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Oral Allergy Syndrome

Recipes, Information and Articles on Oral Allergy Syndrome a.k.a. Food Pollen Allergy


*Living with Oral Allergy Syndrome Cookbook now available! 



Allergic to fresh fruits and vegetables?

If you're like me and you dread the onset of spring, then you might also be familiar with Oral Allergy  Syndrome (OAS), also known as Food Pollen Allergy. Many people unwittingly suffer from OAS, which is a type of food allergy associated with hay fever and allergies to birch, grass, mugwort and ragweed.  Sufferers react to nuts fresh fruits and vegetables, soy and wheat, which is related to these pollens.

Symptoms include :

Tingling, itchiness and swelling of the mouth, tongue and throat.  Occasionally, itchy rashes and hives can develop in various areas. Some experience stomach upset and indigestion and, in severe cases, anaphylaxis, particularly in the case of nuts (although there have been documented cases of people reacting severely to other OAS related foods, such as lettuce anaphylaxis).  Many wheat allergies are also related to OAS.

OAS is not considered a true food allergy, because the severity can wax and wan with the season.   These foods (you can see them on the chart below) are actually cross-pollinated by pollens from birch, grass, mugwort and ragweed. Having an allergy to wheat doesn't necessarily mean you are allergic to gluten.  However, since gluten is found in wheat, it's almost 6 of 1 and half a dozen of the other since, in the end, wheat products must be avoided. 

This is a particularly frustrating allergy because there is still a lot of research that needs to be done and so very little awareness of it.  It's a pollen allergy that causes symptoms like a food allergy.

It's also frustrating because when you tell people you are allergic to most fresh fruits and vegetables, well... they either think you are crazy and imagining things, or that you are making it up to get attention. It's become almost common and acceptable to walk into a restaurant and tell the staff you are gluten intolerant, or celiac, or allergic to nuts.  However, try telling them that you are allergic to everything, but can they help you find something to eat?!

However, there is some light in the tunnel because there are so many of us, and our numbers grow as awareness grows. Here, I've provided some info, articles, tips and recipes for oral allergy syndrome. (I don't say light at the end of the tunnel because, honestly, I don't see an end yet, but at least there's some light in the tunnel!)

How do you know if you have Oral Allergy Syndrome, 

and what foods should be avoided? 

 

If you have hay fever, there is a strong possibility that you may also be suffering from OAS.  You may not necessarily by allergic to all the foods associated with OAS, as different foods have different levels of pollen in them, and everyone reacts differently. 

Allergists can do a scratch test to determine what pollens you are allergic to, and sometimes a scratch test will give an indication of which foods cause a reaction. 

 An elimination diet is another way of determining if you have OAS, and can tell you which foods you should avoid. This is what helped me immensely in determining my own allergies.

An oral test may also be conducted by your allergist, where you sample small amounts of foods to determine your reaction.

A food diary is something you can do on your own to keep track of reactions and help pinpoint allergies. Make note of all the foods eaten, as well as exposure to various cosmetics, chemicals and pollens and any potential symptoms for several days to determine problems foods and allergens. Below is a sample chart, and a larger, landscape size is available for printing so you can fill it in.



* These should all be done under the supervision of a doctor*


Is there treatment for oral allergy syndrome?

 

Alas, until there is a cure for hay fever, it seems unlikely there will be a cure of OAS. Dealing with the root of the problem, the hay fever and allergies, can help mediate OAS symptoms. 

For treatment of hay fever, apply the usual tips and tricks: 

- keep things clean. Get rid of dust and pollens by vacuuming regularly and washing floors with vinegar and lemon juice mixed with water

-keep window shut and don't let pollens in the house!

- wash bed sheets in hot water weekly, and cover the bed and pillows with allergy dust covers that protect against dust mites

- so far, immunotherapy shots don't seem to be conclusively effective for OAS, so you may or may not want to consider this option

- Taking an anti-histamine to deal with hay fever symptoms can help to soothe OAS reactions (although it's NOT a good idea to take them in order to eat your favorites foods, as they could still cause a reaction)

- some research suggests that green tea may have some benefit for hay fever, although this is not conclusive

- some research suggests that local honey, which has trace amounts of the pollens you are allergic to, may be beneficial. Again, not conclusive but if you don't have a problem with honey, honey and green tea go well together so it's worth a shot

- sinus rinses can be very helpful in flushing pollens out of your sinuses and easing symptoms.  Use a netti pot or a sprayer and salt packages. As a warning, I recommend against making your own salt and baking soda solution and springing the extra few bucks for the pre-made stuff. If your homemade ratio is off, it can really burn the heck outta your nasal passage (speaking from personal experience!) 

- avoid foods that you are reactive to, especially during peak allergy season

Can you ever eat fruit and vegetables again?

 

There is some hope! Baking, canning and boiling fruits and vegetables break down the allergen protein in most fruits and vegetables, making them safe for most people with oral allergy syndrome to eat.  I can applesauce and pearsauce, and use it in my baking recipes.  I also boil, then freeze fruits to be used in smoothies later. Dried fruit leather also makes a good snack.  

**Please note that, unfortunately, cooking nuts, soy or wheat will not kill the allergen protein and you can still react to these foods.  For some, cooked celery and strawberry (amongst potential others) may still cause a reaction. 

Since I myself am allergic to most of the foods on the oral allergy syndrome chart, I cater my recipes for oral allergy syndrome sufferers, and try to note any potential offenders.  I try to incorporate fruits and vegetables as much as possible into my diet so I don't lose out on their nutritive value! That said, I tend to avoid the most allergenic foods during pollen season, when I'm most reactive. So go ahead, check out my recipe page and  get cooking!

*My disclaimer, of course, is that I'm not a doctor or a medical professional, this is for educational purposes only, and it's always a good idea to check with your doctor before trying foods you are allergic to!

The following chart is a fairly comprehensive list of OAS food, but there may be others associated with these pollens not listed here. There are 2 charts in different formats so you can choose which one is easier for you to use and share with friends and family.



 

 Looking for more info? Check out some of these articles!

Sesame Seed Allergies & Tahini Free Hummus {new -  Nov 9, 2013}
Watermelon Allergies & Cooked Melon Recipes
{new - Sept 29, 2013)
Allergic to Lettuce?!
Oral Allergy Syndrome, Wheat Allergies & Your Cosmetics
Celiac Disease, Wheat Allergies, Oral Allergy Syndrome & Sprouted Grains
The Makings of an Oral Allergy Syndrome Cookbook



Please feel free to share your stories, experiences and recipes in the comments section below! I really want people to start connecting and raising awareness, and hopefully we can help each other to find ways to manage the problems associated with this frustrating and little known allergy!



SOURCES
“Allergy Statistics,” from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, http://www.aaaai.org/about-the-aaaai/newsroom/allergy-statistics.aspx
“Oral Allergy Syndrome Made Worse By Ragweed, Fruits And Vegetables,” Medical News Today, August 17, 2007.  http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/79877.php
“Oral Allergy Syndrome,” Canadian Food Inspection Agency, http://www.inspection.gc.ca/food/information-for-consumers/fact-sheets/labelling-food-packaging-and-storage/food-allergies/oral-allergy-syndrome/eng/1332351950134/1332352076501
Anna Sapone, Julio C Bai, Carolina Ciacci, Jernej Dolinsek, Peter HR Green, Marios Hadjivassiliou, Katri Kaukinen, Kamran Rostami, David S Sanders, Michael Schumann, Reiner Ullrich, Danilo Villalta, Umberto Volta, Carlo Catassi1, and Alessio Fasano, “Spectrum of gluten-related disorders: consensus on new nomenclature and classification,” BMC Medicine 2012, available online at: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/10/1
C. C. Roehr, G. Edenharterw, S. Reimannz, I. Ehlersz, M. Wormz, T. Zuberbierz and B. Niggemann, “Food allergy and non-allergic food hypersensitivity in children and adolescents,” in Clinical & Experimental Allergy, (Blackwell Publishing Inc., October 1, 2004). http://web.ebscohost.com.proxy.lib.sfu.ca/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=2049ec55-b4b8-4bd2-852b-208b83f5b256%40sessionmgr13&vid=1&hid=119.
 David L. Katz, MD, “Do You Have Oral Allergy Syndrome?” O, The Oprah Magazine, July 2009, http://www.oprah.com/health/Oral-Allergy-Syndrome-Nutrition-Advice#ixzz1pQC8KAyK 
Dr. Adrian Morris, “Oral Allergy Syndrome,” http://www.allergy-clinic.co.uk/airway-allergy/oral-allergy-syndrome/
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2117342/Hay-fever-playing-Blame-birch-trees-steer-clear-celery.html
http://www.nowtoronto.com/lifestyle/story.cfm?content=185810
Wagner, S. and Breiteneder, H. “The latex-fruit syndrome”, Biochemical Society transaction, November 2002, 30 (Pt 6): 935-940.  Dates are not often included on OAS charts, but have been found to cross react with both birch and Timothy Grass, see    A. A. A. Kwaasi1, H. A. Harfi, R. S. Parhar, S. Saleh, K. S. Collison, R. C. Panzani, S. T. Al-Sedairy, F. A. Al-Mohanna1,  “Cross-reactivities between date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) polypeptides and foods implicated in the oral allergy syndrome,” Allergy, Volume 57, Issue 6, pages 508–518, June 2002.



158 comments:

  1. I found your blog today by googling OAS.. I just found out about OAS and have had it for years! I always wondered why I reacted to melons, tomatoes and kiwis (plus tree nuts and eggplant) but I do jave a very serious grass allergy! Thanks for the moat comprehensiive list I've seen today! Ive noticed some improvement since I've gone GF and dairy free!

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  2. Hi Janet, glad you found the page useful! And hopefully now that you know where your problems stem from you can make the necessary changes to your lifestyle and feel better!

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  3. I have had OAS for as long as I can remember. It is so frustrating trying to live a healthy lifestyle without being able to eat an apple or carrots. It is even more frustrating to get confused looks from people when you tell them that you cannot eat raw fruits and veggies, but only cooked or steamed. I want to start a juice cleanse, but I am concerned about what to substitute for the apples, carrots, celery, and many more items that are included in recipes. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I am so excited to find that I am not the only person with this.

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  4. Hi Nicole, you're definitely not alone. New studies indicate that OAS is actually the greatest cause of food allergies, but so few people are aware of it! They suspect that close to half the people with hay fever actually suffer from OAS also.

    Most of the fruits and veggies are safe to eat once they've been cooked or baked. For example, you should be able to eat canned peaches, pears, apples, etc. The high heat destroys the allergen proteins in the food.

    However, strawberries and celery are two that seem to retain their proteins and may not be safe. The same goes for the nuts listed, wheat, buckwheat, etc (so not safe).

    If you look at my recipe page, there are several recipes that incorporate cooked fruits and veggies (i.e. for my green juice I use applesauce and blanched parsley instead of fresh and in my carrot salad I use boiled carrots).

    If you want to try a juice diet, I would suggest that you first try boiling the fruits and veggies you want to use until they're soft, then blending or juicing them (perhaps try taking a bite of them after boiling just to make sure you won't react once you drink them, but most of them should be safe).

    I frequently boil a bunch of veggies together - i.e. carrots, beets, tomatoes, parsley - then blend them to make a smoothie. It's great because I certainly can't have raw carrots!! I also make green juice (on my recipe page) and you might want to try something like that.

    If you have a specific recipe in mind you'd like to try, let me know and I can try to suggest something! I'd also love to hear if anyone else has tips on how they incorporate OAS foods in their diets :)

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    1. You mention lentils as a birch problem and then say you can cook some veg and not have a reaction. Since we always cook lentils, is this a no no? I have awful tummy cramps at tis time of year every year! Thanks for this site! X
      Kristina

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    2. Hi Kristina, that's a really good question that I don't have a scientific answer for! So far the research I've found on heat labile foods (i.e. foods that have allergens that are destroyed by heat) pertains to fruits and vegetables, and haven't really found much on lentils. Personally I do eat cooked lentils, all the time in fact, with no problem.

