Carrots are an ingredient of almost every salad dishes. Carrots are packed with many of the important nutrients required by the body. The beta-carotene, (a precursor of vitamin A) content present in carrot is remarkably high. Unfortunately, people having carrot allergy are unable to eat carrots. Though rare in United States, carrot allergy is known to affect many people in European countries.
It is possible that some people are allergic to carrots, but at the same time there are many people who may not be allergic to carrots but to the pollens and mold found on carrots. Therefore people who are allergic to pollen should be careful while eating carrots. A person who is allergic to carrot may soon develop symptoms such as itching, burning and swelling of lip and oral cavity. The condition in medical terms is also called ‘oral allergy syndrome’.
People having allergy to pollen and molds may develop carrot allergy symptoms. This is because, the protein present in pollen is similar to protein present in carrot, especially mugwort and birch pollen. Also these people may be allergic to aniseed, fennel, coriander, celery and parsley.
Symptoms Of Allergic Reaction To Carrots
The onset of allergy symptoms of carrot is generally sudden and immediate after eating carrot. Below are given some of the common symptoms of carrot allergy. The allergic reaction can be mild to severe. It depends on how the immune system reacts.
- Redness and itching: soon after eating carrot the person may experience itching and redness in his mouth. Though annoying and disturbing, both are milder variety of carrot allergy and they may subside after few minutes or hours.
- Swelling in the oral cavity: the lips, palate and tongue may become swollen, soon after the person eats or comes in contact with carrot. In rare cases, it can also affect the throat. Though rare, it can become life threatening when swelling in throat obstructs air passage and person finds himself suffocated.
- The release of histamine may lead to hives and welts on skin. They may burn and itch. Hive may soon appear after eating carrots.
- Respiratory symptoms may include cough, sore throat, breathlessness, asthma and wheezing.
- Running nose, burning and watering from the eyes. Red eyes occur primarily when the person is present in the area where carrots are cooked or processed.
- Gum swelling: often after eating carrots you may notice swelling of gums or gingivitis as it is called by dentists. Rarely, this may be the only symptom present in some people who are allergic to carrots.
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may occur in some patients.
- Anaphylaxis: it is the most dangerous and life threatening situation of an allergic reaction. If not treated on time, the rate of mortality is very high. Here, the person may suddenly collapse. His blood pressure may drop exorbitantly, pulse is not palpable and breathing becomes difficult, severe perspiration may occur. Such cases may require emergency medical treatment. This is rare form of carrot allergy.
Treatment For Carrot Allergy
Carrot allergy has to be treated in the same way as you treat other food allergies. The role of anti histamines is important in relieving the symptoms of carrot allergy. In mild to moderate form, mostly oral antihistamines can be useful. In severe variety, the doctor may prescribe injections and steroid.
However prevention is the best way to deal with when a person is known to have carrot allergy. Avoid carrots and dishes that have carrots as one of its ingredient. Even foods that have structural similarity with carrots require to be eaten with caution.
Home remedy such as sandalwood paste when applied on hives and welts are beneficial in alleviating itching. To prepare this paste, mix sandalwood powder with few drops of rose water. Once the paste is formed, apply it on the affected skin area.