Does your mouth or throat itch when you eat certain foods? Do your lips swell a little bit and get itchy as well? Or maybe your face, chin and neck itches in a unique way that you can’t explain? This is an allergic reaction called oral allergy syndrome (OAS) and it affects millions of people during the allergy seasons. What actually causes this is a cross-reaction between the seasonal pollen you are allergic to and the protein in certain foods that you eat. You can better identify the root cause of the problem with an oral allergy syndrome chart.
What is Oral Allergy Syndrome?
This unique allergy is caused by an overreaction of the skin and mucus membranes caused by exposure to specific proteins in foods, mostly raw fruits and vegetables. When you are allergic to the seasons, you are actually allergic to the protein in the pollen. When your body’s mucus membranes in your nose and eyes collect this pollen protein, the immune system sees it as something that is hard to get rid of, digest, or excrete and identifies it as a possible invader.
This causes your immune system to activate allergy chemicals like histamine to target the source of the exposure. If the pollen is in your eyes, they will get puffy, watery or itchy in an attempt to get you to naturally get rid of the pollen physically. However, this doesn’t usually work too efficiently if you didn’t realize already.
But this allergic reaction can occur at any mucus membrane in your body if it is exposed to an allergen. (1)
In the case of oral allergy syndrome, your mouth and throat are exposed to a protein that you are allergic to. When you eat the foods that you react to, the protein in the food irritates your mucus membranes, which causes an allergic response.
All of this is evidence that nature and evolution is imperfect.
From an Oral Allergy Sufferer’s Perspective
Oral allergy syndrome annoys the heck out of me and it has for as long as I can remember. As far as I have researched, everybody’s oral allergy syndrome is different and can vary in severity. If you are wondering if you have this syndrome, maybe my story can relate to you.
Ever since I was a child, I would eat certain raw fruits and vegetables, including melons, bananas, carrots, celery, broccoli, potatoes and oranges uncomfortably. I would eat them and then my chin and neck would have a strange scratchiness that could never be satiated. After minutes of scratching, the area of my skin would become red and splotchy and develop a slight stickiness.
On top of that, whenever I got the juices of these fruits on my hands, they would make the skin of my hands react in the same way.
But I didn’t just react this way to raw fruits and vegetables. In fact, raw eggs, soybeans, cilantro, and nuts would make my oral allergy syndrome flare up as well.
I had noticed that my body would only react to specific foods during specific times of the year. For instance, my face would only itch when I ate a banana during the fall, almonds during the spring. It was so perplexing until I found out what oral allergy syndrome really is.
I then learned new ways to treat this allergy and they were so simple and effective that oral allergy syndrome does not bother me anymore.
The first step to treating and curing this syndrome is by analyzing an oral allergy syndrome chart that cross-references seasonal allergies to the proteins in specific foods.
Oral Allergy Syndrome Chart
Here is a very useful oral allergy syndrome chart that compounds all of the foods and seasonal allergies that can cross-react. Some websites will vary in their degree of foods for each pollen and some of them are incorrect with no scientific backing. I tried to collect the most accurate and common foods for each pollen season.
Of course, there are some unique and rare foods, like raw eggs in my case, that triggers oral allergy syndrome. Perhaps this is due to another hidden allergy that I have, like latex, reacting with the protein in eggs.
Therefore, it is impossible to make a complete oral allergy syndrome chart because some people are unique and their immune systems will react differently. Contact with chemicals may produce the same symptoms of oral allergy syndrome.
I have provided a full, detailed oral allergy syndrome foods list here.
Oral Allergy Syndrome Symptoms
This unique syndrome is characterized by a scratchy sensation inside the mouth and throat, but some more specific indicators include:
- Tingling in the mouth, throat and lips
- Swelling in the mouth throat or lips
- Bumpiness in the mouth, lips, chin or neck
- Scratchiness, redness or swelling on the hands if the juice of the food gets on your skin.
- Itchiness underneath the chin
- Stickiness forming after scratching infected area.
If the allergy is severe, a person can experience full-body reactions that can cause:
- Stomach cramping or nausea after eating food
- Throat tightening
- Tightening of the chest
- Difficulty breathing
An existing oral allergy syndrome can develop to become severe if you don’t treat the allergy properly. This includes eating a proper diet and following a simple healthy lifestyle. (2)
Oral Allergy Syndrome Natural Cures and Treatments
There is a multitude of factors that can contribute to the severity of oral allergy syndrome. From my personal experience, I can say that my oral allergy syndrome has been healed into practically being non-existent. But at times when I make bad decisions for my lifestyle, I can notice that the syndrome gets worse.
If your body reacts this way to raw fruits and vegetables, this is a sign that your body is not in a healthy state due to whatever reason. Oral allergy syndrome is a sign that your immune system is over-reactive and needs rebalancing. Doesn’t it seem kind of crazy that your body is rejecting fresh fruits and vegetables?