      But I think you need to listen to your body. If you keep track of when you get the cramps and what you've been eating, that might help you figure out what is causing them. It might also be due to something you've eaten with the lentils.

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  5. Hi Danielle,
    I just stumbled on your blog while looking up some gluten-free stuff...
    I've never actually heard of OAS, but it sounds just like what I have!
    My diet is quite restricted (compared to common people) as I have to keep my candidiasis under control. I pretty much don't eat fruit now, but I've noticed that I do get an itchy feeling with kiwi. I think the "tingling, itchiness and swelling of the mouth, tongue and throat" most often occurs with raw nuts. Especially almonds. I took an allergy test (where they poked my arm) five years ago, and there's something I'm allergic to every month of the year (haha sigh). This includes the tree families Alder, Birch, Oak, Cottonwood, Maple. For food allergies, they detected peach (this I know because my lip swells up like crazy if it comes in contact), almonds (I usually don't get OAS symptoms if they've been baked) and eggs (which doesn't make sense to me b/c I've eaten them all my life). I find that eating raw lettuce makes me bite myself all the time. I just realize that the mucous membranes in my mouth are super delicate/sensitive. Even nut butters (where the nuts are roasted) give me a sore throat.
    I've never been tested for celiac but I avoid gluten b/c I know I'm intolerant and feel sick after. Being blood type O I should be avoiding it anyway, also potatoes, corn, and dairy; not sure about the soy at the moment. I also can't have raw kale (and other raw cruciferous vegetables high in goitrogens) b/c my throat or thyroid just starts to swell up!
    It has to be cooked for LOOONG time or fermented -- which works best, plus I get the benefits of probiotics.

    Anyway, very interesting topic and delighted to have found your blog. Will check our your recipes!

    - Rhonda

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  7. Hi Rhonda,
    glad you found the site helpful and perhaps discovered the cause of some of your food issues! Sometimes doing the skin test isn't entirely accurate - I also tested positively for eggs, but I eat them everyday without problem (anyone who's ever traveled or lived with me knows I don't consider it breakfast without eggs!). An elimination diet really helped me figure out everything I was truly reactive to. Have you tried one?

    As for your gluten problem-wheat is definitely on the OAS list, so you could be reacting to the wheat, rather then the gluten. It doesn't really matter though in the end you have to avoid almost the same foods.

    Oh, and peeked onto your own food blog and must confess that I too am almost always hungry, at least every 2 hours :) It's the curse of being a non-meat eater who's allergic to everything. And yay Vancouver sushi! I miss it so much when I'm away.

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  8. I stumbled upon your page and want to thank you for this post. My husband and I both cut many foods out of our diets at the beginning of Spring, because our mouths get swollen & itchy and our lungs tighten up after ingesting foods like apples, bananas, and oranges. BUT now that it is autumn we can eat an apple or an orange and not feel like I'm on the brink of asphyxiation. With that being said, this list makes a great deal of sense since we are both allergic to latex and grass.

    Thanks for your research and recipes ;)

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  9. Hi Anon, thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you and your husband can eat fruit in the fall, I still avoid most fresh fruit as I'm UBER-sensitive! Please do check back as I plan to update this page and add more articles on recent research.

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  10. Have you looked into the GAPS diet? It helps your gut to heal, which is the foundation of your immune system. I understand it helps heal allergies by healing the gut.

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  11. Hi Rebecca,

    Thanks for the comment. I have been looking into GAPS and am considering it, just making sure I'm ready to take the plunge and commit to it. I don't eat meat (a large component of the diet) and am extremely allergic to most nuts (also a part of the diet) so I want to make sure that I have other eating options in case I do react to various foods on the diet!

    I have heard that some people have found GAPS very helpful, so I'm definitely interested.

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  12. Hi Danielle, i have had oas since i can remember to most all fruits and vegetables. I have always ignored it not knowing the seriousness of it. Would jjust eat a banana and then make vibrations in my throat to scratch it...lol! Then a few months ago things took a turn for the worse, when i started a juicing diet! One day while drinking my juice my throat became extremely tight!!! Went to hospital where they gave me benedryl n prednisone. From that day forward i developed tightning in my throat from random foods dwindling me down to only white rice, corn chips, and french fries. And living on benedryl! finally ssaw a doctor (allergist) who ordered a rast test to about 20 foods, of those listed i had a level 2 allergy to jjust about everything, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, melons, wheat, strawberries, garlic, peanuts, peaches, corn, green beans etc. Etc the list truly goes on!!! Im frustrated because
    he told me just not to eat any of it but whhen something doesnt have wheat it has veggies and vice versa! Oh what i would give to tasste ssome speghettii sauce!!! For me, im not ssure if i can do the whole raw vs cooked becausse sometimes the ffrench fries seem to make my throat a lil tight latey. Aandd hhe ddoesnt want to ggive me an epi pen because i have aa pacemaker. I want to eat so bad, but im so scared and unsure of what to do . Any sugggestions or advice?

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    1. Hi Sara,
      You poor thing, I totally understand how overwhelming it can be to get that list of allergies! So of course I have to add a disclaimer here that I'm not a health practitioner (just a girl who scours a lot of health journals ;), so proceed with caution! If you can find an allergist who's familiar with OAS that would be great, too.

      That said, there are a couple of questions I'd ask you - have you tried canned fruit? I prefer fruit canned without corn syrup, etc, just in pear or pineapple juice, or a light sugar syrup that I've made myself. The boiling/processing is generally believed to kill the allergen proteins in most fruits, and also many vegetables. (although usually not strawberries or celery, apparently). I myself can eat canned fruit no problem, but not the raw stuff. Applesauce mixed into some yogurt is a nice snack, too, and helps heal the gut :) Canned fruit is good in smoothies and juices, too.

      Have you tried gluten free bread products? GF breads are wheat free. You'll want to look for GF bread that is also free of buckwheat and nuts (which are also associated with OAS). You could also try gluten free rice flour pasta, like Tinkyada, or even Asian rice noodles.

      As for pasta sauce, have you made your own? I boil the heck out of some tomatoes and veggies (like carrots and zucchini) for 15 minutes or more. Again the heat is believed to destroy some of the allergen proteins. If you know that you are allergic to certain things, like garlic or different herbs, avoid adding those to your sauce.

      White potatoes are on the OAS list, so if you're eating a lot of french fries, especially in unhealthy corn oil, I wouldn't be surprised that over time your body would react. Have you tried alternatives, like baked sweet potato fries?

      I would also try treating your hay fever, as some people can manage eating better when hay fever season is over. Being on benedryl all the time might potentially mask any reactions you are having, and the more in tune you are with your body the better, I think.

      Also, you could take a look at some of my recipes. I try to note the known OAS related ingredients, so you might find something there you can eat :) I hope that helps!

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  13. Hi Danielle,
    The more I learn about food allergies and sensitivities, the more fascinated I become, as they continue to explain my myriad health issues! I've recently discovered that wheat is my primary migraine trigger, although I don't know if it's celiac or a true allergy. I was diagnosed nearly 50 years ago (I'm 52) with allergies to grass and tree pollens, molds, animal danders...but never any foods.

    I started the GAPS diet about 3 months ago, hopefully to heal some other issues, but I've noticed that when I eat more than just a few nuts, which are allowed and even encouraged on GAPS, my throat begins to feel scratchy, and if I'm having any other respiratory symptoms at the time, I'll even wheeze. OAS would explain a lot!

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    1. Hi Laura, thanks so much for sharing, I'm really interested to hear from someone on GAPS who might have OAS! Alot of people develop OAS later in life, oddly enough, I myself didn't even have any allergies at all until my early 20s. Also OAS was really only discovered in the mid 70s so they probably wouldn't have thought to check for it back when you were tested.

      As for the scratchy throat and getting wheezy, that's kind of scary! I would be super careful and talk to your doctor, and maybe get some epinephrine to carry with you. Not to freak you out, but nuts (almonds are particularly reactive for OAS sufferers) can cause anaphylactic shock, and sometimes the allergies can progress with prolonged and frequent exposure. I know that GAPS is believed to help with allergies, but if you're experiencing severe allergic reactions I would probably try and work through the diet with a doctor or naturopath to be safe :)

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  14. Thank you for your reply! Yes, i completely understand your disclaimer. Just desperate for any advice :( well before the throat tightning began a few months ago, it was only to raw ffruitss and veggies that i would get itchy mouth, throat, ears, sore gums. I was always able to eat canned fruit or cooked vegetables. Now it seems everything i eat causes my throat to swell! I wonder if when i was juicing i could have caused it to turn from oas to true allergy? Im jusst really frustrated as my allergist doesnt seem to be too helpful as with his advice if i dont die of allergic reaction i will either die of starvation or malnutrition. My ins doesnt cover scratch testing only rast which i feel is not completely accurate for it said i had <.035 (no allergy) to milk so i went crazy eating cheese, ice cream etc and woke up next day swollen like a balloon. Also tree nuts have always caused me oas but they also came back <0.35 on rast. Can i ask you what level your alllergies are to the vegetables you eat cooked? Even though i was able to eat them cooked before, im scared to try them now without an epipen. Do you know much about the rast test? Are level twos low enough for me to try small amounts of cooked veggies without a severe reaction occuring? this is just a horrible thing for anyone to have to go through!! I feel the pain and i am so sorry for you, myself and all other allergy sufferers out there. :(

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    1. Sara, I didn't do the rast test, I had a scratch test done and then I did an elimination diet. Some of the things they originally told me I was very allergic to, I did not react to on the elimination diet (thank goodness! I'd have starved, too!). For me, the elimination diet was the best way to determine what I really did react to. That said, I hadn't experienced anaphylactic shock, only severe reactions to a few things (like a tiny bite of an almond = swelling and itchy throat and ears), a speck of wheat = massive abdominal upset.

      Your allergist should be able to tell you, though, what your scores mean. You might want to ask them about guiding you through some oral challenges (this means that in their presence you try certain foods to see if you react, this is a safer environment than doing this at home alone!) and maybe an elimination diet so you can rule out certain foods for sure, and try to add others back in.

      The juicing likely wouldn't have created a "true" allergy, but it could have aggravated your existing OAS. Some of the studies I've read show that with consistent exposure people's symptoms can get worse with frequent exposure, kind of like "baker's asthma," where bakers develop allergies to wheat that continue to worsen over time.

      As for the milk, were you tested for casein? Some people react to the casein in milk.

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  15. Oh one other thing, i tried going on your recipe page from this page on my phone but it said not availlable. Is there a different link i can take? :)

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    1. Yes, sorry, the link at the top of the page will take you there. I just changed the recipe page this past week and haven't had a chance to update the links on this page yet.

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  16. It is so refreshing to see so many sites with information about Oral Food Allergy. I have always been severely allergic to tree nuts and peanuts and I have reactive airways and asthma. The OFA started with melon, than really in a very short period of time I developed a generalized anxiety disorder, and it was in that period that I was suddenly allergic to most all fruits and vegetables. There was nothing on the internet then, and most allergists just looked at me cross eyed. I have to say this all did nothing to improve the panic disorder. I was keenly aware of my immune system being less than it should be, I got sick often, and was intolerant to so many things, lotions, smells etc. The panic disorder diminished after homeopathic treatment, counseling and persistence. I still have the Oral Food Allergy. I eat all fruits and veggies cooked or frozen, except this oak leaf lettuce I get at Trader Joes, red onion, and tomatoes. I am so grateful for this oak leaf lettuce. I wish I understood why it's okay. I've tried to grow it, with no luck yet. I don't eat melon at all. I have recently begun a plant based, gluten free (not quiet yet dairy or corn free) lifestyle and am curious if it will have any effect on the OFA. I'm interested if anyone has seen improvement with anything at all.

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    1. I agree, I think being allergic to so many things can leave you feeling paranoid and panicky! Especially when other people don't believe you and think you're crazy ;) I'm so sorry to hear you had to go through all that but glad you're finding a way through it.

      Interesting about the oakleak lettuce. I just didn't a quick search and haven't found much about it online to explain any difference. But thanks for the tip!

