Even though grapes are not included in the list of main food allergens such as wheat, milk or nuts, some children can develop an allergy to grapes. Nevertheless, the child might have an allergy to grapes but a reaction to other substances present on the grapes. If you believe that a child has a reaction to grapes, a doctor should be consulted so that allergy testing can be performed to determine the exact cause. In addition, cross-reactions to other foods can also occur.
Once a child is suspected to be highly sensitive to grapes, it is best to schedule an appointment with a doctor so that proper assessment and testing can be carried out to determine the exact allergen.
Possible causes of an allergic reaction
The proteins present in certain foods are capable of causing allergic reactions among highly sensitive individuals. Even though many believe that grapes do not contain proteins, it actually contains enough to trigger an allergic reaction.
The proteins believed to trigger an allergy to grapes include 3 specific proteins – grape lipid transfer protein (LTP), thaumatin-like protein and endochitinase 4A. The major protein allergen in grapes is LTP. The immune system overly reacts and responds to the harmless protein as a threat. This triggers the release of antibodies that release substances that attack the allergen.
Symptoms of grape allergy
It is important to note that grape allergy can trigger the symptoms that are similar to other allergens. The symptoms of grape allergy include cough, hives, rashes, runny or stuffed nose, wheezing and asthma.
The oral allergy symptoms usually include swelling of the throat, lips and area surrounding the mouth along with itchiness in the throat as well as irritation of the eyes or gums. The anaphylactic symptoms include hives, an abrupt drop in the blood pressure, facial swelling as well as breathing difficulty, wheezing and swelling of the throat.
Other possible causes
An allergy to grapes might actually be an allergy to yeast or mold that grows on the grapes or to the pesticides utilized on them. The lipid transfer proteins present in both grapes and peaches can also trigger cross-reactions between the two fruits.
It is important to note that a cross-reaction between grapes and cherries can also occur. Oral allergy syndrome triggers a reaction between fruits and other substances. In addition, a cross-reaction between grapes and latex can also occur.
Considerations to bear in mind
It is also possible to experience an allergic reaction to a single type of grape and not to others. It is also likely that an allergy to a certain type of grape can indicate an allergy to all grapes, wine products and raisins. If a child experienced a reaction to one type of grape, you should not provide him/her to any grape products until he/she has undergone proper testing by a doctor.