face the risk of developing allergies to the innocuous tuber.
Cross reactivity with tomatoes, melon and pears as well as birch pollen may result in multiple food allergies.
Potato Allergy Symptoms
- Oral allergy symptoms
- Itching of skin especially around the mouth and lips
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Eczema or Skin Hives
- Pain in the abdomen
- Runny nose and rheumy eyes
- Breathing problems and wheezing
- Constricted feeling in the chest.
Diagnosis of Potato Allergy
The condition can be diagnosed by conducting a number of tests on the affected person. Common tests include:-
- Skin Prick Test- a small amount of the allergen is injected beneath the skin and the reactions observed.
- Blood Test- Blood sample from the patient is examined for the presence of the antibody IgE.
- Food Elimination Test- The suspected food is removed from the diet for a period of time.
Treating Potato Allergy Symptoms
- Avoidance of potato and potato based processed foods completely.
- Food labels must be carefully read as a number of processed products available in the market use potatoes in some form or the other and may trigger off the allergy.
Both the raw as well as the cooked potato needs to be avoided.
- OTC or prescribed anti histamine drugs
- Corticosteroids for skin problems and contact dermatitis.
- Medication for asthma.
- Severe reactions are treated with a shot of epi-nephrine which can be self injected by means of an epi-pen.
Potato Allergy can be kept within control by taking a few timely precautions. Another piece of good news is that children tend to outgrow it as they grow older.
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