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  17. Many people experience symptoms of Hay fever (also called allergic rhinitis) on a regular basis. Hay fever is caused by allergens that the body reacts to by creating inflammation in the lining of the nasal cavity. This inflammation is part of the body’s defense against invaders. All of the symptoms of hay fever are the result of the body trying to kick out an ‘attack’ by the allergens.

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    1. You're right, Nahid, except that in the case of those of us with OAS, our defence systems have gone into overdrive, and send out the militia (i.e. histamines = runny nose, itchiness, swelling, anaphylaxis) at the slightest sign of anything remotely related to a potential "invader"!

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  18. I use Nettle tea instead of antihistamines. 1 cup in the morning and one at night helps with the wheezing, coughing and sinus problems. The high calcium content also helps with night time restlessness too.
    Great site. Just made my deoderant today. Hopefully it works better that the natural item found in the health food shops.

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    1. Thanks for sharing. I've seen some sites that recommend Nettle tea but haven't tried it myself - do you find there are any side effects (i.e. sweating)?

      I hope the deodorant works for you :)

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  19. Najat

    I was diagnosed with OAS and Latex allergies.Since December 28 I feel panic disorder , and anxiety I did not eat any fruit vegtables and graine since last December 28. I am scare to try any cooked vegetables and fruit , because one time tried cooked green beans , apple sauce and I felt panic attack . please can you help me what to do and which allergist i should go . and i will appriciate that . You can give me hope because Iam very nervous , and depressed about my situatio

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    1. Hi Najat, I'm sorry you've had such a bad experience. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend any particular allergist as I don't work with one now. I've just done a lot of research and experimentation on my own.

      To be honest (and I do not recommend that others try this without doctor's supervision as it can be dangerous) I asked my doctor for an epi-pen, and experimented (and continue to experiment) with trying different foods. I haven't had to use my epi-pen yet but it's good to have it on hand just in case! Also, keeping some anti-histamines on hand can help with symptoms if you do have a reaction to something.

      If you feel anxiety about trying foods (and your doctor has said it's ok to try them) you might also want to ask your doctor about doing an oral test in their presence so that they can monitor you in case you have a reaction.

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    2. Najat
      Thank u for replying , I carry two epi-pen,and I am taking antihistamine twice a day .Thank u for your suggestion . I am trying to take appointment with a clinical allergist at saint Michael Hospital

      Delete
  20. I want to thank you for this post. My son in law gets numbness and tingling from apples, pears, peaches, strawberries, many nuts, etc. However he doesnt seem to have a problem when the above foods are cooked. Finally something makes some sense. Also, I have many allergies and my whole life I would get stomach aches if I ate even a bite of an apple, plus many other foods. Part of the year I can eat raw apple. Cooked apples never gave me a problem. Finally I know I am not nuts about eating raw apples sometimes. Thank you so very, very much.

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    1. Hi Kat, boy do I know that feeling! People still think I'm crazy when I try to explain OAS to them, they think it's all in my head, despite scientific evidence to prove otherwise ;p I'm so glad you've found the info here helpful!

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  21. Being 57 and scaring everyone with my sneezing my whole life, finally went to Dr. Luciak in Richmond in the fall for scratch tests and am a 4 for all trees, grasses, etc. He suggested the food elimination diet for 4 weeks and then eat raw fruits and veggies totally for a few days and see if my symptoms cleared up. What do you think about that as he is quite vague.....It is very hard to keep up as i have lived off of raw fruits and veggies my whole life. Thanks for your blob.

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    1. Hi Anon,

      I've seen Dr. Luciak, too and also found him vague, and extremely busy and hurried (mind you it was peak allergy season and one of the worst years for pollen!) I did an elimination diet and it did not eliminate my allergies, that's for sure, but it did help me figure out what I could eat.

      Is this the diet where you pretty much only eat lettuce and cranberries and blueberries for a few days, then slowly add foods in every couple of days?

      As far as I've found (and of course I'm not aware of everything out there!) I haven't come across any research to indicate that OAS can be cured with an elimination diet. In *some* cases (I think it's less than 30% so far and the studies only include a small test group) OAS can be helped *a bit* with allergy shots.

      OAS is caused by pollen allergies, not food allergies, so the root of the problem is with the pollen, not the food itself.

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    2. Sorry i just published instead of replying to you...

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  22. I am telling everyone i am on the Atkins diet as can eat meat and dairy and cruciferous veggies and wine! I live in WHite Rock also by the way. My name is Eva but i dont know how to post that! As i said--Luciak is very vague....

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    1. Lol, the Atkin's diet, that's cute ;) White Rock in particular, I've found, is wretched for allergy sufferers! I'm not sure what it is there, but every time I visit my mum in W.R. my allergies go wild and my lungs just seize up, especially at night, I can't stop coughing. I suspect there's a lot of birch trees and some kind of fungus that releases spores at night. I'm much better off outside of the Rock, like in Burnaby or Van!

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  23. Thank you for your blog. It's great to know that others suffer from OAS. I developed an allergy to poultry at age six, fish at nine or so, almonds and brazil nuts were next, at age 30 fresh fruits and vegetables were added. The reaction can be severe, starting with itchy ears, then throat, followed by swelling of the throat. Some of the items (catfish, brazil nuts, almonds) will raise welts on my tongue just by touching them. Tunafish is the only item to send me to the emergency room. The connection to grass, ragweed and latex makes sense. If I lay in the grass with my back exposed it will be covered in welts in seconds. The same goes for a ragweed bloom. Like everyone else if I cook the fruits and vegetables, I can eat them.

    I'm 42 now and for 35 years I suffered from severe hay fever. Seven years ago, I found a cure. I take a 6000 mcg tablet of B12 every day. After a month of doing so my hay fever disappeared and only comes back if I work in dust or grass. It may not work for everyone, but it has been a miracle for me. Unfortunately it did not alleviate my OAS. I cling to the hope that there is a similar cure out there waiting to be discovered.


    Todd

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    1. Hi Todd, thanks for sharing your experiences, and the info on Vitamin B, I've heard that some people do find it helps with hay fever. I've actually had Vitamin B injections, but more for back problems than allergies.

      I think we all cling to the hope that there will be a cure for OAS!! Luckily, it seems like there has been alot more research in the last couple of years since they've id'd it as the leading cause of food allergies in several studies around the world, and there have been a few published studies based on tests to alleviate it. So far, though, most of them have been inconclusive and conflicting :(

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  24. Thank you so much for all of this helpful info! 15 years ago my allergist (at the time) gave me an article about "Oral Raw Fruit & Vegetable Disorder", or something to that effect, after I explained to him that I was reacting to almost all raw fruits & many veggies. At that time, there was no one out there to give me any advice other than - "don't eat the things that you react to!"

    About five years ago I had a blood test (not as good as the scratch test) and it showed that I was allergic to peanuts & soy. This came about after a trip to the ER when my tongue & throat swelled after eating a Caesar Salad.

    Since then, I have been battling with trying to keep soy out of my diet but feeling extremely restricted with what I can eat. I've battled bouts of depression and have never been able to wholeheartedly eliminate the things I react to...I just deal with the consequences: hives, asthma attacks, headache & stomach issues...

    Most recently (the past 6 mos), I've had sinus infections, bronchitis, pneumonia (which resulted in out of control asthma & many rounds of Prednisone) & the flu. I've finally had a good month of being healthy and feel like my immune system is finally working again (with lots of Vit C, Zinc, Methyl B12 & Methyl Folate - I also have MTHFR, where I am missing the gene that converts greens, etc into folic acid)...and I decided to get serious about eliminating foods I react to & am trying to eat Gluten-free.

    So, I know that I need to start an elimination diet but am having a hard time finding research on one that realizes my OAS restrictions! I feel like most of them rely heavily on raw fruits & veggies (one even mentioned no canned fruit) and I'm feeling lost! You had mentioned one with lettuce, blueberries & cranberries? Can you please provide me with some more info or resources I might check into online?

    Thank you! It's refreshing to hear from others who struggle with the same issues as most people that I run into mainly have a simple peanut allergy or a gluten sensitivity....I start to feel like it's all in my head and that maybe I just don't like to eat healthy!! I also recently consulted with an allergist who told me that 1. Allergies to foods do not change so I do not need to have them retested after 15 years 2. Food allergies/sensitivities do not cause upper respiratory issues/asthma 3. Your allergies have nothing to do with your current health issues (all of the illnesses) so continue to eat what you want to....unbelievable!! I walked out of there crying and felt like I was the biggest loser!

    Again, any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated as I just need a do-able action plan/place to start!

    Thanks!

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    1. Hi Nissen, I'm so sorry to hear about your experience! That's so disheartening that an allergist told you your health issues weren't related to your allergies, especially considering that so many health problems ARE related to food allergies and science is rapidly proving that.

      Ok so before I suggest anything my disclaimer, of course, is that I'm not a health care professional, just someone who spends too much time reading medical journals ;)

      I just searched around and couldn't find my original elimination diet list, but I can give you the basics. The first question, though, is why put yourself through that if you know what your allergies are?! An elimination diet can be brutal!

      Unless you mean that you are looking to do a cleanse to eliminate toxins? Considering your allergies, if you eat healthy within your limited means you'll end up cleansing naturally, it's one of the few benefits of having OAS ;)

      If you're wanting to go easy on your digestive tract for a bit I would say start off with stir fries or steamed veggies and brown rice. You could serve it with steamed/ sauteed bok choy and kale as they're not OAS related. If you're comfortable with cooked veggies you could also saute the heck out of some carrots, zucchini, broccoli, ginger, etc. Use a soy and gluten free sauce. You could make your own or use something like coconut aminos (soy and gluten free alternative to soy sauce).

      Rice noodles can replace plain rice, too, in stir fries and in soup (check my recipe page, I have a super easy Asian soup recipe using rice noodles).

      You can buy or make your own canned fruit. I like a nice fruit salad with canned peaches and pears. I can't eat them raw, but have no problems with them cooked. I also add canned applesauce to blender green juice (there's one on my recipe page)

      If you're ok with raw lettuce, try making meal sized salads, or substituting steamed kale, dandelion greens or collard greens for lettuce. I have several meal sized salad recipes on my recipe page.

      And of course, avoid gluten. You might not actually have a problem with *gluten* itself, it might be the *wheat* and its associated grains, but either way it's 6 of one and 1/2 dozen of the other since you'll have to avoid anything with wheat or bulgar.

      Try gluten free breads (watch for hidden OAS allergens like almonds, soy and buckwheat). I have several recipes for GF flat breads and lentil breads on the site.

      Those are just some ideas to get you started. Once you start to get the hang of avoiding things you can get more creative, of course!

      You might also want to check out a couple of my articles on OAS and avoiding hidden allergens in cosmetics http://www.poorandglutenfree.blogspot.com/2012/09/oral-allergy-syndrome-wheat-allergies.html

      and this one on lettuce allergies and OAS : http://www.poorandglutenfree.blogspot.com/2012/11/allergic-to-lettuce.html

      If you're still wanting to do an elimination diet, I recall that the first five days I think I just ate brown rice, turkey, lettuce, blueberries, cooked sweet potato and plain sugar-free cranberry juice (and water, of course) with NO seasoning other than olive oil and salt. Every two days after that I added foods from the same family to see how I would react (this was the worst part, being excited to add something to your diet, but terrified it would make you really sick!)

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  25. Thank you! The reason for doing the elimination diet is that it's been 15 years since I had the scratch test & 8 since I had the blood tests done. After such a disheartening recent visit to the allergist and the fact that I've really been racking up the medical bills lately, I figured the elimination test was the best way for me to go... I also feel the need to "cleanse" my body.

    I go through stages where I'm doing pretty good at eliminating certain foods & feeling better and then there's times like now where every little thing seems to give me a reaction! For instance, this morning I had eggs that were scrambled in a little butter with a little salt & pepper and immediately got a huge stomach ache. I always use real butter as I am allergic to soy and don't normally have issues with it. I'm supposedly not allergic to eggs...but I don't normally eat them by themselves - without a bagel or something - and I've always attributed a reaction to the bread...

