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Help! I’m Allergic to Date Fruit

A great source of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, fiber and packed full of antioxidants, it’s hardly surprising that date fruit is one of the most popular fruits worldwide. Not only does it have a long list of health benefits, but it’s delicious too. This aside, it can cause a multitude of issues for those who find themselves allergic to it.

 

But how do people develop an allergy to date fruit, or any foodstuff for that matter? Well, an allergy is simply a reaction by your immune system. Whilst the source of the allergy may not bother most people, for the sufferer, it can cause numerous reactions. People who are allergic to date fruit, for example, have an immune system which reacts badly to the proteins found in certain fruits and vegetables. Those who suffer with allergies are often allergic to more than just one thing.

 

As it is not a common allergy, most doctors and health professionals recommend will date fruit for its various health benefits and for the fact that they are safe to recommend to even more vulnerable consumers such as infants and pregnant women. However, in some cases, people can suffer adverse reactions. More often than not, these are limited to itching and inflammation in the mouth and throat but can, in more serious cases, produce more severe symptoms.

 

Generally, allergies to dried date fruit can be split into 3 categories:

  1. Dried date fruit mold allergy
    Dried date is a common source of mold. As such, an allergy to date fruit can be caused by mold or sulphites in the fruit. Overexposure to dried date fruit can therefore cause symptoms such as wheezing, difficulty breathing, a blocked or runny nose, itchy and watery eyes and skin rashes.
  2. Dried date fruit sulphite sensitivity
    One way of preserving fruit is to add sulphites to them. The downside of this, however, is that roughly 1% of the population are sensitive to sulphites (as estimated by experts). Sensitivity to sulphites can develop at any point in a person’s life and experts know little about what causes such an aversion. Sulphites are, however, banned from being added to fruit and vegetables that are to be eaten in their raw form. Symptoms of sulphite sensitivity from dried date fruit often resemble those of asthma; these can be as mild as wheezing, or as severe as a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction which requires immediate medical attention.
  3. Date fruit pollen
    A person who is sensitive to date fruit pollen may also exhibit cross-hypersensitivity reactions. Someone who suffers from this type of date fruit allergy will experience immediate tingling, swelling or itchy lips, mouth or throat.

 

Ultimately, the best way for a person who suffers from any kind of date fruit allergy to avoid a reaction is to avoid eating dried date fruit and other similar products. If the suffer does have a reaction, treatment depends on the nature and severity of the reaction. Treatments can include:

  • Educating the sufferer with regards to allergen avoidance so that they do not experience a reaction in the future
  • Prescribing antihistamines which are useful for allergic rhinitis and some allergy related skin conditions
  • Or, for mild reactions, no treatment at all.

 

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