Cross Reaction Allergies

As someone with multiple food allergies it can sometimes be a real pain when it comes to planning meals as I am limited in foods I can eat, yet I am grateful that I do not have any anaphylactic allergies.

If I eat something that I am allergic or intolerant to I might get a migraine, a stomach ache, all over body unwellness, a scratchy throat or itchy skin. I have never had my throat swell up and close except once when I was given codeine after surgery.

What I have learned in my research and dietary practice is there are some of us who cross react to other foods within the same food family. I write about this in my dietary guide and cookbook, Finally… Food I Can Eat and devote a whole chapter to it.

It seems a reach that someone could react to a food that they are not allergic to, yet is biologically linked to the same food family. Let me give you an example. I once had a woman who said to me every time I eat cashews I feel like when I got poison ivy as a kid. I don’t have any allergies to nuts, what is going on?

Well, little did she know that The Cashew Family contains cashew, mango, pistachio, poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. So it makes sense that she reacts to cashews in a strange, but real way.

Another  client found she never felt well when she ate garlic and felt similar when she ate leeks and asparagus. Yes, these foods are all part of the Lily family.

Many allergists are not familiar with food families and so it can get frustrating for patients when they continue to react to foods that don’t show up on their allergy tests.

This happened to my friend Leanne Vogel, creator of Healthful Pursuit. She is allergic to peanuts- she carries an EpiPen as it is that serious of an allergy.

She takes hydrochloric acid as it helps with her acne and she is also on hormone replacement therapy. One night she took her medication and went to bed, she woke up with a start and realized she was having a reaction, which felt like anaphylaxis, but because she knew she hadn’t had any peanuts she wondered what could be wrong.

Check out this short video of Leanne’s experience, what she found out and how she was cross reacting to fenugreek, a spice that belongs to the legume family as does peanuts.

click here for the video

If you would like more information about food families and food allergies there is a whole chapter dedicated in my cookbook where I list all the food families. Click here to grab your copy.

You may also email me and book a consult to find out more about cross reactivity of if you think you may be cross reacting to foods.feugreekpeanuts


About the Author

Written by: Shirley Plant
Shirley Plant is a nutritionist and the author of Finally… Food I Can Eat, a dietary guide and cookbook for people with food allergies, and those looking for healthy, tasty recipes. Shirley offers dietary counselling and menu planning through Delicious Alternatives.

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