What causes allergy to eggplant
Alkaloids are a class of potential allergens that mostly consist of nitrogen atoms. While the allergenic effects of histamine alkaloids are well-established, a variety of other alkaloids are present in nightshade plants. Among eggplants, these include solamargine, solanidine, solanine, solasodine, solasonine and trigonelline.
Although these compounds may not cause allergic reactions, large doses can lead to toxic reactions. These include sleepiness, diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness and stomach pains. As cooking reduces their alkaloid content, you should extensively cook your eggplants to avoid a potentially toxic reaction.
Nausea, bloating, vomiting, itchiness, hives, rashes and other concerning reactions after eating a meal are genuine symptoms for numerous adults and children.
However, trying to understand and determine what is going on may require a more serious investigation.
Unfortunately, in today’s era of internet and social media, it has become too simple to discover quick advice — and potentially inaccurate advice — about symptoms and foods, leading people to make unhealthy and even dangerous choices.
There are two terms that are often misused in self-diagnosing the root cause of someone’s illness or symptoms. The first is “food intolerance” and the second is “food allergy.”
Food intolerance affects the digestive system and often occurs due to deficiencies of certain enzymes.
Lactose intolerance, for example, results when a person lacks the enzyme for breaking below sugar found in milk.
The symptoms for this food intolerance are intestinal gas, abdominal pain and, in some cases, diarrhea. However, too numerous people misdiagnose their situation, calling this a food allergy. In the finish, they avoid milk products every together, not knowing that they can use lactose-free milk, or that they can, in some cases, tolerate little amounts of milk.
Food intolerance can also be when the body reacts to a chemical. Some people may be sensitive to certain food additives love nitrates or sulfites. In some cases, people may react to chemicals that are naturally occurring in foods.
Vegetables from the nightshade group — tomatoes, peppers and eggplant — contain alkaloids that can lead to inflammation of the gut. In these cases, cooking food properly or eating smaller quantities can lessen or eliminate the issue.
Food allergies are diverse than food intolerance. With a food allergy, a person’s immune system is fully involved. Food allergens are proteins that are attacked by the person’s immune system, and it is this reaction that leads to a wide range of symptoms from hives and itching to more severe reactions such as anaphylactic shock.
The latter, considered a life-threatening situation, results in several deaths of adults and children each year. Unlike a food intolerance, absorbing or consuming a little quantity of an allergenic protein can be a life-threatening situation for those who are most sensitive.
For a person who is allergic to dairy proteins, i.e., cow’s milk, the consumption of a glass of milk will trigger the body’s immune system to treat the dairy protein as a foreign invader releasing antibodies called immunoglobin E (IgE). This cascade of effects can happen within seconds of the foreign protein being detected.
Without immediate medical attention and the injection of epinephrine to counter the reaction, death could occur.
Although there are over known food allergens, there is just a little group of food allergens that account for the largest percentage of food allergy reactions occurring each year. There are eight food proteins in this group: dairy, eggs, fish, peanuts, crustacean shellfish, soy, tree nuts and wheat.
Children are more prone to own food allergies. Some of these allergies can fade with time, while others may stay with the person their whole life. And while numerous food allergies are diagnosed in young children, there are some allergies that show up later in life.
So, an adult can become allergic to a food protein that they had been capable to eat as a youth.
For those with food allergies, avoidance is the key. This is done through understanding what foods contain allergen proteins, but also being aware of the potential for cross-contact exposure where food allergen proteins inadvertently get onto non-allergen containing foods.
It is significant to recognize that deciding to avoid a specific group of foods without proper medical guidance could lead to nutrient deficiencies. For example, avoiding dairy products based upon a self-diagnosis that you are allergic to milk, when it is just an intolerance, could lead to a calcium deficieny, a key nutrient in bone growth and repair.
Go beyond self-diagnosing a reaction to a specific food by fully understanding the issue.
In some cases, a one-time reaction after eating can be misinterpreted, and this can lead to someone avoiding a food for the relax of their life. In other cases, it has become too commonplace for people to blame a specific food group for ongoing symptoms that own nothing to do with that food.
Richard Kralj is a Penn State Extension senior educator in food safety and quality.
According to the National Institutes of Health, almost 5 percent of adults and 4 percent of children suffer from food allergies. Eight foods cause the most food allergy reactions: milk, soy, eggs, wheat, peanuts tree nuts, fish and shellfish.
Cynthia Rose, family nurse practitioner at University of Missouri Health Care, explains how to determine if you own a true food allergy or an intolerance, and how you can minimize the symptoms.
What are the symptoms of a food allergy?
Stomach pain is the primary symptom of a food allergy.
It typically starts soon after eating. Other symptoms include bloating, constipation and diarrhea.
Some foods such as milk can cause nasal congestion or post-nasal drip. Food allergies can also cause tongue swelling, throat itch, rashes, hives or even anaphylactic shock.
If you experience allergic reactions to other members of the nightshade family, it is likely that you will react to eggplants. While certain allergenic proteins are not common to every members of the family, some are shared between two or more of these plants. These allergens can cause mild-to-severe reactions and may be immediate or delayed.
To avoid future reactions, you should own a doctor act out allergy tests to ensure that your eggplant allergy is not a sign of a broader nightshade allergy.
Oral Allergy Syndrome
A group of symptoms known as oral allergy syndrome is common among fruit allergies. This syndrome is generally mild, resulting in itching, tingling and mild swelling on your lips, in your mouth and in your throat immediately after eating.
These reactions arise from histamines, which are allergens common to hay fever, pollen and other seasonal allergies. Due to the large concentrations of histamines in eggplants, your symptoms should reply to antihistamines if you experience oral allergy syndrome.
What is happening when you own an allergic reaction to food?
An allergic reaction to food is your body’s way of saying there is an invader in the body, so it’s time to fight it. The body triggers an immune response to the food, and it typically causes inflammation in the gastro-intestinal tract.
In the July issue of the "Journal of Investigational Allergology and Clinical Immunology," researchers at the Central Food Technological Research Institute in Mysore, India report on a number of eggplant-specific allergens.
They note that most reactions arise from protein allergens unique to eggplants, with effects including hives, severe stomach issues and the life-threatening syndrome known as anaphylaxis. Though less common, these researchers propose that some non-protein compounds in eggplants may cause allergic reactions. These include the pigments that provide the fruits with their color and phytosterols, steroid-like compounds that are naturally present in numerous plants.