A sesame allergy is an adverse immune response after consuming sesame or its products. The number of people with a sesame allergy has risen in recent years; yet, sesame is still a common hidden allergen that is not always listed on food labels.
Sesame comes in the form of a seed or oil, which makes sesame allergies hard to identify. Sesame oil is not highly processed or refined, so some of the protein remains intact. This can cause a serious sesame allergy reaction.
Much like tree nut allergies, sesame allergies are sometimes cross-reactive. This means that if you are allergic to sesame, you could be allergic to similar seeds and nuts. Allergies to hazelnuts and rye grain often accompany a sesame allergy. Sesame is also found in many processed foods which makes this allergy difficult to manage.
Sesame Allergy Symptoms
- Difficulty breathing
- Low pulse rate
- Itchiness or swelling inside the mouth
- Hives or sesame allergy rash
The symptoms of a sesame allergy are comparable to those of a peanut allergy. They are very severe and require immediate care. In most recent years, more cases of sesame allergy have been publicized. Severe symptoms have even led to death. It’s important to get this allergy diagnosed early to prevent an allergic reaction.
Sesame Allergy Diagnosis
With an evaluation of your symptoms and diet, an allergist can diagnose a sesame allergy. They may ask you to write down everything you’ve eaten in the past few days because some symptoms can be delayed. Your allergist may also perform a skin prick test or other methods of sesame allergy testing to rule out other common allergies.
If your allergist still cannot pinpoint the allergy, they may order a food challenge. Food challenges are dangerous and can provoke a serious allergic reaction. This is why they should only be performed in the presence of a board-certified allergist with emergency equipment on hand.
Sesame Allergy Treatment
If you are diagnosed with a sesame allergy, you must avoid all products containing sesame, even if your sesame allergy or sensitivity is not severe. It’s not uncommon for food allergies to become more severe after the first few reactions. You should carry epinephrine to treat anaphylaxis if it is brought on by your allergy.
Our allergists understand the difficulties faced living with a sesame allergy. That is why we have provided a sesame allergy food list that you may need to avoid, as well as a list of substitutions for sesame seed and oil.
Sesame Allergy Foods to Avoid
|Hummus||Crackers||Some Gluten Free Foods|
|Salad Dressings||Risotto||Some Tomato Pastes|
|Baked Goods||Processed Snack Foods||Asian, Italian, Greek Dishes|
SUBSTITUTIONS FOR SESAME SEED AND OIL
|Poppy Seeds||Shelled Hemp Seeds||Sunflower Oil|
|Sunflower Seeds||Light Olive Oil||Peanut Oil|
|Flax Seeds||Canola Oil||Vegetable Oil|
Sesame Allergy Frequently Asked Questions
Are There Hidden Names for Sesame?
In non-food items, Sesamum indicum may be used on product labels.
Can a Sesame Allergy Be Airborne?
Sesame does not usually have an airborne presence. Symptoms are mostly brought on by touching or eating sesame. However, individuals who are highly sensitive to sesame should avoid being near to the allergen.
Can I Be Allergic to Sesame?
Anyone can be allergic to sesame but it you are allergic to other seeds and nuts, you have a higher chance of having a sesame allergy.
Can I Outgrow My Sesame Allergy?
Most cases of sesame allergies are lifelong. It is rare to outgrow a sesame allergy.
How Is Sesame Allergy Diagnosed?
Sesame allergy is diagnosed with allergy testing methods such as a sesame allergy patch test or a skin prick test.
How Is Sesame Allergy Treated?
Sesame allergy symptoms are treated with antihistamines and epinephrine.
If I’m Allergic to Sesame, Will I Be Allergic to Nuts?
Sesame and nuts are sometimes cross-reactive. So there’s a possibility that you could be allergic to nuts. Contact an allergist for a full allergy panel.
Is Sesame Allergy Curable?
No, sesame allergy is not curable. Many people live with this condition throughout their entire lives. If you need help managing your condition, contact an allergist.
Why Are People Allergic to Sesame??
Most allergic reactions to sesame are caused by oleosins, the proteins in sesame.
If you believe that you suffer from a sesame allergy, contact the NYC allergists at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers. With access to the latest allergy testing and treatment, we can diagnose your sesame allergy today. We offer six convenient offices to treat your allergies no matter where you are in the city. Call 212-686-4448 to book your appointment now!