Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Ragweed makes my mouth itch when I eat watermelon?
I was just reading an article in Allergy and Asthma Today magazine. (Published by Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics) The article was called, "Oral Allergy Syndrome" from their "Ask an Allergist" section.
Dr. Richard Weber talks about how some vegetable and fruit proteins are "cousins" to certain pollens. If you are allergic to a plant or tree, you can be allergic to the fruit too. That's why if you are allergic to ragweed, your mouth can itch if you eat watermelon or cantaloupe. If you are allergic to birch trees, your mouth can tingle while you eat apples. Weird, huh?
Dr. Weber says that when you eat the fruit, the enzymes in your mouth quickly break down the proteins in the fruit. That way, it doesn't get into your bloodstream and travel throughout the body, which can cause anaphylaxis. That's usually what happens with seafood or peanut allergies.
If you eat a fruit, your lips may tingle, or the roof of your mouth might itch. I've had that happen before with watermelon. Who knew it was because I'm actually allergic to ragweed?
Has anyone else ever had this happen, or am I the only weird one?