Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Oral Allergy Syndrome

It is not typical for me to self-diagnose -- or to diagnose on behalf of my family.  This situation unfolded a little differently, though.

It all started years ago with carrots -- raw carrots, that is.  Our young daughter would tell us she didn't want to eat them because they made her throat feel scratchy.  And then, I happened upon this little blurb in a magazine:

Though our daughter had been diagnosed as a hay-fever sufferer (suspect: ragweed), there were enough of her food-triggors listed [in the above chart] under BIRCH POLLEN to make me realize something was going on there!

Have you heard of this?  Our family doctor hadn't.  It's known as Oral Allergy Syndrome, and you will find a lot of information about it HERE and HERE.  Because we were unsure how this syndrome might ultimately affect our daughter, our doctor did subscribe an EpiPen for her to have on standby -- particularly when she is away from home (like on a missions trip), and might be eating unfamiliar foods.  {I pack her lunch every day for school, and she is very good at NOT EATING the problem foods that she knows of.}  However, after further reading, it seems that episodes of anaphylaxis or severe throat swelling are rare in people who experience OAS.  That is a comfort!

I share this in hopes that it might help someone else out there.  I don't claim to have any answers, and can only share what our daughter has experienced.  Ultimately, if you or someone you love are experiencing symptoms like these, you should check with your doctor.

**TIP**  Go to POLLEN.COM and sign up for allergy-alert emails that will notify you about levels of specific pollens in your area.  This has been very helpful to us in preparing for bad allergy days!

*** My thanks to the magazine that published this information for me to stumble upon!  At the time I cut it out, I didn't realize how truly valuable the information would be to our family.  Unfortunately, there is no indication of what magazine I might have cut it from...       In appreciation!  ~Sally


  1. How interesting. I am an allergy sufferer and have gotten great help from eating local honey.

  2. YES, I KNOW ABOUT THIS. My adult son and daughter were diagnosed with this last year. My daughter couldn't swallow. My son actually chocked and had to have the Heimlich three times. The last time two people had to do it. The latest episode had him choking without even eating. He went to an allergist and is waiting to get into a gastro doctor. Stupid ins. needs a referral and he first needs to see a family doctor. Since they just moved he has to wait. It I some serious stuff when your throat sweels from something in the environment or from food. My doctor researched what he was allergic to. It was something outdoors like a tree. But on further research she found that orchids came from the same family. Funny, because a year before her trouble her husband got her an orchid. It had just started to bloom and was beautiful. She gave the orchid away and she got better. So it's like your list....the things that are from those trees. Could you share the magazine you found that information in. My kids are 35 and 41. When they were diagnosed they both lived in Colorado five minutes away from each other. My son now lives in Ohio. It's scary. Thanks. I hope your daughter does well. I am wondering if my son should have an epi pen.

  3. I suffer from this Sally. I have had it for years. I have to say that my docs are all very familiar with it, so I have learned to live with it. You are correct, serious reactions are rare. Usually, it just makes your mouth and lips itch for a bit. It is not comfortable and it certainly makes eating the offending foods very unpleasant. Like your daughter, I avoid the foods that bother me. It can go away when allergy season passes or when food is cooked, but I just don't take the chance.


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I read each and every one, and truly enjoy "conversations" with you! ~Sally

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