Garlic allergy is rare, but can cause a lot of discomfort for those allergic to it. People having garlic allergy break out in rashes after eating garlic. Diarrhoea, abdominal bloating and nausea are other symptoms related to garlic allergy. People find it difficult to avoid garlic as many food products contain garlic. Moreover, food manufacturers are not required to label garlic on the food products. Cooking at home and being careful while eating out may be helpful for those with garlic allergies.
What Causes Garlic Allergy?
Garlic allergy is caused when our immune system mistakenly identifies the proteins present in garlic as
harmful and reacts against it by releasing histamine. This results in an allergic reaction. People with onion
allergy are at high risk of garlic allergy, as both onion and garlic belong to the same family.
Garlic Allergy Symptoms:
Itchy Skin Rashes Eczema Diarrhoea Nausea Vomiting Wheezing
Diagnosing Garlic Allergy:
Some people tolerate a small amount of garlic, but suffer from an allergic reaction if they consume larger
quantities. If you suspect garlic allergy, try avoiding garlic for 1 or 2 weeks and see if your allergy
Allergy tests can also be undertaken to know if you have an allergy to garlic. Skin prick test involves placing the garlic extract on the skin and checking if you react against it. Blood test (RAST) is another test which can help in determining garlic allergy.
Preventing Garlic Allergy:
Avoiding garlic is the only way to prevent garlic allergy. However, this is tough, as many food products
such as sauces, pizzas and others contain garlic. Food manufacturers also do not have to label garlic on their
products. Hence, cooking at home is a good option. Inquiring about the ingredients while eating out can be
helpful. Garlic is a popular spice and most products use garlic under the name of spices.
For those allergic to garlic, taking anti-histamines such as Benadryl is required to treat garlic allergy. Steroids also may be needed. A self-injectable epinephrine is very important to prevent an anaphylactic shock. If you suspect garlic allergy, do consult your allergist for proper diagnosis and treatment.
More Symptoms of Garlic Allergy:
Garlic allergy can affect the intestines and stomach, leading to inflammation. This inflammation can lead to
gas, bloated stomach, diarrhea, heartburn and stomach upset. Since, these symptoms are often mild, they are
not recognized as signs of garlic allergy. These symptoms can be treated with over-the-counter medicines.
Garlic allergy can also cause a runny or stuffy nose. Maintain a diary to note which foods cause which
symptoms, to find out if you suffer from garlic allergy.
In some people, ingesting or even merely touching garlic can cause a rash, itching or redness of skin.
Patients with asthma or related respiratory illnesses may suffer wheezing, chest tightness and coughing.
Inhaling dry garlic dust while preparing garlic in the kitchen, can cause these respiratory symptoms.
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