Banana allergy: Symptoms and risk factors

Banana is an exotic fruit that in recent decades has become traditional and familiar on our table. This product contains trace elements, vitamins, fiber – all of the listed ingredients are absolutely indispensable for maintaining the normal functioning of the functional systems of both adults and children.

A banana in small quantities is even recommended for baby foods for up to one year in the diet without fear that this could harm the baby. The question arises – does a banana allergy develop? Alas, despite the fact that this fruit belongs to the group of food products with a low degree of allergic activity, it is really possible – it is all about the individual characteristics of the organism.

Causes of Allergy

Many people wonder if there is a reason for this, for example, if an itchy rash appears after use or other symptoms develop. Unfortunately, this tasty and nutritious fruit is really capable of causing an allergic reaction, although it is inferior in the severity of allergenic activity to other food provocateurs – in particular, strawberries, nuts, citrus. This explains the fact that true allergic reactions caused by the inclusion of bananas in the diet are rare.

Pseudo-allergic reactions are much more common. Clinical manifestations do not allow to see the difference, however, the mechanisms of development of pathological changes are different. Why does false or non-immune sensitivity appear? Banana allergy can occur due to the accumulation of serotonin, the so-called “pleasure hormone” produced by the body. But the basis for the production of serotonin is an amino acid that is part of a banana – tryptophan.

In fact, serotonin is very important for the body, as it regulates many of its functions:

  1. it participates in the regulation of the hypothalamus;
  2. regulates the secretion of prolactin;
  3. reduces pain sensitivity;
  4. normalizes vascular tone;
  5. participates in the process of the exchange of nerve impulses between neurons;
  6. affects the process of blood coagulation.

In this case, serotonin stimulates the release of the mediator of histamine allergy from the so-called mast cells, increases the permeability of blood vessel walls, which contributes to the ingress of the allergen into the bloodstream.

When thinking about whether there is an allergy to bananas in adults, if a person has tolerated them well before, you need to know that the severity of a pseudo-allergic reaction is closely related to the volume of the provoking product – for example, if at some point the patient consumed an excessive amount, then for a rather long period time he may develop intolerance. The reason for this are violations of the digestive tract, which are associated with age-related imperfections of regulatory mechanisms (which occurs in children) or with chronic diseases of the stomach, intestines, pancreas, and liver.

Banana allergies are often susceptible to patients who have experienced an allergic reaction to latex, an allergy to pollen and ragweed.

Latex is a special type of rubber from which medical gloves and other various medical and non-medical products are made. Therefore, people with these types of allergies should be careful about the use of bananas – and it is even more strongly not recommended to resort to mono diets for the purpose of body correction. By the way, such diets, on the basis of whatever product they are built, cause some damage to the body, because they are not balanced.

You should know that a banana allergy in a child or an adult can be triggered not by the fruit itself, but by the chemicals with which it is processed. The fact is that these tropical fruits are brought to us from afar, and so that they do not spoil on the road, they are torn off the green and then treated with special reagents (synthetic antiseptics), and then transported in special chambers to slow down the ripening. Substances used for fruit storage may well cause an allergic reaction of the body, especially in a child, therefore, it is recommended to wash the crude fruit before use with a stream of warm water and dry it with a towel.

Banana Allergy Symptoms

It is important to understand that the constant intake of the allergen in the body only aggravates the condition. Since banana is considered a safe and beneficial fruit, many parents regard the children’s refusal of it as a manifestation of a whim – and the symptoms do not always appear so vividly as to suspect allergies. However, if the child continues to eat bananas, after a while the manifestations of sensitivity become more pronounced — it is no longer possible to ignore them.

In most cases, an allergy to bananas in adults and children is manifested as follows:

  • irritation of the oral mucosa – itching, burning, discomfort;
  • pain and swelling of the nasopharynx; lacrimation, runny nose, sneezing, eyelid edema;
  • skin hyperemia, itching, rashes, eczematous plaques;
  • abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.

Symptoms can be divided into several groups:

  • Typical, common.
  • Typical, hidden nature.
  • Atypical.

