Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Learning To Live With An Avocado Allergy

When I was a kid we had a huge avocado tree in our back yard. We had grape vines on the fence and strawberries in the front yard. My grandma had a plum tree in her yard and a cherry tree. Living in California when I was a kid meant that I could pick a lemon off a tree in the neighbor's yard when I walked to school or eat a few Kumquats on the way home after school because the fruit tree's were everywhere and most people didn't care if you took a few as long as you asked first. Yeah, I like eating lemons the same way most people eat oranges, I always have. 

I'd always loved avocado's and we had them all the time but after eating them I always noticed that I had a scratchy throat and my mouth burned. I never said anything to my mom because it was just something that happened and I really didn't give it much thought. But as I got older, I started finding I was having a more serious reaction to avocado's as well as other fruits and even some other foods. A few years ago I wrote a blog post about my allergy to raw shrimp. If you click on the link to it you'll see that I wasn't the only one with this allergy. I have dozens of comments from people who have the same reaction and believe me, I was surprised. 

I saw a doctor years ago and he told me that I have a mild allergy to avocado and he asked me if I had the same reaction to any other foods and I do...kiwi, banana, cantaloupe and honey dew melon. With most of these fruits I just get a scratchy throat, burning lips, tongue and mouth but the symptoms usually goes away within an hour. But I had a vastly more severe reaction when I tried honey dew melon last year. My tongue slightly swelled up and my throat felt like it was on fire. I felt like I had strep throat and the symptoms lasted for over 3 hours. My entire mouth was burning and stinging. That was the first and last time I'll be eating honey dew melon. 

Unfortunately my daughter has inherited my fruit allergy so when she came over the next day I asked her if she'd ever tried honey dew melon and she hadn't but she wanted to see if she had a reaction too. So she took a tiny piece of it and sure enough she had a bad reaction too. But at least now she knows not to eat that again. 

My doctor said since I've had the same reaction to these fruits for so many years it's not likely to get any worst but it's my decision if I stop eating them. I like avocado too much to stop eating it and my daughter is the same way. I still eat the fruits that cause a mild reaction and I just deal with the scratching and burning for a while until it goes away. I won't be eating honey dew melon anytime soon though...ouch!

Have you ever had an allergic reaction to food?