Have you ever found yourself suddenly scratching and breaking out in rashes after tucking into a tasty mango? It’s not the most delightful experience; it’s called mango allergy. Surprisingly enough, due to cross-reactivity with other foods sharing similar allergens, pesky mango allergies are far more common than we might imagine.
This article will shed light on various types of mango allergies, identify related foods that could set off comparable reactions, point out symptoms you should be aware of, and explore diagnostic methods as well as treatment options for this peculiar allergy. Do stick around; it promises to be quite an eye-opener!
What Are the Symptoms and Types of Mango Allergies?
Mango allergies can manifest in various ways, including immediate-type allergy, delayed-type allergy, and oral allergy syndrome. These allergies can cause immediate reactions, like hives, itchiness, and breathing problems, or delayed reactions, like red and itchy skin and puffy eyes.
Immediate-type allergy is one type of mango allergy. Right after eating a mango, the eater might feel sick and have mild or very bad signs. Mild signs are hives or itch, while severe signs are difficulty breathing and swallowing or feeling faint.
These fast reactions show up within minutes to hours of eating the fruit. For some people, these reactions can also happen when touching a mango! Be careful if you have this type of allergy, as severe cases may cause anaphylaxis.
Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction, which needs urgent medical help. It is rare but possible in cases of mango allergy, especially if someone has a history of severe allergic reactions.
Delayed-type allergy is another type of mango allergy. It comes hours or days after the person eats mango. The skin turns red and itchy, and the eyes puff up. This type of allergy happens when the body fights too much against things that don’t hurt it, like the stuff in mangos.
Even touching the mango sap can cause this reaction. The rash feels very itchy and makes the person feel not so great for a while. Luckily, really bad problems like anaphylaxis are very rare with this kind of allergy.
Oral Allergy Syndrome
In some people, oral allergy syndrome is linked to mango allergies. They start eating mango, and soon, their mouth feels itchy. This happens because of the proteins in the mango, which are much like the ones found in other plant foods.
If you have this syndrome, you may react to various fruits and nuts, too. Quitting mango might be a tough call, but it helps keep that nasty rash or itch away. It’s all about managing your symptoms.
What Are Cross-Reactivity and Related Foods?
Certain individuals with mango allergies may also experience a reaction to other fruits and nuts. A common allergen found in these fruits and nuts could be the reason for this reaction. This is called cross-reactivity.
Cross-reactivity has been seen between papaya, mango, and cashews in some people with a mango allergy. Fruits like pear, peach, and apple may also cause a reaction in people with mango allergies. Herbs and spices such as anise, cumin, and fennel might also be triggers.
Cross-Reactivity with Latex
People with a latex allergy may also have bad reactions to certain foods, like mango. This is because of something we call latex-fruit syndrome. While the two are different, they can be related due to cross-reactivity between certain proteins found in both latex and mangos.
This means that some individuals with a latex allergy may also experience symptoms when eating certain types of food like mango, avocado, banana, and kiwi. If these people touch or eat mango or related foods, their body thinks it’s the same as latex. This can make them very sick and trigger an allergic response.
If you suspect latex-fruit syndrome or have concerns about cross-reactivity with other allergens, it’s best to consult with an allergist for further evaluation and guidance on managing your allergy.
What Are the Diagnosis and Treatment of Mango Allergy?
It’s essential to seek immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms like difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or throat, dizziness, or a rapid heartbeat after eating mango. Remember that everyone’s body reacts differently to allergens, so you should pay attention to your own symptoms and seek medical advice if needed.
Finding out if you have a mango allergy is not hard. A combination of skin prick tests and blood tests are commonly used to diagnose mango allergies and identify specific allergens. Here are some of the methods doctors use:
- The doctor will ask you about your past medical history. You may need to talk about times when you ate mango and felt unwell.
- During a physical examination, the doctor will look at your body to check for any signs of an allergic reaction.
- Doctors use patch testing in some cases. This means putting a small piece of mango skin on your own skin to see what happens.
- Sometimes, there is a strong reaction that occurs right away. This is called an immediate hypersensitivity reaction, and it needs medical help fast.
- The doctor might also test you for mango profilin, which is an allergen that can cause allergies.
Managing a mango allergy involves avoiding exposure to mangos and any related trigger foods or substances identified through testing. Here are some simple and easy avoidance strategies:
- Take mango off your menu. It’s tough, but if you have a mango allergy, it’s best to keep away from it.
- Be aware of other food allergens. Foods like pears, peaches, apples, anise, cumin, fennel, and cashews can also set off allergic reactions.
- Check the labels when you buy food. Skim through all ingredients to avoid accidentally eating something with mango in its ingredients.
- Keep an eye on how your body feels after eating certain foods. Look for signs of an allergic reaction and try to avoid those foods in the future.
If you suspect you have a mango allergy or have experienced allergic reactions after consuming mangos, it’s crucial to seek medical advice and avoid mango consumption until you can be properly evaluated by a healthcare professional. It is also important to know the available treatment options. So, here are some ways to help manage a mango allergy:
- Avoidance: The most effective way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid consuming mangos and any foods or products containing mango as an ingredient.
- Epinephrine Use: Epinephrine (adrenaline) may be required in cases of severe allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis. This medication can help reduce the symptoms and provide immediate relief.
- Consultation with a Physician: If you experience an allergic reaction to mango for the first time or have severe allergies, it is crucial to consult a physician. They can guide you in managing your allergy and may prescribe antihistamines or other medications.
- Contact Dermatitis Management: If you develop contact dermatitis from touching mango peels or sap, avoid further contact and wash the affected area with soap and water. Over-the-counter corticosteroid creams can also help alleviate symptoms.
- Molecular Allergy Testing: This type of testing can be used to improve the diagnosis and management of mango allergies. It helps identify specific allergens and provides personalised treatment recommendations.
Mango allergy can cause various symptoms and reactions in sensitive individuals. These individuals should also be aware of cross-reactivity with other fruits and nuts. Proper diagnosis and avoidance strategies are critical in managing mango allergies and preventing allergic reactions. So, if you have a mango allergy, it’s best to steer clear of mango and related foods to stay safe and enjoy your meals without any worries.
Here are some of the questions which are frequently asked when it comes to mango allergy:
Can I eat other fruits if I have a mango allergy?
Yes, you can still eat other fruits that do not cause a mango allergy. Mango allergies are specific to mango and do not necessarily mean you are allergic to other fruits.
Which foods should I avoid if I am allergic to mango?
If you are allergic to mango, avoid foods that contain or may come into contact with mango, such as mango juice, dried mangoes, and dishes containing fresh or cooked mangos.
Are there any cross-reactions between mango allergies and other food allergies?
There may be some cross-reactivity between mango allergies and certain other food allergies, such as cashew nuts or pistachios, due to similarities in protein structures. So, it is best to consult with an allergist for personalised advice.
What are the common symptoms of a mango allergy?
Common symptoms of a mango allergy include itching or tingling in the mouth/throat, hives or skin rashes, swollen lips/tongue, stomach discomfort, nausea/vomiting, and difficulty breathing.
How can I manage a mild reaction from eating foods related to mango allergy?
If you experience a mild reaction after eating foods related to mango allergy (but not severe symptoms that require immediate medical attention), taking over-the-counter antihistamines may help alleviate minor symptoms like itching or rash. However, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional for proper guidance.