    I'm just feeling very unhealthy right now and feel like I need to re-boot my body!! Lol :) Thanks again for all of your help!

    Debbie :)

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    1. No problem, I hope it's somewhat helpful :) To compound things, allergy season is starting so that can cause OAS to get worse as you begin to react to the pollen!

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  26. We live in Southern California so I deal with pollen almost year-round! My doctor told me that our area is one of the worst places an allergy sufferer can live :(

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    1. Indeed, the west coast is, apparently, notoriously bad! I'm from BC and my allergies are far worse there than in the prairies, or even the east coast.

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  27. I have been unable to eat nearly every raw fruit or vegetable since I was about 10 (I'm 24 now). I would react by getting hives in my mouth and throat, and becoming very nauseous and then vomiting after about 2 minutes. Even cutting garlic or onions would cause me to get rashes on my hands. I went to the allergist and he did the scratch test on me for about 30 different foods and several pollens. He confirmed that I showed strong histamine reactions to almost every fruit/vegetable/pollen they tested me for. He basically told me that I have OAS, I would never be able to eat these foods again in their uncooked form, and I would have to carry around an EpiPen for the rest of my life. I was a little disappointed, so I went to an acupuncturist and after about 7 sessions I can eat these foods again with no hives, no swelling, no vomiting, not even nausea. I was extremely skeptical to say the least. I mean, how could holding a few vials while having needles stuck in me possibly change how my body reacts to certain proteins? But it actually worked, my body has been reprogrammed and I have no idea how. I'm so happy to be able to eat salads and fruit again, omg delicious. It was really eye-opening for me, western medicine doesn't know everything.

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    1. Wow, so glad that's worked for you, David. Do you happen to know what points the acupuncturist used (i.e. where they needled, specifically)? I've had some acupuncture to deal with hay fever symptoms, but it hasn't helped my OAS. I'm also a huge fan of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine!

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    2. Where did you get your person that did your acupuncture .I have heard on some it works quite well at this point I would like to find the one you have or one that they might know that is very good some here in Virginia aren't to good .I know even the detox after heavy metals did do this child a world of good but it doesn't last & I know some that say this has worked for quite sometime .

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    3. I had my acupuncture done in British Columbia, Canada, so I don't know if that will help you. I'm not sure where David had his done?

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  28. yea! :D one point near the elbows, one on the fleshy part between thumb and index finger, one on foot between big toe and index toe? and one somewhere between calf and ankle (on both legs and arms). Sorry, I don't know the specific names. But I just ate a peanut butter sandwich for the first time in 5 years without getting sick, was wonderful. I hope this helps somebody else ^^ It has really sucked struggling with this for so long I'm just very happy I can finally eat a healthier diet. I want to go back to the allergist that told me I'd never be able to eat this stuff again though and be like Ha allergist, take that!

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    1. Lol, so happy to hear it. Western medicine really needs to catch up ;) Thanks for sharing, David. I'll have to look into those points!

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  30. Glad to have found this posting! Like everyone else (out of nowhere) I was hit with OAS after eating fruits and veggies all my life. One evening after eating a chocolate almond bar I had to call 911 and since then the "sensitivities" have just grown! Drs assumed possible acid reflux and/or silent reflux as I was always congested in my nose and my throat felt swelling all the time. BUT these reactions also occurred after certain smells and my diet was now as bland and basic as I could get! I received the prick test and results showed an extreme allergy to pollen (weeds and trees of all kinds) as well as nuts and the allergist said to avoid those foods for now. I did that and end up in the hospital for low potassium. I have tried an elimination diet of bread and dairy and that didn't help, but I cannot seem to eat fruits and veggies and soy related items cooked or not. It is VERY trying and often depressing having to deal with just hoping you don't "react". Family thinks you're crazy and making it all up; when I surely wouldn't choose to have such an ordeal! I've lost 30 lbs in 4 months (since the 911 call) and don't exactly care to be the best of friends with anxiety and Benadryl! I'm at the point where my allergist now wants to do allergy shots and I guess I don't have much choice. Something has to boost the immune system as clearly my nutritional restrictions are not allowing me to do so. Have any of you done immunotherapy? Thanks! :)

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    1. Hi Monet, so sorry to hear about the 911 call, that's quite frightening. Are you able to eat any canned fruits or veggies? Those are usually peeled and processed on high heat for extended periods of time, and most studies show that it kills the allergen proteins.

      As for immunotherapy, it *may* or may not help (but it's probably worth a shot). Studies so far have shown mixed results and the basic consensus seems to be that more research is needed to make it work for everyone. In some cases it seems to help (for example this study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22705787 and in others not so much (http://www.karger.com/Article/Fulltext/323909)

      I once had a nurse tell me when I asked for ways to boost my immune system that, in fact, my immune system was extremely powerful and that's why it was in overdrive! For people with allergies it's not that our immune systems are weak, apparently it's the opposite and that's why it recognized everything as a potential allergen.

      The upside is that studies are starting to show that people with allergies produce more white blood cells and are therefore less likely to get colds and other diseases and things like cancer. So I guess there's that to be happy about...

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  31. Apple Skins, Celery, Hazelnuts, Almonds, Peaches, Pears, Nectarines. For years I thought it was pesticides. Classic birch and mugwort allergies I guess. Not sure if it will cure the OAS but some believe healing your gut with probiotics might help seasonal allergies.

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    1. Hi Anon, thanks for stopping by. I've been looking into probiotics lately, too, and it seems like the overall "scientific jury" is out on that right now and the studies are contradictory but I know some people say they find probiotics helpful :) The theory makes sense, but other studies are finding correlations between pollution and the rise in allergies, so I'm not sure that we can heal that kind of damage...

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  32. Hello Danielle and I am 28 years old (male) and have been healthy all my life. It all began for me this past February 2013 when I was working out at the gym. Well, I remember working out and feeling light headed so I thought it was because of working out too hard. A week after that, I began feeling dizzy, shortness of breath, chest pain, and felt like I was about to have a heart attack. During this time, I was taking pre workout supplements and I was also going through a lot of stress. I even went to the hospital one day because I felt so sick and let me tell you that I hate hospitals and doctors but for me to end up going to a hospital means that I felt really bad! They gave me a blood and urine test and later told me I was fine. So, after doing a lot of research I found out I had OAS! In order to avoid allergies, for breakfast I eat 4 eggs (4 clear parts and 1 yolk) cooked with extra virgin olive oil and pink salt. For lunch I eat chicken breast, broccoli, parsley, and cilantro cooked with olive oil and pink salt. At night, I eat oatmeal with almond milk and a little bit of cinnamon. I heard that adrenaline fatigue (adrenaline glands control allergies) can cause OAS which is caused by either stress or too much caffeine intake. SO my BIG question is, could the stress or the caffeine and stimulants in the supplements be the main causes of my OAS? By the way, when I would eat fruits, vegetables or something else that I was allergic to, sometimes my chest would tighten, my nose would get congested, and I would throw up a couple of hours after consuming such products. It's a horrible feeling. I feel for all of you going through this. So yeah, I need to know if any of you were going through a lot of stress or drinking too much caffeine when everything happened. Or were any of you taking drugs or special medication which drained your adrenaline glands? I heard your adrenaline glands can take 5 months to 2 years to fully recover. I don't know what else to say. Please respond. Maybe we can find out more if we all communicate.

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  33. Hi Roger,

    what a scary situation! It sounds like you might have experienced exercise-induced anaphylaxis, which is something that people with OAS can get when they eat a food they are allergic to (it can also happen to people with shellfish allergies), and then exercise shortly afterwards. Apparently it's rare but it does happen. Do you happen to recall what you ate before you worked out?

    As for adrenal fatigue as a cause of OAS, I think it's currently viewed as being an unsupported theory by the medical community (you can read this article abstract to get a sense of it - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22794702), but that isn't to say that adrenal fatigue isn't part of a larger issue that is related to the immune system and OAS.

    I think the key is to determine what is causing the rise in allergies and hay fever, and then why it develops into OAS. It seems science is leaning towards pollution and an abundance of chemicals being absorbed into our bodies (and a lack of exposure to natural bacteria), while naturopaths are leaning towards diet (which can include bacteria like probiotics). Perhaps it's a combination of both attacking our systems...?

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  34. Well, I remember eating chicken, vegetables, and some pepper before going to the gym. I began feeling a little weird while I was driving there.

    In the last couple of months, I've spoken to a cousin who is currently going through the same thing and a coworker who went through it a couple of years ago.

    For instance, my coworker tells me she was taking diet pills which the doctor prescribed her. Later on, she found out the diet pills contained "Speed" and that's when she stopped taking them. Well, around that time, she began having anxiety and panic attacks. In addition, she was also going through a lot of stress during that time. Her anxiety attacks would be triggered usually after eating. She said all of this lasted for about 1 year.

    In my cousin's case, he began feeling the same way around the month of February 2013. Is it a coincidence that it happened to him the same month I began feeling that way? Also, he was also going through a lot of stress during that month and he was also taking pre workout supplements, drinking caffeine, and consuming the beverage "rock star."

    Is all of this info a coincidence? Or is it because our bodies became vulnerable since this year has brought the highest pollen levels in the past years? Or is it a phase people go through at one point in their life? However, I've heard of cases in where people have had OAS for years. I am confused!

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    1. Ahhh, I wish I could give you a concrete answer! Unfortunately I think you're hitting the same wall of confusion and lack of available information that most of us hit after discovering we have OAS! OAS was only discovered about 30 yrs ago, and research is still really new. Very little of the research done is available to the average person without pricey journal subscriptions and an ability to read scientific jargon. I'm lucky to be able to wade through some of it, but what research there is just seems to indicate that more research needs to be done!

      That said, in years of particularly high pollen counts, people who don't normally experience allergies and hay fever do have problems, so those already with hay fever get worse symptoms (and OAS).

      Chemicals (like synthetic drugs, pesticides, chemical cleaners, etc) and things that stimulate your system likely DO have an effect on OAS(although this theory currently lacks definitive evidence and the support of the larger medical community, mostly because OAS and allergy research are still behind on a lot of things, and research funding is sometimes supplied by those who don't want such conclusions published).

      This is one of the many reasons I advocate for a GMO-free, "clean" "real food" diet, free of processed junk food, and an eco-friendly lifestyle!

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  35. Not sure, but in my opinion, I think I'm suffering from the caffeine/stimulant withdrawls. You should ask the people with OAS if they took/take/drink coffee, drugs, soda, or stimulants. That's the only thing I can think of. Well, I'll come back in some weeks to talk about my progress. But please, ask people the question...Doing so, will eliminate my current theory and I will do research on some other factors.

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    1. Please do come back and let us know how you're doing and I'll put your question out there and see what other people have to say :)

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  36. I was diagnosed with Crohn's Syndrome 4 years ago and have been on Asocol ever since. However, I had only one symptom! After 2 yrs. my GP referred me to an allergist/immunologist, very well-educated and helpful! And she diagnosed me with OAS. After all, the gastro-intestinal system starts in the mouth! What a breakthrough! Skin-test revealed an allergy to chocolate...which caused break-outs in my mouth. Then I eliminated really acid fruits, tomatoes and juices, and started cooking all my vegies, even my salad greens & other components. Soy sauce, vineger-based anything really get to me. Another colonoscopy in a year may reveal none of those special cells related to Crohns. My Dad (an M.D.) had hay fever, was allergic to eggs, pork, corn, potatoes and peaches---and says he could tell when his prime rib beef animals were fed corn! This website has been most helpful...and things I've discovered on my own make people laugh when I explain things to them. Now I've been exonerated! Thanks so much!

