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Kiwi Fruit Allergy?


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Lately, I bought a few kiwi fruits and had some yesterday. I noticed that after I had eaten them, my lips and tongue had gotten swollen and my mouth was tingling and sore.

When I looked kiwifruit up on Wikipedia, I learned that it is rich in a protein-dissolving enzyme called actinidin which some individuals are allergic to. It listed a few reactions and my symptoms fit. However, I used to eat kiwifruit all the time without a problem; is it possible that I developed an allergy to it? Could my symptoms be from something else? Also, how can I get rid of the soreness and tingling in my mouth? The swelling seems to have gone away on its own but that's still there.

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Unlucky... You can develop allergies to things for no particular reason.  Do you have any antihistamines handy?  Hay-fever pills?  They might help the tingling sensation calm down.

Yep, as Jane said they can simply develop. And I second the antihistamines. Kiwi is actually a suprisingly common allergy, that said.

Actually this can be what is actually an oral allergy syndrome.  I say that I'm allergic to the melon family.  I wasn't as a kid, developed when I was maybe 21?  My mom has the same thing.  Basically, I have ragweed allergies.  They say it better than I can:

Oral allergy syndrome is due to a cross-reactivity between plant proteins from pollen and fruits or vegetables. When a child or adult with pollen allergy eats a fresh fruit or vegetable, the immune system sees the similarity and causes an allergic reaction. Interestingly, many patients with oral allergy syndrome can eat the same fruits or vegetables when they are cooked. The cooking process changes the protein enough that the immune system does not recognize the food as being the same as the pollen anymore.

Besides this, there are certain times of the year that it can be worse, like when ragweed is bad.  Kiwi is similar in this respect.  According to this site, kiwi can be part of an allergy to birch tree pollen.  You do need to be careful.  I've found that my response has gotten worse over time, so I just avoid it completely.  I linked the CHOP site just becuase that's the first thing that I found (and they are a very reputable children's hospital that is known for a lot of important stuff going on.  Vague, but you get the point).

Hope this helps!  And yeah, it sucks.

I became allergic to kiwi in my easy twenties.  I haven't had any since so I wouldn't know if it's got worse or better; better safe than sorry, eh?  Glad to know it's a common allergy. :)

Same here. I began noticing hayfever like reactions in myself when I was about 24. About the same year, I also noticed a closing mucus feeling in my throat after eating sometimes. Eventually, I linked it to whenever I ate a kiwi. I've heard latex allergies can be linked, but I don't believe I'm allergic, but I'd rather not try that, eh? When I've got 2 out of 3 developed in my 20's, I'd rather not risk the one that tends to be so deadly.

Thought I'd drop in and say yes, it's normal to develop an allergy for some individuals. I actually just learned (in my nursing class) that those who are allergic to kiwi should not be exposed to latex, so watch for that! :)

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