Typical manifestations

This group includes the most expected symptoms of allergy – itching, and swelling of the mucous membranes, skin. Most often, the reaction is manifested only a few minutes after eating a banana – a person is itching in the area of ​​the lips, tongue, gums, nasal mucosa. Along with itching, sneezing appears, and often eyes begin to water. Itching of the skin may occur, and it is not necessary only in the area of ​​the mouth, nose, and eyes – brushes, knees, elbows, chest itch. Nasal breathing is impaired, two options are possible – severe nasal congestion due to severe edema, or repeated paroxysmal sneezing with the release of a significant amount of liquid mucus.

More dangerous than allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis for adults and children are:

  • urticaria;
  • angioedema;
  • anaphylactic shock.

These manifestations of an allergic reaction take a generalized character, and very often urticaria and angioedema are signs of developing anaphylactic shock. At the same patient at different times, the symptoms may be different, so the type and frequently occurring signs of allergy require close attention.

Manifestations of the hidden nature

This is nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, upset stool. They can be combined with angioedema and urticaria, but more often they flow in isolation, which is why they are called hidden. The patient can not always associate the symptoms with the use of bananas, especially if his body temperature rises. Most likely, such manifestations will be mistaken for an infection. However, disorders of the digestive system and fever can be the result of a running allergic reaction.

Atypical manifestations

Symptoms that few people associate with allergies – weakness, irritability, sleep disturbance – can be a consequence of sensitivity to bananas with frequent use. If they are not caused by allergic rhinitis or other typical manifestations, patients often are unaware of fruit intolerance.

Banana allergy can be overt or covert, but the reaction develops very quickly, which makes it possible to trace the change of state even with atypical symptoms — a food diary is kept for this.

What kind of treatment happens – drugs and recommendations

Banana allergy, the symptoms of which are a consequence of a true allergic reaction or pseudo-allergy, should not be left without treatment. However, the sensitivity to this fruit can be effectively eliminated only by combining therapeutic and prophylactic measures.

Thus, first of all, you should:

  1. Stop eating bananas. If the symptoms are gradually gone, nothing needs to be done – just in the future, it is required to eliminate this fruit from the diet. Immediately rinse your mouth with clean water to remove the residual pulp from the mucous membrane. The patient may be sensitive to other allergens, not only food – it is important to remember about this when making up a diet.
  2. As necessary to use drugs. They are needed if the symptoms manifest themselves very brightly, give the patient pronounced discomfort. To cope with allergies, you can apply drugs from the group of antihistamines – Loratadine, Claritin, Cetirizine, etc. Sometimes more powerful drugs are required – glucocorticosteroids (Mometasone, Beclomethasone). It is worth remembering that not all anti-allergic drugs can be taken by children and pregnant women, so you need to carefully read the instructions, consult with your doctor.
  3. Seek medical attention. Even if you managed to stop the symptoms on your own, you can’t exclude the possibility of a repeated allergy episode – and it can be more difficult. To protect yourself, you need to consult a doctor, conduct the necessary tests and select the appropriate treatment – including those drugs that can be used for quick help if the bananas were used accidentally.
  4. If the manifestations of allergies increase sharply, the person suffocates, he becomes clouded, a rash appears all over his body, it can be assumed that anaphylaxis develops. In this case, you should immediately call the “Ambulance”, informing the intended diagnosis, listen to the recommendations of the dispatcher, and if possible, immediately introduce the patient a drug called Adrenaline (Epinephrine) in the form of a 0.1% solution and in an amount of 0.3-0.5 ml. The injection is made intramuscularly in the anterolateral region of the thigh (there is the lateral broad muscle of the thigh).
  5. It is better to prevent a disease than to cure it – a well-known statement is the best way to discuss the reaction to bananas. Allergy is a pathology that can in no way be considered harmless, even if it is manifested only by nasal congestion. Unfortunately, the severity of an allergic reaction is not always possible to predict, therefore, it is preferable to follow an elimination diet (that is, to exclude bananas from the diet), to abandon cosmetics with this fruit.


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