Some individuals can experience an allergic reaction after being exposed to mushrooms and other forms of fungi. Mushroom allergy among children usually vanishes within a few years but allergies to mushroom or mold exposure that develop during adulthood can last for a lifetime.
The symptoms of mushroom allergy can manifest after consuming mushrooms or inhaling the fungal spores. The itchiness and respiratory issues of allergic rhinitis can be managed with medications but food allergies should be dealt with dietary management that would require consultation with a dietician so that a suitable diet plan can be given.
Mushroom allergy to the inhaled spores can trigger the hay fever effects of allergic rhinitis, either perennially or seasonally when the mold count is elevated. The food-induced mushroom allergy is less common and includes digestive and even potentially fatal anaphylactic symptoms such as respiratory distress in rare cases.
Types of reactions
In most circumstances, the individual might initially notice sensitivity after getting sick after consuming or directly handling mushrooms. It is reported that food allergies can trigger respiratory, skin and digestive symptoms.
Those who have mushroom allergy might also be allergic to other fungal forms such as yeast or mold. The ingestion of foods that carry mold such as grapes or cheese might trigger the allergy symptoms. It is important to note that the inhalation of the airborne spores from mold or mushrooms can also make some individuals sick. Remember that the reactions depend on the sensitivity of the individual.
Symptoms of mushroom allergy
The upper respiratory symptoms to inhaled mushroom allergens include coughing, sneezing, sinus congestion and runny nose. Itching of the eyes, mouth, ears and throat can occur along with these allergic rhinitis symptoms. The same issues can indicate food allergy after eating mushrooms or moldy foods. Other symptoms after ingesting mushrooms that can manifest include stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.
Important considerations to bear in mind
In some cases of food-borne mold exposure, the whole body experiences an allergic reaction. Right after consuming mushrooms or foods that contain mold, the blood pressure can drop abruptly. The airways may swell, thus resulting to diminished intake of oxygen.
Remember that these anaphylactic reactions can lead to an erratic pulse rate, lightheadedness, difficulty breathing and fainting. Anaphylaxis can rapidly progress to respiratory and cardiovascular failure, thus requiring immediate emergency care. Once the initial signs of anaphylaxis are observed, call for emergency assistance or bring the individual to the nearest emergency department.
The best way to minimize exposure to the airborne sources of mold is to keep the indoor humidity level below 50%. The respiratory health symptoms can be prevented using medications such as cromolyn sodium and nasal steroids. In addition, dietary changes such as eliminating mushroom as well as foods that contain mold such as smoked fish, sour cream and dried fruits.