I thought I'd kick off a very short post about latex allergies. It is becoming increasingly common, and one way we screen people for potential latex allergies in the hospital is by asking about food allergies.
Because some proteins in rubber are similar to food proteins, some foods may cause an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to latex. The most common of these foods are banana, avocado, chestnut, kiwi fruit and passion fruit.
If you've ever eaten these foods, and have a funny "tingly" feeling in your mouth, or rash around your mouth after eating them, mention this to your doctor the next time you go. You may be latex-sensitive.
Believe it or not, I've not had any problem with latex allergies, despite over 30 years of constant exposure. And I'm a fairly allergic person, with asthma, many drug allergies, cat allergies...just not latex.
I've seen many of my coworkers develop it, though. Most of our gloves and supplies are latex free, now.
I would strongly suggest your allergist tests for latex via blood (not skin) ... bet you my bottom dollar (although I'm not a doctor) she will show + to latex to some degree with her history. But, I hope not. If she is + avoidance is the key element to latex -- it never really gets better -- it can get worse with repeated exposure. And a medic tag is really important in emergency and/or hospital settings with latex all around.
My daughter does not get eczema .. she gets anaphylaxis symptoms. (mild) The last time it was severe stridor and very scary but she was ok after our trip to the ER. Hindsight 20/20 we should have used the epi pen. Hidden nuts or plum juice in a peach gummy ring candy was the culprit when she never reacted to nuts like that before.
My daughter with the plum and stonefruit has the latex connection ... and, of course, the hazelnuts being Class IV out of VI.
I have a long list of food intolerances--grains, diary, sesame, soy--and have reacted to band-aids and the latex in the collars and cuffs of turtlenecks and socks, so I'm pretty sure I have a latex sensitivity--I make it part of my medical record to be on the safe side. A couple of years ago I was began getting reactions to fresh fruits--first signs of mouth swelling, rashes. I was really bummed that I was losing another huge food group. Then I read somewhere that birch was a stong cross-reactor with latex and stone fruits, and realized the Tom's toothpaste I used three times a day was sweetened with xylitol made from birch bark. Apparently xylitol also occurs in fruits (raspberries and plums are mentioned most often), mushrooms, and corn. Maybe it was a coincidence, but I quit using the toothpaste and my reactions to fruit have mostly stopped, though I have to be careful not to eat too many raspberries.
I can relate to the food sensitivities issue all too well myself. It can get really frustrating to deal with some days. Everything you said about stone fruits is what I was told one time in the hospital, too. I didn't know that it was xylitol that made raspberries a problem food for me, but now I know why they bother me. I used to love going to my grandparent's house and pick the fresh raspberries off of the vine, too. I definitely have the latex sensitivity myself, because it will definitely burn my skin. I know about some of the cross reactions. You're right about it being a huge food group. All because of birch! I make it a point to tell my doctors that I'm allergic to latex and band-aids every time they draw blood, too, because the lab techs don't always read the allergy bands that the hospital puts on my wrists. I still have to remind my primary care doctor about this one.
One that isn't always mentioned, but is still actually a stone fruit is avacado. I was also told that bananas have the same protein in them as latex. They're also "binding" for me. I didn't know mushrooms were in this category, I just knew I couldn't eat them either. You're right, this pretty much wipes out the fruit category.
Do you also have problems with mints and other herbs? I noticed that you already mentioned cinnamon.
All peanuts and tree nuts are out for me, too. And, anything in the sunflower family, which is another huge family. If you're allergic to sunflower oil and seeds, steer clear of calendula oil. Calendula is a very close cousin to marigolds. I found out the hard way that they're also in the sunflower family. Here's one I bet you didn't know: Lettuce, spinach and dandelions are all in the sunflower family, too. Well, that explains why I'll get nauseous and throw up if I try to eat the stuff.
I can't remember which forum I read, but I have found out that this huge laundry list of food sensitivities that is caused by the cross-reactions to birch is called Oral Allergy Syndrome. I know about the mouth blisters inside of the mouth only all too well. I've always had some of these blisters from certain foods and substances, but I've noticed that some things are worse than others. Citrus is one of the worst ones as far as the blisters inside of the mouth. My lips don't like citrus either. I'll bet most of our food sensitivities are exactly the same because of that definite allergy to birch.
It's funny how the food sensitivities tests all have come back negative, even though I know I have bad reactions to these foods and will be sick. But, I'm definitely allergic to birch, as in true allergy. So, that explains the laundry list of food sensitivities and the latex and band-aid sensitivities.
Thanks for the link to the allergy cross reactions page. I bookmarked this page for myself, too. And, I'll pass on this link to a good friend of mine who has the same problem that we both obviously share here.
WOW .. I have to say I've learned a lot from these posts and have been dealing with latex allergy for 8 yrs now! The Xylitol is new to me and I will mention it to my daughter to be careful for that ingredient. She is super allergic to birch pollen and mugwort which is a weed that cross reacts with raw carrots .. she gets huge swelling inside her mouth in the OAS you describe above. There is a small % of OAS that can migrate into Anaphylaxis so avoidance is key.
Hehehe.... My first experience with err latex was errr very embarrassing. I've been telling people about the Latex-avocado cross allergy for a while. I'm a nerd, and typed all the things that bug me in the search on Google a couple years ago, and found out about it.
I have a very mild reaction to latex, however my reaction to banana's and avocados is increasingly getting worse.
My biggest fear is I'm pre-med, and allergic to latex. I really really hope this will not affect my career!
Interesting that some of you mention Xylitol as well. I mentioned in wannabenana`s post my son`s horrendous oral exzema (eczema) that undoubtedly keeps happening when we use Xylitol products. I couldn`t believe it since it is 100% natural sugar but now it occurs to me that he ate tons of avocado around his first birthday and I am very allergic to birch pollen. Nowadays he hates avocado and banana. I wonder if there is a link.
Latex is still okay though. Our dental hygienist uses latex-free gloves, as she says not for her own sake but to avoid allergic reactions in patients` mouths.
You may want to have him tested (via blood) to know .. because repeated expsosure must be limited or else it can get worse. Glad the dentist uses non-latex gloves, but with his history,it's probably best to know for sure
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