Peach Allergy: An Overview
Peaches are stone fruits available in different varieties with white, yellow, or red flesh.
Packed with antioxidants like vitamins C, peaches are a nutritious fruit to include in your diet unless you are allergic to them.
Peach allergy is common and may develop in people either as a true allergy to the fruit or birch-pollen allergy.
Many people who are allergic to birch pollen may develop allergic symptoms on eating peaches due to the similarity in the protein found in both.
True peach allergy arises from the Pru p 3 protein that cross-reacts with birch tree pollen.
When you develop an allergy to two or more unrelated foods because your immune system identifies them as biologically or structurally similar substances, it is called cross-reactivity.
If you are prone to an allergic reaction to peaches or other related fruits and vegetables, you may have oral allergy syndrome (OAS) or pollen food allergy symptoms (PFAS).
This condition is common in around 25% of children with allergic rhinitis.
If I Am Allergic To Peach, Can I Be Allergic To Other Stone Fruits?
Stone fruits have a hard seed or pit in the center, surrounded by the juicy or fleshy part of the fruit. These fruits are also called drupes and include:
An allergic reaction to stone foods occurs when your body’s immune system identifies the proteins or other components in the fruits as harmful substances and launches an attack.
During this immune response, the histamine released is responsible for allergy symptoms.
If you are allergic to peach, the chances are that you may be allergic to all members of the Rosaceae family or the stone fruits.
Is it Safe To Consume Cooked Peach?
Peaches contain different proteins, each of which can trigger allergic reactions of varying degrees of severity.
Some people are allergic to raw peaches but can eat the fruit when cooked at high temperatures as heating breaks down the allergy-causing proteins.
If you are allergic to the proteins present in the peach skin, peeling will allow you to eat the fruit without developing an allergy.
Understanding what part of the peach triggers an allergic reaction can help you prevent an allergic reaction.
Undergoing a specific IgE test can help you know more about your peach allergy.
What Are The Symptoms of Peach Allergy?
Symptoms of peach allergy are similar to allergies to other foods. You may experience:
- A tingling sensation in the mouth as soon as you eat the fruit
- Itchiness in the throat, tongue, lips, face, and even other parts of your body
- Nausea and vomiting
- Nasal congestion
- Breathing difficulty
If you have a severe allergic reaction to peaches, you may develop anaphylaxis, characterized by a rapid drop in blood pressure, constriction of your airways that makes it difficult to breathe, and loss of consciousness.
Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical attention.
Genetics of Peach Allergy – The HLA Family
Why we develop allergies to some foods is unknown.
However, genetics is said to play a role in developing a peach allergy.
The Human Leucocyte Antigen (HLA) system of genes on chromosome 6 gives instructions to produce proteins that regulate the immune system.
There are three classes of HLA genes, namely HLA-DR, HLA-DQ, and HLA-DP.
rs2858880 is a single nucleotide polymorphism or SNP in the HLA-DR/DQ gene region.
According to a genome-wide association study (GWAS), people having the A allele of this SNP are at a greater risk of developing peach allergy than those with the T allele.
rs1057149 is also an SNP in the HLA-DRB1 gene region.
People with the T allele of this SNP are at a greater risk of peach allergy than those having the G allele.
|rs2858880||A||Increased risk for peach allergy|
|rs1057149||T||Increased risk for peach allergy|
How Do You Manage Peach Allergy?
If you have been diagnosed with a peach allergy, your doctor will devise a plan to help you manage your symptoms better and prevent a flare-up.
- Avoiding the allergen
- Always read product labels to avoid any form of peach allergen.
- If you or someone is using peach in their cooking, use two separate to prevent contamination with the allergens in the fruit.
- Mention your allergy to the chef or staff at a restaurant before dining there.
- Carry a copy of all substances you are allergic to at all times.
- Always carry emergency medication that you can use in the event of accidental peach consumption.
- Symptom relief options
If you are allergic to peaches, your doctor may recommend one of the following symptom relief options:
- Antihistamines as a supplement help relieve mild allergic symptoms like itchiness or a rash. However, they do not prevent the progression of the allergic reaction.
- Bronchodilators containing albuterol can be used as a supplemental therapy for relieving respiratory symptoms in people with a history of asthma.
- An epinephrine auto-injector is extremely helpful in case of an acute, severe allergic reaction to peaches. Your family members must know how to administer this medicine in an emergency.
Is There A Treatment for Peach Allergy?
As with most allergies, there is no cure for food allergies.
The treatment for a peach allergy depends on the presenting signs and symptoms.
The best way to prevent peach allergy is to avoid consuming peaches in any form or foods that may contain peaches or other stone fruits.
- Allergy to peaches is more common than we think and occurs due to a protein present in the fruit.
- People who are allergic to peaches may also be allergic to other stone fruits.
- Some people may be allergic to raw peaches but will not develop any symptoms or reactions when the fruit is cooked or peeled.
- Symptoms of a peach allergy are similar to any other food allergy, including itchiness, rash, dizziness, nasal congestion, and wheezing, among others.
- Genes of the HLA family that play a role in immune response play a role in the development of peach allergy.
- Antihistamines, bronchodilators, and epinephrine injectors are commonly used for symptomatic relief in people with peach allergies.
- The best way to prevent peach allergy is to avoid consuming the fruit or its cousins.