Fruit and Vegetable Allergies (Oral Allergy Syndrome)

While fruits and veggies generally do the body good, they can cause troubling symptoms if you have oral allergy syndrome. OAS is an allergic reaction to proteins found in fruits and vegetable. It can cause your lips, tongue and throat to itch, tingle, and/or swell when you eat certain types of fresh produce.

fruit food allergies

Chances are, if you have OAS, you also have allergies to birch, ragweed, and grass pollens. The proteins in these pollens very closely resemble the proteins in various fruits and vegetables. When the body comes in contact with these proteins, it often mistakes them for outdoor grass and tree pollens and spirals into an allergic reaction.

While OAS can cause a severe reaction such as anaphylaxis, which constricts the airways, it is usually more irritating than dangerous, and it often subsides with time. To minimize OAS and its attendant mouth discomfort, try peeling and cooking fruits and vegetables that typically set off reactions.

And the happy news for OAS sufferers is that if you treat the pollen allergy, the food allergy will often subside, too. Allergy immunotherapy, either through shots or oral drops, can “teach” the body to stop overreacting to allergy causing elements in the environment.

About The Author

Stuart H. Agren, M.D.

Stuart H. Agren, M.D. completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah and went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1974. He completed additional training at L.D.S. Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah and then established his private medical practice starting in 1975. Dr. Agren completed a mini-residency in Industrial Medicine at the Robert Johnson School of Medicine at Rutgers University and also completed training to become a certified Medical Review Officer.

Dr. Agren was the Medical Director at TRW and McDonnell Douglas in Mesa, Arizona and at Stauffer Chemical and Kennecott Copper in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University.

In his private medical practice, Dr. Agren specialized in family practice and allergy. In his work as a private practice allergist, he was one of the first doctors in the country to prescribe sublingual immunotherapy to his patients as an alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy shots). He has also been a trailblazer in the field of food allergy treatment and research, developing a program to treat multiple food allergies simultaneously using sublingual immunotherapy. Dr. Agren has been featured on local CBS, NBC, and ABC news affiliates and won the peer-nominated “Top Doc” award from Phoenix Magazine.

After 20 years in private practice, Dr. Agren became the Founder and President of AllergyEasy, which helps primary care physicians around the country offer allergy testing and sublingual immunotherapy treatment to their patients. Over 200 physicians in over 32 states use the AllergyEasy program to help their patients overcome environmental and food allergies and asthma.