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    1. Lol, you're welcome, Sara! Glad you've found some vindication here ;)

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  37. My sister in law just gave me a link to this site and I'm SO grateful! I haven't eaten a banana since 2000 and ever since then my raw fruit and vegetable allergies have gotten worse. I don't have super serious reactions like some of the people who've commented. I just get itchy throat, burning esophagus, and feeling like my throat is tightening. No visible reactions. I saw an allergist in 2010 and they prick tested me for pollens and some vegetables that I brought in. In the end the allergist just told me to avoid eating all raw fruits and vegetables. Very frustrating! The vegetables didn't react as much on my arm as the grass and trees did. So OAS makes a lot of sense! I was doing immunotherapy for 1.5 years, but stopped last spring when I got pregnant. I probably could have continued, but I didn't have benefits at work anymore and didn't want to pay for more serum. Last summer my hayfever was so mild (I think b/c of pregnancy). But this year it is so bad. For the past couple weeks I've been so emotional, moody, tired and have headaches. (I'm not pregnant again LOL.) I think I've been feeling so bad b/c all I've been eating is grain, dairy, meat and sugar and my fruit and veggie allergies are worse this time of year. and thanks to your blog, I now know why! I find it so frustrating to not be able to eat fruits and vegetables. According to Canada's Food Guide, we should be eating mostly fruits and vegetables over anything else. I want to eat better and be more healthy! I'm so glad for your insight & knowledge & recipes. Hopefully this will be a step towards a more healthy lifestyle. I'd like to try GAPS or GF. Someone I know had this OAS and he saw a naturopath who cured him. Someday I will save up some money and hopefully be cured too. Until then I know this will be a lot of work and planning.
    Do you know if OAS is hereditary? I'm concerned now that I'm starting to feed my 8 month old more and more food, that I will miss reading the signs that he is allergic to something. Should I avoid giving him raw food, too, just to be safe?

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    1. Hi Evelyn, sorry for the delay in getting back to you, I've been busing all about Greece the last couple of weeks! I'm so glad you've found the site helpful!!

      As for OAS being hereditary, there doesn't seem to be enough research yet to say definitively, but hay fever can be hereditary and OAS is related to it, so I think it's safe to say that a child with an OAS parent is probably more likely to get it than one who doesn't. That said, many many people don't experience any symptoms at all until past puberty (like me), and neither of my parents even have hay fever!

      As for the raw food/other allergy issues, I would suggest consulting with your doctor about looking for early warning signs of allergies. I haven't seen any studies on OAS in infants, so I don't even know if it manifests itself that early (if anyone out there knows please pitch in!)

      Otherwise, you could also keep an eye out for things that they seem to instinctively avoid or dislike. As they get a little older and can speak for themselves, definitely pay attention if they say there are certain foods that make them uncomfortable. Sometimes it's hard to recognize the fine line between a kid saying they hate salad and a kid genuinely being allergic to it!

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  38. I just found your blog. I've had some symptoms of this for a while but didn't know anything about it until this past weekend when I had to go to the ER due to anaphylaxis after eating a peach. I saw an allergist today and found out that this is what's going on. I'm a little down about the whole thing today, but I'm hoping finding sights like this will give me a more positive outlook on how to deal with it.

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    1. Yikes, a trip to the ER is never fun :( I know it's really hard when you first find out about it, but on the bright side, now you know what you need to watch out for and can start to learn how to manage it. Let me know if you have any questions and I can try to help :)

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  39. I don't even know where to start - OMG seems to be the best match... I've had symptoms for years and my doctors and friends who are medical professionals have given me those "it must be in your head" looks when I've listed several of the foods I have allergic reactions to - even odder looks when I say that I can tolerate them better if they're cooked. Thanks very much for compiling this info and giving me the reassurance that I'm not mad and it's not all in my head! As a BTW, after a particularly ugly response to one of these foods, hubby suggested taking the store-brand Benadryl liquid and putting it under my tongue first - it did help my digestive system symptoms. Not saying it's the best or will work for everyone, but it did work for me. Also have found that I can eat Romaine with impunity although Iceberg is the Devil's Lettuce from Hell. LOL! Hope that helps someone...

    Thanks again for putting this out on the internet!!

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    1. Hi Sarah, so glad you've found the site reassuring, and thanks so very much for your kind words :) You are definitely not alone and your allergies are definitely legit! And you're right that anti-histamines can help with reactions after ingesting something OAS-related, but I would caution against taking it before eating because some studies indicate that it can ease some symptoms but not necessarily stop more severe reactions (in the case of anaphylactic shock this can be super dangerous). It's better to avoid things that you know you are really reactive to, or try them thoroughly cooked in small amounts.

      Lettuce is a mysterious beast, indeed! There definitely needs to be more research on it. Thanks so much for sharing :)

      Thanks so much for commenting

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  40. I've been eating local honey for four years (not missing a daily dose of about 1-2 teaspoons) and after my first year, I was able to eat all raw food again without so much as a reaction. Of course, I went 10 years without eating any raw food at all. Local honey worked for me. I can eat normally for the first time in my life, where before I had all of the worst symptoms.

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    1. That's really interesting, thanks so much for sharing! Who knows, it might have been a combo of letting your system rest and rebuilding your immune system along with the honey that helped.

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  41. I only react to pears and bananas. This allergy is a strange one indeed!

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    1. I know! It's such a tough one to manage because everyone has different restrictions and levels of reaction.

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  42. I'm sssoooo glad to see that someone understands what I've been going through since i was a little girl. People still to this day look at me like I'm crazy when i say I can only eat citrus fruits now because everything else bothers me to the point of feeling like it's hard to breathe. I recently found out about the almonds when i tried to add them as a healthy snack...smh Ooohhh was that a horrible decision.
    Here's my question though. I can't eat strawberries so do you think all berries would fall in that category? I would love to try raspberries but I have a fear of trying anything else.

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    1. Hi Danielle,
      Lol, yeah, almonds are the first thing that clued me in that I might have an allergy, now I avoid them like the plague. As for berries: that's a tough one to say because everyone reacts differently to different things (some people can't even have citrus like you can). Blueberries are fairly hypo-allergenic and most people seem to be ok with them, but raspberries more commonly cause reactions. You could maybe try boiling them down or try a raspberry jelly and see if that causes a reaction. The cooking helps to destroy allergen proteins in most fruit. If you haven't already, though, you should see a doctor and get tested so you know what you are really allergic to.

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    2. Hi. When you recommend boiling the blueberries, how long would you boil them? I'm new to this oral allergy syndrome and have been surviving on grilled chicken, Ensure and yogurt. I had an issue with a bell pepper (raw - caused rhinitis), peanut butter (rhinitis), an egg (throat felt numb) and an orange (rhinitis). I even had a bad bout of rhinitis and phlegm from Listerine. Waiting for blood tests to come back but scared to death to eat any fruits or veggies. Tx.

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    3. Hi there, it's really hard to say as everyone is different. Some people can have lightly heated / microwaved fruits and veggies while others say they react to even well cooked ones. The studies that I've read that involved apples and pears found that peeling them and cooking them for around 15 - 20 minutes destroyed most allergen proteins. (This is about the equivalent of canning a jar of fruit, which is why some people can eat canned fruit and not raw). Unfortunately, there hasn't been any systematic tests on cooking times and allergen proteins, so it's mostly a matter of trial and error with extreme caution! I hope that helps a bit.

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  43. HI, i've had reactions to fruits and veggies for 20+ years, i always thought it was due to "stuff they sprayed on the outside" because it was only the fruits you eat the skin of. when i'd go to restraunts i'd exclame they did not wash the lettuce because my lip would swell (most likely the carrots). i never had hayfever till we moved to Washington State. our 5 acre property is covered with Red Alder (birch fam) and in the spring i can see the clouds of pollin poofing from them. ugg. then i got a job in the PRODUCE DEPARTMENT at the local grocery store, and figured out i have a reaction even with organic produce, and local grown that i know is not being sprayed, so i did my google search and yay! now i know! i still work in the produce department, i wear my gloves for apples, pears, peaches, carrots, etc. but last week we got a large bin of apples in and i had to divide them into smaller boxes and while my head was down in the bin, my nose started itching, sneezing and plugged right up. just from breathing around it. i was at the tail end of a cold so that could have been a part of it. but it is so frustrating. i dont know if i have a cold or is it my alergy, ya know? i've decided to seriously cut out the foods on the list you provided for 3 weeks. i ve been eating things on the list that dont make obvious reactions, in fact the day of the apple incident i had a bowl of lentils for lunch, so it may have been a double wammy. we have hazelnut creamer in our coffee each morning, i love sunflower seeds and celery, tomatoes...
    my husband will be happy since he does not like most veggies anyway.
    next summer i will probably be able to transfer out of produce, but i do love the job and feel it is the best fit for me, but my body says otherwise. sigh

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    1. I feel your pain, dawn!

      Have you considered wearing a surgical face mask, or wrapping a bit of fabric over your nose/mouth so you don't breathe in the fruit pollens/dust (?) and seeing if that helps.

      I worked at a greenhouse on and off for over 14 years, and still sometimes go in on weekend to help out (the owners are friends now!), and when working with certain plants I have to make sure that all the skin that comes in contact with them is covered, and eventually even started wearing a face mask around certain plants (ivy and geraniums in particular) that I noticed caused me to itch and sneeze. It helped A LOT!

      And I know the confusion re: allergies vs colds. When I first developed hay fever I seriously thought it was just a cold that wouldn't go away. Until an ex-boyfriend, frustrated at my constant sneezing and sniffling, bought me a pack of claritin, and when that helped I realized it must be allergies!

      Many people (myself included) find that cooking really helps make most fruits & veg safer to eat, as the heating kills most of the allergen proteins, so you may not have to cut out all of the foods entirely, just the ones that aggravate you. Also, getting tested for allergies can definitely help determine the problem foods so you don't have to cut out everything.

      Good luck and let me know how it goes!

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  44. adding pineapple to my nono list. uggg. i've been eating canned pineapple alot lately,without reaction(before bed with cottage cheese). I drank a lot of juce last night (about 3 glasses of it). By the time i crawled in bed, my nose was plugged and i felt like i had just eaten thanksgiving dinner. then the chills hit, and then the cramps and diareha. miserable all night. guts still feel like they are twisted. drinking lots of water and some ginger tea. i realize i overdid it and the reaction i'm having isn't typical, but if this happens a little each time it cant be good for me.

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    1. So sorry to hear it. If you haven't yet done it, I definitely think you should talk to your doctor and get tested for food allergies (specifically mention you think you have OAS so they can do appropriate tests) so you know for sure what you should be wary of. In the meantime, I suggest you hydrate yourself with lots of water after being sick! If you are ok with dairy, maybe try some plain organic yogurt to help soothe the gut with probiotics.

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  45. Thanks so much, just found this site, I a, allergic to everything. My doctor unfortunately has refused to diagnose me with OAS, and just says I have sever allergies to everything. I am trying to regain control of my weight since the only things I can eat that do not give me allergies are things that are very bad for you. When I searched for healthy recipes, or foods for people with OAS I could never find anything. Thank you, will definitely be on here all the time :)

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    1. Is your doctor unfamiliar with OAS? Perhaps that could be why they won't diagnose you. You could always ask for an allergist to see you. If you can eat cooked veggies and fruit then stir fries and curries and baked veggies are great healthy meals! Glad you've found some helpful stuff here :)

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  46. Hi there! I was diagnosed with OAS In November of 2013, and have struggled off and on since then to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Unbeknownst to me, I frequently eat many of the fruits and veggies on the "no" list- as well as things like honey and sunflower seeds! I had no idea the list was so vast. I agree with previous commenters, having OAS carries with it a constant sense of tension and slight panic when eating out of the home- or even at home by oneself, when the severity of the reaction could differ each time! I carry with me an EpiPen at all times, but I'm not totally convinced a) that I have OAS completely and b) that I can live a healthy lifestyle with this new knowledge of all the allergens. On top of OAS, I am also lactose-intolerant. I was wondering if I could get some advice regarding your diet, and perhaps when certain foods are the most reactive to people. Living and eating on a University student's budget is hard enough, but adding food intolerances into the mix adds another level of challenge! Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated! :)

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    1. Hi Allie, sorry to hear of your recent diagnosis, it's a tough one to digest (yeah, the cheesy pun was intended) when you first hear about it. It's not so much that the list is a "No" list, but just a list of foods that *may* cause reactions for people. If you are not experiencing reactions to some of the foods on the list, then you don't necessarily need to cut them out of your diet just because they're related to certain pollens. Many people have varying degrees of OAS that range from mild reactions to only a few foods to near-anaphylaxis to everything.

