The grape is a fruit that is extracted from a deciduous tree called a vine, which is currently cultivated in different regions of the Mediterranean. The grape, in addition to being a delicious fruit, is very beneficial for our health since it has different properties, among which it’s detoxifying action and its high alkalinity stand out, which is why it contains anti-cancer properties. However, despite being a food with wonderful benefits, some people feel itchy and / or swollen in the mouth every time they eat this fruit.
Food allergy to grapes as a possible cause of itchy mouth
Food allergies are more common in foods such as eggs, milk, nuts, soy, shellfish, and fish. However, although they may be less frequent, allergic reactions can also occur when eating certain fruits, in this case, grapes and products derived from it such as wine, juices and raisins.
A food allergy occurs when, in this case, we take grapes and the person’s immune system does not correctly identify the food believing that it is a harmful substance. Faced with this false danger, the immune system begins to produce antibodies called immunoglobulin E against grapes. Therefore, every time that person takes grapes, the immunoglobulin will perceive it and release chemical substances alerting the body to the false danger. These substances are what cause allergy symptoms, including itchy tongue and mouth.
Other possible causes of itchy mouth when eating grapes can be the following:
- This itch can come from an allergic reaction to any compound in the grapes. The compound or nutrient that causes the most allergic reactions are the proteins that the grape contains.
- It is also likely that the allergy depends on the type of grape you are taking since both the nutrients and their composition are not the same. As for color, the grapes can be red, purple, green and white.
- Another potential cause of itching may be a possible allergy to the yeast that grows on grapes.
- We must also consider that different pesticides have been used during the cultivation of the grape and, on the one hand, we could be allergic to them and, on the other hand, if the fruit is not washed well, it could cause us some bad reaction as itching due to its compounds harmful even if we are not directly allergic to these compounds.
Symptoms to identify grape allergy
The symptoms of an allergic reaction to grapes appear after we have consumed them and can occur both in a few minutes and after an hour after we ate grapes. To identify a food allergy to grapes, we must observe if, after eating them, in addition to suffering an itchy mouth, we have one or more of the main symptoms of a food allergy to grapes:
- Itching and swelling of both the mouth and lips and the throat
- Irritated eyes
- Irritated gums
- Swelling of the face
- Breathing problems or difficulty
- Other respiratory problems such as nasal congestion, asthma, and wheezing
- Low blood pressure
How to diagnose and treat food allergy to grapes
If you identify some of the symptoms that we have explained above, it is recommended that you go to the doctor or specialist in these ailments, the allergist. To diagnose a possible grape allergy, the allergist will first perform a physical examination and a dietary survey of the patient.
The specialist will also be able to carry out a blood test and a skin test to diagnose the allergy, in which the patient’s skin is exposed to the allergen (the grape). In this procedure, the level of adverse reaction (if any) is measured by scratching the surface of the patient’s skin with the grape.
Through the tests that the allergist will perform, these results can be given:
- If during the skin examination and, in addition, each time the grapes are ingested, the explained symptoms occur, it is a food allergy.
- If, on the other hand, during reactions and skin examination adverse reactions occur, but intermittently, the cause of the allergy is most likely not the grape, but the contaminants in the crop.
The only way to treat a grape allergy is to avoid consuming it in all its forms that is, you should also avoid wine, raisins, etc. At the same moment that an allergic reaction is suffered, if it is mild, it may happen that setting aside the allergen and resting for a while, it will pass, but if the reaction is somewhat more serious, it is vital to go to medical emergencies as soon as possible, especially if there are respiratory difficulties or a lot of swelling.