What Is A Pineapple Allergy?
A pineapple allergy is an immune system reaction to proteins found in pineapple. The protein that usually causes these reactions is bromelain (Ana c 2). Pineapple also contains profilin, which may cause allergies in some people. True pineapple allergies are rare. Most people react to pineapple due to pollen. This condition, called oral allergy syndrome (OAS), most commonly occurs in people with asthma or hay fever from tree pollen. OAS causes a reaction that is confined to the lips, mouth, and throat and usually only occurs when patients consume certain raw fruits and vegetables.
People with pineapple allergies may experience cross-reactive reactions after eating other fruits, such as kiwi, papaya, apricot, or chestnut. This cross-reactivity is typically not severe, but it’s important to always be prepared for any type of allergic reaction. The allergists at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers can help you get a proper diagnosis and treatment for your allergies.
Pineapple Allergy Symptoms
- Localized itching
- Mouth & throat irritation
- Anaphylaxis (rare)
The most common symptoms of a pineapple allergy are localized itching and hives. Very rarely does a pineapple allergy result in more severe symptoms such as anaphylaxis. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include difficulty breathing, rapid heartbeat, loss of consciousness, and a drop in blood pressure. If you experience these symptoms after consuming pineapple, be sure to seek medical attention immediately.
Pineapple Allergy Diagnosis
An oral food challenge and elimination diet are the best ways to diagnose a pineapple allergy. An oral food challenge (OFC), or feeding test, is a medical procedure in which food is eaten slowly, in gradually increasing amounts, under medical supervision, to accurately diagnose or rule out a food allergy. Food challenges can provoke a serious allergic reaction; so, they are only performed in a clinical setting with trained medical personnel like an allergist at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers. Our specialists will have emergency medical equipment on hand to treat any symptoms that may occur.
In contrast, an elimination diet requires you to refrain from eating pineapple to see if your pineapple allergy reaction subsides. During this time, it’s helpful to keep a food journal and keep track of what you’re eating. Elimination diets usually last for about two weeks. This is the safer option of the two and your allergist will suggest an elimination diet if they suspect a severe allergic reaction will arise during a food challenge. After the allotted time, your allergist will determine if it’s safe to continue eating pineapple or if you need to eliminate it from your diet entirely.
Pineapple Allergy Treatment
The best treatment for pineapple allergy is avoidance. However, most cases of pineapple allergies are mild and can be treated with antihistamines, so it’s helpful to keep them with you. Over-the-counter medications may be strong enough, but you can also get prescribed medications to treat your symptoms. Prescribed medications may be necessary for asthma and some cases of contact dermatitis. If you suffer from allergic asthma, your allergist will recommend an inhaled corticosteroid.
For more serious allergic reactions to pineapple, ask your allergist about an epinephrine injection like Auvi-Q or Epipen. You should carry your epinephrine to treat symptoms related to anaphylaxis. Train your friends and family on how to administer the medication in case you can’t do it yourself. Be sure to book an appointment with NY Allergy & Sinus Centers for a personalized treatment plan for pineapple allergy.
Pineapple Allergy Frequently Asked Questions
What Causes Pineapple Allergy?
Bromelain (Ana c 2) is the most common cause of IgE-mediated allergic reactions. Pineapple allergy is also connected to pollen, which means if you are allergic to pollen, you may be allergic to pineapple as well.
Does Pineapple Cross-react With Other Fruits?
Pineapple may cross-react with other fruits, such as kiwi, papaya, apricot, or chestnut. If you are allergic to pineapple, we recommend getting allergy tested to see if you are allergic to other fruits as well.
How Is Pineapple Allergy Diagnosed?
Allergists use allergy testing to diagnose pineapple allergy. Allergy testing may include a skin prick test or food challenge done in a safe, clinical setting.
How Is Pineapple Allergy Treated?
There isn’t currently treatment for pineapple allergy. The best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid pineapple. However, in cases of severe allergic reactions, epinephrine can treat anaphylaxis. Antihistamines may treat less severe symptoms. Contact an NYC allergist to learn how to manage your pineapple allergy.
Is Pineapple Allergy Curable?
Pineapple allergy is not curable. However, some individuals experience less severity of the allergy as they grow older.