Thankfully, this allergy like many others can be healed completely and I can say that from experience.
First, you need to completely remove the oral allergy triggers from your diet. Simply avoiding the offending allergies will always be the best treatment for this condition. Try to actively check ingredients list for the raw fruits and vegetables (or other foods) that cause your discomfort. You could even try to log your diet in a journal to keep track of your meals to better identify what the issue is, if you are having trouble doing so. (3)
Most people will not consider that allergies can be treated or cured, but they definitely can with a good amount of effort and understanding of your own body and why it is reacting that way. You must focus on a few things in your lifestyle so that you can restore your immune system to its proper condition so that you will be able to eat the fresh, raw and nutritious foods that your body rejects.
It would be such a shame to have all of these nutritious foods fight against your body.
Cooking the Offending Foods
This is the easiest way to prevent an oral allergy reaction to a specific food. Cooking or heating will “denature” the protein that causes cross-reactivity with pollen.
Cooking proteins will “unravel” protein molecules in a way that makes it completely different from the raw protein. An example of this can be seen by cooking an egg. Heating the egg will cause the complex whites to expand and form the cooked egg that everybody eats for breakfast. This cooked egg is a simpler and more digestible protein. (4)
Therefore, cooked foods are less likely to be allergic foods.
Raw carrots used to be a huge trigger for my oral allergy syndrome. However, when I cooked the carrots in boiling water for a few minutes, the cooked carrots would not make my face scratchy at all. I could eat them just fine.
Some research suggests that foods frozen at low temperatures can also denature the protein enough for oral allergy syndrome sufferers to consume, however I have never noticed this from my own experience. (5)
Support Your Digestive System
The majority of your immune system is comprised in your gut. You can significantly reduce the load on your immune system by avoiding foods that harm your gut, like simple carbohydrates and salt.
Incorporating a high-quality probiotic with prebiotic foods is important because they help digest and produce the things you need to maintain a healthy internal environment. These beneficial organisms boost the immune system in many ways.
Make sure that you invest in a probiotic supplement that has a wide variety of different strains and a high colony-forming unit (CFU) amount in each serving. More than 10 different strains and at least a billion CFU is recommended. Also make sure that the capsule is stomach-resistant because many probiotic supplements are ineffective because the encapsulated bacteria get killed by stomach acid that leaks in.
A great example of a high-quality probiotic that is world famous for its health benefits is Hyperbiotics Time-Release Probiotic Pearls.
The reviews on this probiotic are fantastic, with some allergy-sufferers claiming that it cured their food intolerances and seasonal allergies.
Eating a healthy diet full of fiber and fresh produce will partner well with this regimen.
This is an important one. Alcohol has little to no health benefits that outweigh the damage done to your immune system. It depletes the body of many essential nutrients and puts stress on your detoxification systems.
Even in moderation, alcohol is harmful to your health in many ways and can easily be classified as a hard drug.
When I do not drink for a few weeks, I notice that my oral allergy syndrome symptoms disappeared pretty much completely. But when I drink even a few sips from a drink now, the scratchiness immediately returns.
Perhaps this has something to do with alcohol being antibacterial, easily killing beneficial probiotic bacteria that assist your immune health.
Avoiding alcohol would definitely be my best advice for treating and curing oral allergy syndrome.
In the event of an allergic reactions, it is important to stay hydrated because the release of histamine in your body is very dehydrating.
Adequate pure water and foods that contain electrolytes will be very healthy for you. Coconut water and bananas are very hydrating if you are not allergic to them.
Increased stress can raise cortisol levels in your brain, which promotes inflammation and more stress. This can further exacerbate oral allergy reactions and make it much harder to treat them.
Meditation, yoga, and a nice warm bath will always help me after a long day.
We are not ignorant of the beneficial uses for antihistamines. Whether natural supplements or OTC drugs help you more, it is up to you because it is better to not have histamine in your body.
It’s important to not rely on antihistamines because you can start developing an addiction to them.
On my severe allergy days, I prefer the OTC drug Allegra. It noticeably works more effectively for me than all of the others. You can get it for much cheaper than local stores on Amazon.
Remove Harmful Things from Your Diet
Refined simple sugars, trans-fats, unclean tap water, baked desserts, fried or processed food, and drugs constantly put stress on your digestive and immune system. It would be beneficial to remove these things as best you can from your diet because they can raise the oxidation of your blood.
Incorporating a diet with adequate amounts of antioxidants can help you with this. Resveratrol and quercetin is found in onions, apples, olives, grapes, and berries. They have important natural phytonutrients that can relieve allergy symptoms.
I cannot recommend matcha green tea enough as a powerful antioxidant with such a beautiful range of health benefits that can work great as a coffee alternative.
You should also keep in mind that avoiding allergic foods is important because they cause inflammation.
I am always here for you. So if you have a question or something to add to this oral allergy syndrome chart, please leave me a comment below!
Talk to you soon,