      Many OAS foods are safer to eat if they've been cooked, boiled, or canned, as this process can destroy most of the allergen proteins, so if you can have them cooked then I think stir fries and curries and baked veggies are great, healthy, cheap options. We eat A LOT of brown rice and steamed/sauteed veggies since they're cheap ;) Check out my post on cooking and freezing brown rice for cheap meals: http://poorandglutenfree.blogspot.com/2013/11/how-to-freeze-brown-rice-gluten-free.html, it's got some recipe links also.

      Soups are also great because you can load them with legumes and veggies and get a cheap, one-pot meal - like my Cannelini Beans and Swiss Chard Stem Stew: http://poorandglutenfree.blogspot.com/2013/10/gluten-free-vegetable-scrap-stew.html
      or Apple Cinnamon Cabbage Stew: http://poorandglutenfree.blogspot.com/2013/11/scrap-stew-two-apple-cinnamon-cabbage.html

      Most of my recipes have dairy-free options, too, and are based on cheap produce.

      You might find that you are most reactive when pollen counts are high (i.e. if you're allergic to birch you might find yourself super reactive during birch pollen season in spring). It depends on when pollen counts are high in your particular area. Most of us with OAS have learned to track the pollen seasons with a vigilance ;) Some people find they can eat certain foods in off-seasons, but won't touch them during pollen season. Everyone is different.

      Unfortunately everyone with OAS is unique in their level of reactivity and what foods they can and can't eat. It's a bit of a process learning your own unique issues, so try not to get too frustrated and know that you're not alone in trying to figure it out.

      Also, my new OAS book has a lot of suggestions for meals and snacks, over 60 recipes, and 40pgs of info (2 chapters worth) on understanding OAS and some of the potential causes and triggers that can make allergies worse.

      I hope that helps a bit :)

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  47. Thank you so much for the great info. I am in Port Moody...interested to know if David Burton ever named the Acupuncturist he worked with? I've had some success with alternative treatments and want more! Thanks for your time. :)

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    1. Hi Heather, no, I'm sorry I don't think he did. I'm not actually sure where he's located, either. My father is an acupuncturist and doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (Dr. Rod LeBlanc, he runs the Lifelong Health Clinic - www.lifelonghealth.ca ) but he's in White Rock and that might a ways for you to trek out.

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  48. Wow! Thank you so much for this blog and information. I've been allergic to lettuce since I was a child. The doctors just thought I didn't like to eat certain vegetables and fruit that it was a "texture" issue, but I've broken out in hives and rashes when I eat certain vegetables. Also allergic to half of the pollinating flowers out there. It's refreshing to read that there are others who are allergic to lettuce. Try finding a diet book or going to a gym to discuss nutrition when the first thing everyone suggests are salads. I've gotten "oh. that's weird" to "hmm... not quite sure what to suggest".

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    1. I know what you mean! I've had people suggest I try a raw diet to heal myself... because if someone was deadly allergic to peanuts, eating copious amounts of peanuts would somehow heal them...? *face in palm* :)

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  49. I had a reaction to peanut butter and then to Dunkin Donuts coffee - I had tried original flavor in my home, thinking it would be safe. I later read on the Dunkin Donuts web site that all of their coffee could have trace amounts of nuts/peanuts, so then it made sense. Is there reliable information on a coffee manufacturer that makes peanut/nut free coffee? Thanks!

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    1. So sorry to hear that! I don't know offhand of any brands that are specifically nut-free and not manufactured in a plant with nuts, but I imagine that if you emailed a few of your preferred brands and asked them you'd at least get some answers back. You might have better luck with a manufacturer that focuses more specifically on coffee (rather than say, chocolate bars or something), perhaps like a fair-trade / organic coffee.

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  50. Thanks so much for posting this information. I, too, react to almost all AOS foods and have a particularly sensitive allergy to soy, which these days is omnipresent in almost all packaged foods, vitamins, prescription drugs, including Benadry, as well as in the ink and packaging itself! I used to think finding wheat-free products was tough, but soy-free products are exponentially more difficult to find. Anyway, enough complaining. Awhile back someone wondered why there is so much OAS nowadays. I am 63 and my mother had OAS most of her life, so it has been around a long time. That said, is there anything we might be doing to be causing an increase in our allergic responses? Yes, there is. A number of genetically modified grains like corn and soy have significantly more allergenic proteins. Most people know that. But another huge source of sensitization comes from our landscaping and horticultural practices of planting primarily male versions of landscape plants and over planting very highly allergic species! Almost all trees planted in public parks, schools, business district sidewalks and medians are male clones. The result is that our air is filled with tons of pollen. Why do we plant only the male of many species? Because the female produces fruit and/or litter that must be cleaned up. We have opted to be awash in pollen to maintain litter-free landscapes! And this is true of most home gardens also. While female trees produce NO POLLEN, they have been replaced by male clones that fill our air and eyes and noses with copious amounts of pollen, pollen that isn't being taken out of the air by the females of the species. Does this sound like a good trade for less upkeep? Does this kind of eco-engineering sound like a good idea at all? Read one of the best books that no one seems to know about: Safe Sex in the Garden by Thomas Leo Ogren. With his help in plant selection, you might at least be able to make better selections for the plants outside your bedroom windows! I love the look of the ornamental grasses, but I was glad to plant something else when I read about how allergenic they all are.

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    1. Hi Mary, thanks for sharing that info and your story! I agree that the planting practices can increase pollen count, and the book sounds quite helpful for those planning gardens. There is also a fair amount of recent research into rising rates of allergies and more severe allergies that also indicate that pollen counts in plants are rising due to pollution and rising temperatures, as well as a variety of factors that impact the severity of allergies such as chemical exposure, antibiotics, pollution, and bacteria exposure that goes back to in utero (I go into detail about many of these in my OAS book, Living with Oral Allergy Syndrome, as well)

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  51. I am a 51 year old woman that suffers from eczema, asthma, hay fever, ragweed and pollen allergies. My diet consists of mostly veggies, fruits, dried fruits/nuts, sardines and salmon. Once in awhile I eat lamb, chicken and goat meat. If possible I buy antibiotic free meat. I juice a few times a week, however, I have noticed that when I juice, my eczema gets very scaley and itchy. I juice carrots, spinach, cucumbers, aloe, blueberries, orange and a handful of nuts, usually almonds or pecans. Recently I did the skin prick test with the local ENT in NYC. Some of the foods that I am allergic to came back as negative. After spending the money to perform the test I was disappointed with the results. The doctor at the ENT told me about the oral allergy. Until this point, I had never heard of this condition. I will begin an elimination diet for a week to see if my eczema clears up. It is very frustrating. I want to also cook or steam the fruits and veggies to see if that helps. Also, I drink a ton of green tea and I am wondering if that could be affecting my skin. I also take pcynogenol, an ant-oxident, but it is derived from tree bark, so I stopped taking it. Also saw a naturopath and she recommended that I take Turmeric, Fish oil, Vitamin B complex, Biotin, Zinc and Vitamin D. I have tried them all and have not seen any results. As for apples, I find that I can eat them when I cook them as they do not itch my mouth or throat in this form. Please advise as to how to proceed with the elimination diet. Also, what do you think of taking and applying oil of oregano. I tried the manuko honey, but it itched my skin. Should i eat one item per week prior to adding other foods back to my diet?

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    1. Hi there, I think if you were to attempt an elimination diet it would be best to do so under the guidance of a doctor or allergist who is familiar with oral allergy syndrome. There are other methods of allergy testing as well beyond the prick test and elimination diet, and an allergist would be better positioned to tell you which one would work for you. The diet I did may not work for some people, depending on their allergies. Mine took about 2 months to complete, as it required several days of eating certain non-allergenic foods, then reintroducing various different foods every two days.

      It is quite possible that juicing raw fruit and veggies can aggravate your symptoms if you are allergic to those foods. I only make smoothies using cooked or canned fruits and veg now because I can't have raw ones. You could always keep a food diary, like the sample one above, to track what you eat and when your eczema gets worse or better.

      Re: the supplements the naturopath gave you - while those are all good vitamins and minerals that can help to reduce inflammation and a deficiency of some of them have been somewhat linked to higher rates of allergies, there is no current research to prove that they will heal allergies, so it's really difficult to know in what amounts you should be taking them. Personally I'm not a fan of all the hype around oil of oregano, and I would be very careful of using it as there is a chance of it causing an allergic reaction as it cross-reacts with latex.

      I'm sorry this is probably not the answer you are looking for, but I do think it is best to find someone in your area who is familiar with OAS and can help guide you to determine what you are allergic to and how to manage it.

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  52. Haven't read all above comments or other parts of your blog yet (will be checking out your recipes soon!) but I had to say what a huge relief it was to find someone else saying 'I'm allergic to everything, what do I eat?' ~ even chemists look at me weird when I check the ingredients on medicines and supplements and say "I can't use this because...".
I was diagnosed with [general] pollen allergy about 10 years ago, but wasn't given any further tests or advice ...and I, in my ignorance, figured if I don't sniff flowers I'll be ok!
I was also diagnosed with candida, so my diet did become restricted, but I was still having food related problems ...in part because of gout and gluten intolerance.
Having to remove of considerably reduce red meat, fish, poultry, most grains, high-carbs, or fruit from my diet, and having horrible reactions to quite a few veg, left me going in circles, so I've been repeatedly asking my doctor and social worker (and even my MP) "what CAN i eat" ...for years ~ they don't seem to believe that if I remove all 'unsafe' foods from my diet I'm left with only lettuce and a handful of green vegetables, which isn't enough to live on, for long... I know, I've tried.
Having Oral Allergy Syndrome would explain so much, I can't believe the 'specialist' who detected pollen allergy in the first place didn't do more tests, and that my doctors (I've changed them once or twice ...and still looking for a nice one) didn't think of it!
I just wanted to say thank you for confirming that I'm not exagerating! Look forward to exploring the rest of your blog, very best wishes, Jaki

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    1. You're definitely not alone, Jaki! Tons of people (myself included) have struggled trying to understand what's going on with their bodies, and then to explain it to others. Even with a diagnosis it can still be really hard to get people to believe it. I hope this gives you a starting point and that you can find a specialist or doctor who gets it :)

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  53. Am I ever glad I found this website! I have been reacting to food for three years now and have not been able to figure it out. My lips tingle, itch, swell, and get some sort of rash when I eat certain food. I also get bad pain in my back and stomach after eating some foods along with nausea. I have seen many doctors about this and none of them understood what was going on. It was extremely frustrating and I was beginning to think that maybe it was all in my head. I recently eliminated all raw fruits and vegetables along with all nuts feom my diet and I haven't felt this well in a long time. I have had no reaction on my mouth and no pain or nausea. I have been keeping a food diary and now I just have to figure out what it is that is bothering me. I do suffer from seasonal allergies and hope I can figure out which foods bother me.
    It is extremely comforting to know that I am crazy and other people know what it's like. It is helpful to have all the information on one site like yours.
    Thank you!

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    1. You're very welcome and glad you found the site helpful! As you can see, you're not alone :) It helps a lot if you can find an allergist who's familiar with OAS and can guide you through allergy testing and provide some dietary suggestions. Good luck!

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  54. Over the past two years, I have gradually noticed that I can not eat tomatoes, onions, and celery. I break out in horrible sores that last for weeks. Just recently, I cooked collard greens and kale - Oh Boy! I got one sore that started in between my thigh. The sores take so long to come to a head, and I am miserable. I have called Bastyr's Clinic in Seattle to make an appointment. I've got something going on with my blood maybe?

