Banana is one of the most nutritious fruits with a great fan following all over the world. The fruit is enriched with the goodness of vitamins A, B and C and also contains vast amounts of iron, fiber, and other nutrients. This versatile fruit can be cooked into savory recipes when it is green. The ripe one is best eaten as it is or can be converted into mouthwatering desserts. While the fruit is safe to it, it has been found that some people are allergic to it. And sadly, banana allergy can be found both in adults as well as babies. However, a percentage of these babies often outgrow this adverse condition as they grow up.
Banana Allergy is Different from Banana Intolerance
Many people confuse a banana allergy with banana intolerance. However, the two are not the same although the symptoms that they cause are quite similar. This also triggers confusion amongst patients whether its banana allergy or its intolerance they are suffering from. It should also be noted that the symptoms of banana intolerance are usually milder than those of banana allergy. In normal circumstances, banana intolerance can take up to a couple of days to reveal itself. Moreover, banana allergy is more about the body’s weakened immune system. In contrary, the intolerance is related to the weak digestive system.
Banana allergy in severe cases can have a life-threatening impact. Plus, when you are allergic to the fruit you come to know immediately because of the symptoms that follow promptly. Interestingly, not all people are allergic to both green and ripe bananas. Some may be allergic to only raw bananas, and they can enjoy the delicious goodness of ripe bananas without any problem. There are quite a few who suffer from allergy from either of the two types of bananas. In some cases, it has also been found that people outgrow the allergic reactions at some point in their lives, but this is not true for all. It is always best to consult the doctor to know if you can continue eating bananas despite some of the symptoms.
Banana Allergy Symptoms in Babies
Banana allergy in babies can be caused by a hypersensitive immune system, which shows intolerance to the protein chitinase found in a banana. Sometimes, the Vasoactive amines contained in the bananas trigger an allergy in babies whose metabolic system doesn’t have enzyme oxidizing ability. If your baby has been vomiting after eating a banana, it is a good enough sign of alarm. Banana allergy in babies also triggers a facial rash. Or, you may find the skin around the mouth of your baby unusually reddish after eating a banana.
If your baby is going to eat bananas for the first time, there are a few things you might want to keep an eye on. Look out for signs of hives, eczema or reddish bumps. Itching sensation is also commonly reported in babies. Sometimes, the tongue itself is inflamed, along with the mouth and face is swollen. In many cases, the symptoms may show up uniquely or additionally as gastrointestinal issues. Keep a track how your baby feels few hours after eating bananas. Some common symptoms are nausea, stomach ache, diarrhea, loose bowels, vomiting, and gas.
Some children can also have respiratory tract symptoms after eating a banana. These can be identified as shortness of breath, chest tightness, moodiness, wheezing, blocked or a runny nose and cough. In severe cases, fainting has also been reported.
Precautions in Babies to Prevent Banana Allergy
It is always a good idea to wait for three days after you introduce a new food in your child’s diet. And, the same goes for a banana. This helps you identify the actual allergen and take safety steps. In case the allergic reaction is only, the doctor may rather advise you to feed smaller pieces of the fruit initially. This is to see if the baby outgrows the allergy over a period of time. Also, cooked bananas are considered least potent than raw ones in causing any allergic reaction. So, you can give your baby cooked bananas. In other cases, carrots can make for another good alternative to the banana as it is a safe first food for infants. Another important thing to read the food labels well so as to ensure you do not end up buying a food stuff for your baby containing banana.
Banana Allergy Symptoms in Adults
Banana allergy can cause different symptoms in different people. Sometimes, the symptoms may be entirely unique to an individual. One common symptom of a banana allergy is abdominal pain. Often, this sign is accompanied by difficulty in swallowing and breathing. Some people even complain of dizziness. In severe cases, anaphylaxis and fainting have also been repeated. These apart, signs of eczema, hives, itching in any part of the face, nausea and nasal congestion are all symptoms of banana allergy.
Some people who are allergic to bananas can even vomit immediately or experience diarrhea. In some severe cases, inflammation can block the airways as throat, breasts, and tongue become swollen. It can further worsen if it occurs with a cardiovascular response. Banana allergy becomes more pronounced when there is a sudden dip in the blood pressure. It can cause weak or fast pulse and even concussions.
Tips to Prevent Banana Allergy in Adults
If you have a banana allergy, you should not only avoid eating the fruit but also foods containing banana as an ingredient. Ideally, also steer clear of banana flavored products whether it is foodstuffs, medication or beauty products. Pay more attention to the content of smoothies and raw healthy desserts as bananas are quite a favored ingredient in such recipes. It is also important to avoid cross-reactive foods. These are the foods that contain a similar protein like that of banana which triggers the same kind of allergy in a person. These include apples, kiwis, avocados, tomatoes, papaya, and melons. Also, be informed that being allergic to bananas you are also sensitive to latex which contains a similar protein that causes an allergic reaction. Try to stay away from gloves, balloons, fitness equipment and other such things made of latex.
If the signs and symptoms don’t seem very clear to you, it is vital that you consult the doctor without much delay. The doctor may perform a blood test, food elimination test, a skin prick test or the likes to diagnose the condition.