Citrus Allergy: Warning Signs To Watch For

March 1, 2018

Food allergies are very common, and in most cases, they can produce many unpleasant symptoms. Food allergies and food intolerance can take various forms, but luckily, in most cases, they are not dangerous. An allergy to citrus fruits can still be a health problem, especially for those who want to enjoy lemons or oranges. Moreover, a citrus allergy can happen later in life after many years of eating with no problems.

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Citrus allergy symptoms

Most people who suffer from a citrus allergy develop the symptoms after consuming foods or drinks made with raw citrus fruit. Citrus fruits include oranges, limes, lemons, and grapefruits. Be careful: You may develop an allergic reaction not only to the fresh fruits but to the peels too. The most common signs usually include:

  • intense itching of the mouth and throat;
  • mild swelling of the gums and lips.

If you come in contact with the peels, you may get allergic contact dermatitis. In this condition, your body produces inflammatory chemical after the contact with an allergen. The symptoms affect your skin and typically include the following:

  • itching;
  • redness;
  • burning sensations;
  • swelling;
  • blisters;
  • dryness.

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However, in rare cases, a citrus allergy can result in a systematic allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a dangerous condition that can be life-threatening. Signs of anaphylaxis include the following:

  • swelling of the mouth and throat that can lead to trouble breathing;
  • flushed skin;
  • hives;
  • asthma;
  • nausea or vomiting;
  • drop in blood pressure;
  • weakness.

If you notice any of these symptoms, seek emergency medical help as soon as possible.

What to avoid if you have a citrus allergy

If you suspect that you or someone in your family have an allergy or sensitivity to citrus fruits, the best way to keep safe is to avoid certain foods. Here is what you should exclude from your diet:

  1. Avoid raw citrus fruit and citrus fruit juice. Read the labels when you are buying other types of juice because sometimes they are mixed in.
  2. Avoid freshly picked and unripe citrus fruits. They can be even more irritating.
  3. Be careful with citrus fruit rinds and seeds. Many people add them to the salads and baking. Always ask about ingredients.
  4. Avoid vitamin C supplements and flavored sweets, as they often use citrus flavoring.

Source: Livestrong, HealthyBuilderz, Healthline

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This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.