Can plums trigger an allergic reaction?

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There are reported cases of deaths among individuals who suffer from food allergies. The usual foods that are known to trigger allergies include milk, soy, eggs, wheat, shellfish, peanuts, fish and tree nuts. An individual might be allergic to other foods as well including plums. If an individual is highly sensitive or allergic to plums, there is likelihood that the individual will end up with allergies to other fruits as well.

Always bear in mind that plums are related to almonds which is categorized as a tree nut. Other fruits that are listed under this family include nectarine, peach, cherries, apricot and prune plum.

Potential for an allergic reaction

If an individual has been analyzed with birch pollen allergy or oral allergy syndrome, he/she can develop an allergic reaction to plums. Remember that the proteins in plum are similar to the protein present in birch pollen that a highly sensitive individual reacts to which is known as birch-fruit syndrome.

Plum allergy
As for severe reactions, an epinephrine shot is used or simply bring the individual to the nearest emergency department.

The symptoms typically manifest within 15 minutes after eating raw plums. The reactions include localized itchiness and inflammation in the mouth and throat. In rare occasions, the symptoms can be life-threatening. If an anaphylactic reaction develops, it can result to a drop in the blood pressure, clogged airways as well as other symptoms. Take note that the allergen could not survive the cooking process. It simply means that the individual can endure the cooked plums but not the raw ones.

Eating plums is not the only way for an allergic reaction to manifest. Handling of raw plums such as peeling it can also trigger itchiness, rashes or swelling. It can also result to sneezing episodes, runny nose, watery eyes or even severe symptoms that can be deadly.

Management

If an individual is suspected with plum allergy, a doctor should be consulted regarding the symptoms. The doctor might suggest a food diary or an elimination diet.

A skin prick test or blood test might be carried out as well. During a skin prick test, a small amount of the plum allergen is introduced into the skin using a needle.

The ideal way to prevent an allergic reaction to plums is to avoid the fruit. For minor allergic reactions to plums, antihistamines can be given to minimize the symptoms upon exposure. As for severe reactions, an epinephrine shot is used or simply bring the individual to the nearest emergency department.

Important considerations to bear in mind

For those who are suffering from oral allergy syndrome, the individual might end up with reactions to other foods such as apricots, pears, apples, cherries, bananas, melons, celery, carrot and hazelnuts. Remember that a cross-reaction often occurs with other foods due to exposure to the birch pollen.

In case of life-threatening reactions, it includes difficulty breathing, swelling of the throat and anaphylaxis. Take note that this reaction is likely to be a severe one if the individual ate plums together with the peel.

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  • All stmarkjamestraining.ca content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.