Cranberry allergy is considered uncommon but can occur in some individuals. With this in mind, it is vital that you are familiar with the potential reactions. Once an individual experiences a severe reaction to cranberry, it is vital to seek immediate medical care.
What are the health benefits of cranberry?
Cranberry has been utilized in managing kidney and bladder disease, H. pylori infections from GI ulcers and yeast infections.
It has been recognized as the ideal source of vitamin C and antioxidants. The acidic content in cranberry prevents E. coli colonization in the urinary tract and bladder. It also prevents the development of infections from H. pylori that can lead to stomach ulcers.
The antioxidants present in cranberry can prevent the detrimental effects of free radicals on the cells and bodily tissues. Regular intake of cranberry can also prevent cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, tumor development and neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Close look on cranberry allergy
Even though an allergic reaction to cranberry is uncommon, it can still occur in some individuals. An allergic reaction can develop as a response to the proteins. The immune system perceives these proteins as a threat and initiates an IgE-mediated response.
The immune response is activated and the mast cells release histamine and other immune mediators to the bloodstream which triggers the characteristic allergy symptoms.
Allergy rash from cranberry
The presence of histamine in the bloodstream triggers vasodilation and increased permeability of the blood capillaries. The fluids and toxins seep to the skin surface which results to redness, swelling and inflammation.
The development of hives is an indication of an allergic response. The hives usually manifest within 24 hours of consuming cranberries and can occur in any part of the body. These skin rashes are itchy, reddened and elevated with a pale center.
In most cases, the hives can be accompanied by eczema which is characterized by inflammation of the skin that occurs in the elbows, knees, face and neck. The rashes might leak fluids that crust over which makes the skin leathery and cracked.
Management of cranberry allergy
The ideal treatment for cranberry allergy is complete avoidance of cranberry in any form. The individual might be highly sensitive to bilberry, blueberries and buck berries as well.
It is vital to carefully read the labels on all foods and beverages to check if cranberries are present. In case the individual experiences an allergic skin rash, you can provide the individual with an antihistamine and over-the-counter corticosteroids to help minimize the inflammation, itchiness and discomfort.