There are some individuals who experience the tingling of their lips along with chest constriction upon eating foods that contain tomato products. Individuals who have tomato allergy experience these symptoms. Unlike with allergies to egg, milk or peanuts, allergy to tomato is not prevalent and not common. On the other hand, it does not mean that the symptoms are any less severe than the other types of food allergies.
The difference between intolerance and a true allergy
It is important to learn the difference between intolerance to a particular food to an actual allergy. When it comes to food intolerance, the condition is quite common and though the chemical reaction of the body to a particular food can cause unpleasant symptoms, it has less potential for fatality. As for a true tomato allergy, it is considered as a rare condition and triggered by a histamine reaction to a particular protein that is present in the skin, seeds and juice of tomatoes.
What are the symptoms?
During an allergic reaction to tomato, the symptoms typically manifest right after foods that contain tomato are ingested. The doctor will establish a timetable in order to rule out whether the individual is experiencing a life-threatening reaction or simply food intolerance. It is important to note whether the symptoms became worse with every exposure to tomatoes.
The individual must avoid fresh tomatoes if he/she experiences itching or swelling around the mouth, diarrhea, hives, vomiting, difficulty breathing or skin rash that persists. Even though doctors do not know the exact reason, many individuals who have tomato allergy will only experience symptoms upon contact with the raw fruit. In some cases, the individual can only eat processed foods without experiencing any allergic reaction.
Always bear in mind that the tomato plant is closely related to eggplant, potatoes and tobacco. All of these plants are included in the deadly nightshade family with their similar structures. Since tomato allergy is considered as a rare condition, an individual with the allergy will experience the symptoms after touching or ingesting these plants as well.
Testing for tomato allergy
If the individual wants to determine if he/she has tomato allergy, it is best to schedule an appointment with the doctor so that allergy testing can be carried out. Both skin prick test and blood test will be performed. During a skin prick test, the doctor will inject small amounts of the allergen in a grid pattern on the back to check for any localized reactions such as a skin rash. As for a blood test, it can reveal an increase in the IgE antibody in the system.
Tips to bear in mind
If you suspect that an individual is allergic to tomatoes, he/she must avoid tomatoes until it is determined by a healthcare professional. Always remember that food allergies can increase in severity after each exposure, thus it is best not to take any chances. In case a severe reaction occurs, it would require immediate emergency care.