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    1. Hi J, it's really hard to say but if you've noticed a correlation between the sores and certain foods then getting tested for allergies is a good idea, and talking to your doctor is the best way to get that started. Let them know all of your symptoms and maybe even try keeping a food diary (I have a sample one above) to see if that helps explain any reactions.

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  55. I can so relate you people thinking you're crazy. "What?! How can you be allergic to apples?!" I have a birch allergy and usually found that I could eat almonds as long as they were roasted. However, spring has sprung and after eating some roasted almonds, I started to get that itchy throat constricting feeling. I never thought to relate my OAS to allergy season, but it makes sense that my mouth would be more sensitive during allergy season. My first OAS symptoms appeared when I was in my early 20's and have progressively gotten worse. I haven't noticed a problem with any of the vegetables, but I'm sort of dreading that it will inevitably happen. Thanks for the comprehensive list and the knowledge that I'm not crazy.

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    1. Lol, you're welcome, Amy. I think we all need confirmation of our own sanity once in awhile, especially when you have OAS! One of the things I love about blogging about OAS is that I receive constant affirmation that I'm not alone with it and I didn't just make it all up ;)

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  56. Thanks so much for the information! I thought I was going crazy but there are definitely things during pollen season that I just need to avoid (i.e. pretty much any uncooked veggie at this point). Much appreciate!

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  57. Hi, just want to give details of petition asking for in-patient/out-patient allergy clinic for those with more than one food(etc!)-related conditions ~ www.epetitions.direct.gov.uk is the web address, and the petition is called: Calorie Clinic Needed Now ~ positive outcome might not arrive in time for all of us, but the sooner the better, so hope you don't mind me asking for your support. Best wishes, Jaki

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  58. I, also, thank you for your blog. I was going crazy trying to figure why my throat would itch. (I am noted for the pig noises I have to use to scratch the itch in my throat) I have a question about itching. I do not get a rash of any kind. But, I do itch on the outside of my throat, neck and behind the back of my ears without any itching on the inside of my throat. Is this still related to OAS?

    Thanks for your time and expertise
    Su

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    1. Hi Su, it's not uncommon to have itchy skin after coming in contact with an OAS item, and some people do develop hives and rashes but for some it's just itching. My ears and throat itch too when I eat almonds (right before my throat and ears start to swell and get uncomfortable!). Reactions vary widely with OAS, so if you think you have it it's definitely a good idea to get allergy testing done. I hope that helps :)

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  59. I accidentally came across your blog while researching what the heck I can eat since my diagnosis of Oral Allergy Syndrome a week ago. No wonder I've been so sick...I'm allergic to the entire ouside world! Well, maybe not that bad, but it explains a lot. I'm so glad I got allergy tested; I had no idea I was allergic to so many trees, grasses, weeds and molds, and I had no idea that there were foods to avoid that coincided with these triggers. Your list will really help me modify my diet to avoid particular foods.

    It's interesting that the majority of the foods I'm allergic to I really, really like to eat. At least I can still eat berries. Thanks for putting this information out to help those of us who have OAS! :-)

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    1. Hi Debbie, thanks for stopping by and commenting! Sadly, I think most of us really love fresh fruit and veggies (which makes it all the worse when someone accuses yo of "making your allergy up" to avoid eating healthy!). But wonderful that you can eat berries! I can still have blueberries, and that's awesome :)

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    2. It's not just hard because of this new OAS diagnosis, I also have Celiac's disease. My MIL has been great about modifying how she cooks to accomodate my Celiac's, but she's kind of touchy and I know that if I tell her about all these things I suddently can't eat (all of which I've been eating up until my OAS diagnosis) she'll just lose it and probably accuse me of making things up to try and make her life difficult. *sigh*

      So my plan when eating at her house is to avoid eating trigger foods when I can, feign fullness when dessert rolls around (usually fruit or ice cream), and take a Benadryl before I go, just in case trigger foods can't be avoided.

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    3. That's really tough. Can you ask her nicely (and gently insist) that you bring something along and that way you'll at least have something there you know is safe? Usually when I go for dinner at someone's I don't tell them all my allergies (unless they ask, in which case I have a list I can email them), just the main dangerous ones (gluten and certain nuts). Then I make sure to eat before I go, avoid what I can't have, and make sure I have something extra just in case.

      If they notice I'm not eating everything, then I explain. That way they aren't usually offended, they realize I was just trying to be polite by not making it impossible for them to cook for me ;) Once they realize everything I'm allergic to they recognize the value of having me bring my own food!

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  60. Hi Danielle, Totally love your blog! It's been a great resource for me since my diagnosis with OAS about two months ago. I've got a question for you...I'm not sure if I've seen this topic discussed on your blog, but what's the story with nutritional yeast and OAS? I've been trying to find information about it and whether or not it would cause an allergic reaction, but I seem to be coming up short. Do you know if yeast is related to mold or grasses? I've heard good things about it but don't want to try it if there's a chance of a reaction.

    Have a great day! Debbie :)

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    1. Hi Debbie, I'm really sorry, I don't know much about nutritional yeast and it's relation to allergies/OAS. It's not something I've seen mentioned in any of the OAS studies I've read, and I haven't heard of anyone having adverse reactions to it (although with OAS, you never know what you might react to!) I've had it before and haven't had a problem, though.

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  61. My daughter is one of the 2% of OAS patients who suffer anaphylactic reactions to fruits, vegetables, nuts, and herbs. I just wanted to share a couple reactions we have been surprised by. One occurred after applying chap stick. After further investigation it contained natural watermelon flavoring (Cucurbitaceae family). The second was after using a Ponds face wipe. Though no ingredients list could be found on the product or website, research finally revealed they contain chamomile extract (Asteraceae family). Both are cross-reactions from ragweed allergy. Both times a small amount passed from lips to mouth and caused anaphylaxis. Again, I know she is a rare case, but wanted to share none the less.

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing that! You're absolutely right that cosmetics can be hidden sources of allergens - I wrote an article about it a while back here: http://www.poorandglutenfree.blogspot.ca/2012/09/oral-allergy-syndrome-wheat-allergies.html, the article mentions wheat and some other OAS foods that can be found in cosmetics, and I have a section in my book Living with Oral Allergy Syndrome that addresses cosmetics as well if anyone is looking for more info :)

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  62. Is it possible to display symptoms after eating one food listed under a particular "Pollen" while another food on the same list appears to be problem free?

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    1. Absolutely! Some people only have problems with one or two things, while others have problems with almost everything. For example, I have no problems with raw tomatoes, but almonds almost send me into anaphylaxis. Both are related to birch pollen. People also have varying degrees of reactions. I can have a few bites of raw carrot before I notice a reaction. Other people can break out in hives, or get itchy and puffed up, right away.

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    2. Thank you so much Danielle, you've been a great help:)

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  63. I can't believe I just found this site. I have OAS (allergic to anything raw that has a pit or core (with 2-3 exceptions), plus raw almonds, walnuts, carrots, celery and a few new ones that are developing.) I recently started eating Paleo (which is how I found this site - I was searching for a recipe for Thai eggplants) and when I saw the "plus OAS" part I was stunned and I immediately bookmarked the page. What a great find! Thank you I can't wait to explore the site!

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    1. You're very welcome, Kimberly! I hope you find the site helpful :)

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  65. Hello!

    You're page is brilliant, I'm so glad other people have discovered this allergy. It's taken me 5 years to be diagnosed on the NHS (British Health Service) and I went to see a dietitian today, and was told to eat more fruit and veg! It is SO fustrating.

    I was wondering whether anyone on here has found out if the 'superfoods' such as chia and hemp seeds etc affect their OAS? I also have severe reactions to all types of salad/lettuce leaves, so am very nervous of trying an cooked versions. Anyone else had the same issues?

    Any advice, or words of warning would be a blessing as I seem to be hitting brick walls with some of the NHS departments...

    Thanks, Sophie.

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    1. Hi Sophie, so sorry to hear a doctor told you to eat more fruit and veggies. That's frustrating. If you can find a doctor who's familiar with OAS, you could see if they'll help you do a challenge using cooked fruit or veg to see if they're safe for you to eat.

      I haven't had problems with chia or hemp myself, but maybe someone else will answer you. It wouldn't surprise me at all if you did have a reaction, though. OAS is a mysterious beast ;)

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  66. Hi, in the past year I've developed a lot of food allergies and intolerances. I also, have a couple other autoimmune disorders. I feel like I can't eat anything! I'm allergic to dairy, anything in the nightshade family, Bananas, Apples, Celery, Carrots, all melons, and many more. I also, have a gluten intolerance, I get a blistering rash on my face, headache, joint pain, sneezing, congestion, puffy eyes, runny nose. It's horrible! I'm still finding things that I can't eat, it's so difficult. I wish I just knew what I could and couldn't eat.
    Any survival tips out there, to help figure all this out?

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    1. Hi Sandy, I'm so sorry to hear all that! All the recipes on my blog are gluten free (and many are dairy-free as well), so that might be a place to start looking. I also don't use many nightshades in my recipes (too many gives me hives!).

      Otherwise, you could keep a list going of things you CAN eat, and consider things you haven't had before (ideally with a doctor's supervision). For example, I never used to eat beets, but now I know I can have baked beets so I find ways to incorporate them.

      Many people find that while they can't have certain raw fruits or veg they can have them cooked, so if you can have those it's worth finding ways to make use of them. A doctor or allergist should be able to help you determine what you are allergic to, so if you haven't had allergy testing done yet I definitely suggest it!

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  67. Hi, I suffer from OAS. A few momths ago i went to the allergist and found out im allergic to birch, pollen, ragweed. On my scratch test I found out that I was allergic to a lot of tree nuts I was eating daily. I suffered from an itchy face and a little throat swelling but nothing life threatening. One of the tree nuts, walnuts, was a severe reaction. I recently bought candida pills which contain 50mg of black walnut hulls powder. Is it safe to take or will I have a reaction?

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    1. Hi there, I can't tell you if you'll react or not, and I think it's probably best to check with your doctor first, but personally I'd be very hesitant to take anything that contains something I've had a severe reaction to. For myself, I'm quite allergic to almonds and hazelnuts and avoid any products containing them, including asking massage therapists to not use almond oil on my skin (it's a common massage oil).

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  68. Has anyone tried veg or fruit supplements? Like pills. Would it cause a reaction?

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    1. Are you referring to vitamins? If so, I do take a multi-vitamin myself with no problems, but some vitamins could potentially contain ingredients you might be allergic to, so it's always a good idea to check with your doctor if you think there's a chance you'll react.

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  69. Hello, I'm not sure how to add my name here (it's Kristina, btw), but I really want to thank you for your article. I'm allergic to almost every plant (trees, grass, ragweed the big one, molds, etc) and at least two dozen foods. After finding out I've become allergic to apples, as well as carrots, avocados, peas, cherries, wheat, hazelnuts, milk, melons, bananas, shrimp, I could go on, I've really struggled this past year with finding safe -- and healthy -- things to eat. I ended up having gallbladder surgery in the fall, finding out I had IBS among other things, but sometimes it's SO hard to explain to people that I can't eat certain "healthy" things. My reaction is on the more severe side -- the first time I ever reacted, to carrot as a teen, it felt like I was swallowing poison ivy. I've had a couple scares since where I couldn't stop coughing and felt dizzy. (And I've learned the hard lesson to avoid eating out most of the time.) I'm seeing the allergist again in about a month, and I'm hoping to find out if any of these OAS ones are foods I can add back in.

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    1. Hi Kristina, I'll cross my fingers for you and hope you can add some stuff back in :) It's definitely difficult to explain to people, and difficult for them to understand! I hope you have some supportive people in your life to get you through it.

