If you have been diagnosed with acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) for quite a while now by your doctor, then you know very well the importance of steering clear of oranges, lemons and other citrus fruits. Otherwise, you may wind up being pestered by all sorts of uncomfortable symptoms that can last for hours.
But are you left in some form of discomfort after consuming citrus fruits even if you are pretty sure that you do not suffer from acid reflux or GERD? Then chances are you may be allergic to them.
It can be very easy to tell if you have citrus allergy as opposed to acid reflux or GERD because, most of the time, the nasty symptoms affect only the uppermost part of the digestive tract such as the lips, tongue, gums and throat.
And here’s when things get really interesting: if you have citrus allergy, then you may experience signs and symptoms like those of contact dermatitis if citrus fruits happen to come into contact with your skin. Some people get allergic reactions upon coming into contact with the pulp or juice, while others react negatively to the peel. Then there are those that develop all sorts of allergic reactions upon coming into contact with the seeds.
No matter the reason, it is the immune system of the individual with citrus allergy that is responsible for the unfavorable things that happen, thinking that chemicals or compounds in citrus fruits are a threat to you. So in other words, citrus allergy is just like any other food allergies such as those that involve milk, eggs, nuts, soy and wheat.
According to doctors, cooking can kill off the specific allergens in citrus fruits. But since not all people with citrus allergy agree to such, it’s therefore up to you to experiment if cooking can keep symptoms at bay.
By the way, it’s not just actual citrus fruits that can cause someone to develop nasty symptoms, but also other products that have citrus fruits in them, including beverages. The intake of citrus-flavored items like supplements should also be avoided because, most of the time, actual citrus fruits are used for flavoring them.
Now let’s check out some of the signs that you have citrus allergy:
Itching or Tingling Sensation
After consuming an orange, lemon, lime or grapefruit, do you end up experiencing itchiness of the lips, tongue and/or throat each time? Then you may have citrus allergy all right. Sometimes you may experience a burning sensation instead, and no amount of water or any beverage can make it go away.
Sometimes your lips and/or gums may appear redder than usual, which is a sign of inflammation. And when you touch them, it’s obvious that there is some form of tenderness. It’s ironic that citrus fruits can have a negative effect on the gums when in fact their vitamin C content actually helps in keeping at bay problems with the gums.
Skin Redness and Itchiness
Earlier, it was mentioned that some people with citrus allergy develop unfavorable signs and symptoms when they come into contact with the peel, pulp, juice or seed of citrus fruits. You may have citrus allergy if you develop skin itchiness and redness. Sometimes the skin may end up dry, taut and flaky, too.
There are some people with citrus allergy who develop blisters after coming into contact with citrus fruits. Other than the appearance of small fluid-filled growths, it is very much possible for the skin to itch at the same time. However, scratching is not a good idea because it can only lead to the complication of things.
In some instances, a person who has citrus allergy may experience nausea and vomiting after consuming citrus fruits. There are times, too, when diarrhea may take place. If these symptoms such as difficulty in breathing, hives, drop in blood pressure and severe weakness are encountered, then medical attention should be sought ASAP.