Avocados are a popular fruit used in salads, brunches, sandwiches and guacamole. They offer a range of health benefits, as they are high in fibre, healthy fat and nutrients. However, for some people, avocados trigger uncomfortable intolerance or allergy symptoms. Within this guide, we will discuss the difference between an avocado allergy and intolerance, including symptoms and methods of testing.
Are avocado allergies common?
Avocado allergies are uncommon, and are not considered one of the most common allergens in the UK. There are two main causes of this allergy, latex fruit syndrome and oral allergy syndrome.
Oral allergy syndrome
Fruits and vegetables that grow near pollen can cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to pollen. Your body can mistake certain proteins in avocados as pollen which generates symptoms for those who have a pollen allergy. As explained in the name, most symptoms in this case occur orally through swelling or itchiness of the mouth, lips or throat.
Latex fruit syndrome
Most common cases of avocado allergy are among those who are also allergic to latex. This phenomenon is called latex fruit syndrome, which occurs because the proteins within latex are similar to those in fruits and vegetables. Therefore, people who are allergic to latex may experience symptoms after consuming certain foods, especially banana, kiwi, chestnut and avocado. It is estimated that 30-50% of individuals who are allergic to latex also experience symptoms when eating plant-based fresh foods. Allergy to avocado without latex sensitisation or oral allergy syndrome is rare, but has been documented before.
Avocado nut allergy
There is not a strong cross-reactivity between nuts and avocados, yet it has been suggested that avocados and chestnuts may both cause symptoms as explained previously by latex fruit syndrome.
Avocado allergies symptoms
Avocado food allergy symptoms include:
- Hives or rash.
- Tightness of the throat.
- Itchiness and swelling of the mouth or throat.
- Stomach pain.
- Itchy, watering eyes.
For people who have a severe avocado allergy, there is the chance that consumption could result in anaphylaxis. These symptoms include breathing difficulties, severe asthma, and swelling of the throat which should be taken seriously. If the person experiencing these symptoms owns an adrenaline auto-injector this should be used, and an ambulance should be called as soon as possible.
If you’re unsure if avocado is the cause of your allergy symptoms, you are advised to undertake an allergy test. Through using this at home allergy test, your blood sample will be tested against 38 common allergens. This way you can rule out the main causes of allergies, since avocado is a very rare allergy your symptoms could be caused by a different food item.
Avocado allergies in babies
Avocado is a great food for babies since it has many health benefits and is a perfect texture when ripe. Avocado allergy in babies is rare, yet when introducing new foods into your baby’s diet you should always be cautious. If your baby has experienced allergy symptoms after eating banana, you should be more wary and monitor them closely after trying avocado due to latex fruit allergy.
Allergy symptoms in babies include:
- Hives or rash.
- Red, watery eyes.
- Wheezing or coughing.
An intolerance is most commonly caused by lacking the enzyme required to digest the problem food, in this case avocados. Therefore it is a digestive response, in comparison to an allergy which is an immune response, indicating the key difference between the two issues.
It is also possible that individuals are intolerant to histamine that is contained within the avocado. In this instance, people will experience symptoms if they eat a food that contains a lot of histamine.
You can test for intolerances from the comfort of your home with our complete intolerance test, which analyses your sample against avocado specifically as well as 158 other potential triggers. From this test, you will be able to get a clearer overview of your health and begin to make changes to prevent symptoms for good.
Avocado intolerance symptoms
If you are intolerant to avocado, common symptoms you may experience are:
- Stomach pain and gas.
- Headaches or migraines.
- Heartburn or indigestion.
Avocado intolerance stomach pain relief
If you are suffering from stomach pain as a result of an intolerance, it is likely that your symptoms will subside once the food has exited your body. While you are feeling the pain, if it’s safe for you to do so you can take pain killers. Otherwise, you could try a hot water bottle or drink some chamomile tea to ease discomfort.
If you’re looking to substitute avocados in your diet,it’s beneficial to consider what functionyour avocado was serving.If you want to replicate the mild flavour and texture, then avocado alternative options include:
- Mashed banana.
- Nut butters.
However, be cautious if you do replace avocados for bananas, as there is a chance you willexperience the same symptoms due to latex fruit syndrome discussed previously.
Final thoughts on avocado allergy and intolerance
If you believe you have an allergy or intolerance to avocado, the first step is to confirm this with a test kit. Despite being a rare intolerance, our intolerance test even tests for avocado as well as 158 other items. If you’re unsure of which test to order, or you have further queries, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with a helpful member of our customer service team.