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  70. Wow. Thank you for this information! I think my 12 year old son has this! We knew he had allergies to various trees and pollens and he has had trouble eating a lot of raw fruits and vegetables but I never put the two together! It all makes sense now! We actually had him do NAET treatments for a while, and then the ASA Balance System. Between those two he is doing a lot better, although not 100% cured. But he could barely eat anything before and now he can eat quite a bit more things with a lot less problem. Both of those treatments work through the energetic systems in our bodies so they seem a little weird and I still don't totally understand how they work, but they really helped. Something to think about anyway. Now we are going to be doing the AIP diet mostly to help my husband with his autoimmune disease (that's actually how I found you, through Eileen Laird's AIP Recipe Roundtable) but I am hoping it will also help my son since it works hard on healing the gut. Anyway, thanks for writing this. I hadn't heard of it before and it's good information!!!
    -- Monica

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    1. Hi Monica, glad to hear your son had found some relief! I hope the AIP works for you as well. I haven't tried NAET or the balance system myself and can't speak to them as I know little about them except that, unfortunately, at present there isn't much scientific/medical evidence to support them (which isn't to say there won't be any in the future), but I do hear tons of positive anecdotes, so it's great that your son is doing better :) Thanks for sharing!

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  71. I am so happy I found this! I have a latex sensitivity and knew I had a cross reaction with avocados. And more recently I have issues with bananas, potatoes, tomato sauce, cucumbers, lettuce, wheat products and kiwis. I just found out my 3 year old has a ryegrass and Bermuda grass allergy. This list is going to help me out so much with him. Although I haven't been tested for allergies I do suffer from them; especially after it rains. Thank you so much!!! Now I can prove I'm not a picky eater!!!

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    1. You're welcome! And yes, the "picky eater" assumption is so frustrating!

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    2. Danielle , What an Amazing list of information you have put together. Last year I was so unhealthy & suffering with allergies all my life. I started with a low carb diet in hopes to help me. Was adding many more different veg. into my diet. Without knowing that most were among the birch tree - pollen & ragweed family. My allergist only told me of those pollens , didn't bother telling me that they were also associated to veg.& fruits too! With my allergies becoming worse I searched myself & found a food list similar to what you posted. It's a very thoughtful & wonderful site you put together . Hope others will find this helpful. I will link your site as much as I can. Haven't looked over your recipes yet, but I'm sure there will be some Yummy one's I can try :)

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    3. Thanks so much for sharing, sharpie. That's a shame your allergist never mentioned the fruit and veg association. Many of them still don't seem to know much about OAS, so I hope you can find someone to guide you through your allergies!

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  72. It is so frustrating to have these issues. I've been low carb eating for the last two months including eating a Subway chopped salad for lunch. For some reason, the last two salads I've eaten have ended with a mouth full of hives - swollen lips, and large red blotchy painful spots inside my mouth. Yet for the two months prior, no problems whatsoever. So now I'm trying to figure out what it could be...lettuce, spinach, cucumber, onion, or tomato. I do have grass allergies, cottonwood trees, latex, hayfever, and adding to the ongoing food sensitivity list that started with watermelon, celery, any other melons, banana, occasionally oranges and Tylenol. I used to think these foods were ok as long as they were fresh off the vine. It seems the more ripe they become, the more dangerous. But I'm seriously stumped with this current salad thing. And bummed too.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that. It's hard to determine what the factor is sometimes without trial and error - which is not particularly safe if you react badly! Have you had allergy testing? That might be able to pinpoint the problem.

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  73. Food allergies seem to be on the rise and common ones include peanuts, strawberries and shellfish. Normally the body's immune system kicks in when it views a substance as harmful. An immune response occurs to fight the invader. When food allergies develop, the immune system views a particular food as harmful and reacts. The reaction can be measured, or more severe. Eating the food item triggers release of chemical signals such as histamine that lead to symptoms. In some cases, symptoms can be life threatening.. I'm consulting web health network for treatment of food allergy and I hope you also can be benefited with there help.

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  74. Hello, I have had OAS since I was 17 basically for almost 20 years now. I have survived. I now eat a Paleo diet as my daughter is non celiac disease gluten sensitivity with an autoimmune response and my son is on the autistic spectrum. (I know it's crazy) I have been looking into fermented foods to help heal our guts as this would be beneficial for all of us. I am wondering if someone with OAS can eat fermented foods. Is there enough of a chemical change? Do you have any information on this?

    Thanks Cass

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    1. Hi Cass, as far as I can tell there hasn't been much research done specifically on that. I know that research seems to indicate a positive effect of probiotics on allergies, but as far as a destruction of the allergen proteins in the process, there doesn't seem to be much info.

      I did write an article a while back on cooking fermented foods, and how that doesn't necessarily destroy the beneficial probiotics (but it may help to destroy the allergen proteins): http://poorandglutenfree.blogspot.ca/2015/10/does-heat-kill-probiotics-and-their.html

      I also dragged up a couple of articles on allergies and fermented foods -
      This one indicates that fermentation destroys the allergen proteins in soy (though whether or not that works for OAS is unclear) https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jnsv/61/Supplement/61_S106/_pdf

      This one suggests that if you have mold allergies, fermented foods might cause a reaction: http://www.michiganallergy.com/oralallergy.shtml

      This one also suggests that some fermented foods can contain histamine and cause a reaction: http://www.allergy-clinic.co.uk/food-allergy/food-and-allergy/

      Sorry, I know that doesn't help much. Is there any type of fermented food you and your children can eat that you are not allergic to? i.e. yogurt, soy, or cabbage? Otherwise, your doctor might be able to recommend a safe supplement.

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  75. Hey there, was wondering if you have any smoothie recipes for OAS? Checked your recipe page but couldn't see one. Not sure where to start, so it would be extremely helpful. Thank you!

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    1. Hi Amz,
      no, sorry, I don't have any OAS smoothie recipes on the blog, but I do have a couple in my book, Living with Oral Allergy Syndrome, along with suggestions on how to build an OAS-friendly smoothie :)

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  76. Hi everyone,

    Thanks for this post it was very helpful although I am finding myself starting to panic a little bit at some of the other allergies.
    I got diagnosed with a Fruit and hazelnut allergy when I turned 15 because one day I started getting reactions to fruits and nuts. I am from a Mediterranean background and we eat fresh fruit, veg and nuts most days out of the week. To try and explain to my family that I was not feeling great after eating them was like telling them the sky was pink! My first Rast test showed that my worse allergy was to apples, closely followed by hazelnuts. I did accidentally eat an apple pie once and do not remember having a reaction and I was ok eating fruit jams. However I recently got tested again because my partner, myself and my family were getting tired of this allergy. Turns out it only got worse, I was now allergic to Almonds and the numbers to peanuts, coconuts etc had grown too. I was told to avoid all fruit aside from the bananas and oranges that I had always been able to eat.
    Just over the last few days, I got itchy to a banana and my lip just got swollen from an orange...so I am down to nothing.

    Reading that I could potentially become allergic to things like spices and vegetables is making me extremely upset. The doctors treat it as if it is no big deal! I mean to say to a young woman (who is trying to maintain a healthy diet) to cut out fruit, nuts and potentially vegetables is CRAZY! I had to stop working out because I simply couldn't find enough food fuel for my body. Bought a protein shake, it said may contain nuts. All healthy cereals CONTAIN nuts or MAY contain. And now it could get worse?

    My family still struggle as they don't quite understand how this has happened. My partners mum made food for a holiday and I passed on eating it because I wasn't feeling so great. Next thing I know my partner is going crazy at her mum because there was apparently raw apples in the food! People forget or just straight up do not care.
    My manager walks around the office stuffing her bloody face with cashew nuts, almonds, hazelnuts and then just laughs and says oh just do not come next to me? like she isnt then going to touch anything with her nut infested hands. I feel like as I am getting older my anxiety is growing and my frustration is growing!
    I do not really know what to do :(

    They couldn't perform a skin test because they forgot to send me out a letter asking me not to take any hay fever tablets (it was peak hay fever season) so I had to have another Rast blood test.
    I was also diagnosed with asthma when I was young.
    They did give me a epipen but I haven't had to use it as of yet.

    I also wonder what I will do when I have children...how can I deprive them of the goodness of fruit and nuts.

    Doctors and people really do not know enough about this allergy...it is sad :(

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    1. Hi Betul, so sorry to hear your allergies have gotten worse. It's incredibly frustrating when friends, family, and co-workers don't get it, and doctors aren't always very sympathetic.

      Are you able to eat any cooked fruits or veg? At least then you could have homemade apple/fruit pie, or put applesauce or cooked purees into homemade baked goods.

      Personally I've found that by removing chemicals from my home - strong chemical cleaners, perfumes, products with heavy artificial scents, artificial sprays like Febreeze, and using an air purifier have really helped to calm my allergies down. My system is under less strain and I react less to things.

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  77. I really appreciate this post on how wheat ties in to OAS. I'm really starting to think this is my issue. My reactive foods are all plant foods and are wheat (and maybe the other gluten grains), guar gum, and flaxseed. Most of what I've been able to find talks about how people react with mostly just oral symptoms to fruits and vegetables. I don't get mouth symptoms and have not reacted to raw/fresh fruits and vegetables. However, I tested negative to flaxseed and guar gum and tested low to wheat and equivocal to rye and barley. All grass pollen tests done, including cultivated rye, had class 4 and higher results. From the tests, OAS sounds like a real possibility. It's good to know that the proteins in wheat aren't destroyed by cooking as that was the one thing that was throwing me off. I hope to meet with my allergist soon to discuss the possibility I have OAS. Thanks again for this informative post.

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    1. You're welcome, Sarah! Glad you found it helpful. And yes, I know most just discuss the oral symptoms, but there's definitely more to it. Not all tests are conclusive, so you could potentially still be reacting even if the tests are negative. I hope your allergist can give you some helpful info!

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  78. Thank you so much for this information. I recently started my own blog and recently started seeing yet another allergist/immunologist. I'm going to ask him about this. My blog was started in the hopes of helping others and learning myself. This topic is very interesting to me.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, I checked out your blog - sorry to hear about all your allergies and your hospital visit! And yes, if you think you might have OAS it's definitely worth asking about :)

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  79. Hi I was just wondering where you sourced your list of birch foods from? I have seen many lists online and they seem to contradict with each other. Thanks!

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    1. Hi emmzy, I put mine together based on a variety of sources, (including articles in medical journals as well as other websites, etc.) trying to be as inclusive as I can. I think the issues is not so much that lists contradict one another, but that they tend to include only the most commonly known/associated foods.

      It's a bit of a worm hole, since some foods can cross-pollinate with different pollens, but if you're in doubt, you can always do a search for a certain food on a site like, say, Wikipedia, and then look at the "family" and/or "order" links and wade through the possible connections to see if you can find which pollen the food might be related to. As a warning, however, this can be very confusing!

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  80. Hi Danielle! Just bought your book and it's absolutely amazing thank you! Just wondering a few things.
    1 - Are gastric symptoms common in OAS?
    2- If allergic to almonds and peanuts does commercial almond milk and peanut butter tend to be tolerated?
    3 - If allergic to these nuts, do people tend to eat other types of nuts or stay away from those to be safe e.g cross contamination?
    Thanks again :)

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    1. Hi emmzy, sorry for the late response. I'm so glad you're enjoying the book, thanks for letting me know! Here are my thoughts on your questions:

      1 - yes. Lots of people seem to experience bloating, cramping, diarrhea, IBS-like symptoms when they consume foods they're allergic to.

      2 - I don't think so. *Some* people who are allergic to things like raw almonds might be able to have them peeled, or roasted, but personally I'd proceed with absolute caution. I'm super allergic to almonds and can't tolerate almond milk. The heating process that can destroy allergen proteins in cooked fruit and veg does not seem to be as effective for nuts.

      3 - I think it's a personal decision, and depends on how allergic you are. Some people stay away from all nuts because they're afraid of contamination and anaphylactic reactions. Others are okay with other nuts (I'm super allergic to almonds and hazelnuts, but can manage cashews and peanuts no problem, and consume them with a vengeance!). If your reactions are very severe, I'd talk to a doctor before trying them out.

      Hope that helps a bit!

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  81. If a scratch test to the raw food comes back negative but you have symptoms, can it still be OAS?

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    1. It might be. Testing isn't always super accurate. You could ask for further tests, or, if your reactions aren't too severe and anaphylaxis isn't an issue, try isolating the food to see if you react to it on it's own.

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