Allergy to the peach fruit can take two different forms like many other allergies to fresh vegetables and fruits. Some people can have a true allergy to peach, whereas some have birch-pollen allergy. Pru p 3 is a major peach allergen that triggers allergic reactions in individuals who are sensitive to peach. Peach is a stone fruit that belongs to the ‘Rosaceae’ family. Allergy to this fruit is common among adolescents and adults in Europe. Females are more prone to such an allergy than males. (1, 2)
Causes of Peach Allergy
Birch pollen allergy: The body may develop allergic reactions to peach because the protein present in peach is similar to the birch pollen allergen. During this phase, the body may recognize peach as birch pollen and trigger allergic reactions.
‘Pru p 3’ is an allergen that causes allergic reactions in individuals who are sensitive to peach. The concentration of this allergen in the peel is seven times greater than in pulp. Pru p 3 is not recognized by the immune systems of the individuals who are allergic to peach. The body reacts by producing IgE antibodies. It also causes the release of histamine that gives rise to adverse reactions. (3, 4)
Peach Allergy Symptoms & Signs
Signs and symptoms of peach allergy may appear within 5 to 15 minutes after eating the fruit. In extremely sensitive individuals, symptoms may develop while chewing or swallowing the fruit. These symptoms relapse with 20 minutes to 1 hour.
The mouth is the first area that gets affected due to an allergy. This can cause:
- Itching of the mouth
- Itching or irritation of the throat
- Redness and swelling of the lips
- Swelling of the tongue
In severe cases, symptoms appear beyond the oral region. Symptoms include:
- Redness of the skin
- Itching sensation
- Presence of boils or bumps
Consumption of peach may lead to the following gastrointestinal symptoms, which include:
- Abdominal pain or burning sensation
- Diarrhea or loose stools
Allergy to peach may also affect the nose and the lungs. Symptoms include:
- Itching of the nose
- Tightness of the chest
- Shortness of breath or suffocation
Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening medical emergency. Symptoms include:
- A drop in the blood pressure
- Rapid pulse
- Loss of consciousness
- Slurred speech
- Constriction of the airways or difficulty in breathing
If such a situation occurs, immediately rush the patient to the hospital.
Diagnosis and Tests of Peach Allergy
A medical history plays a crucial role in suspecting allergy to peach. Tell your doctor or allergist about the appearance of symptoms after eating the fruit. Explain each symptom in detail and amount of peach consumed and in what form it was consumed, for example fresh peach, canned peach or a peach juice. Do tell the doctor about your past medical history. Do mention if any of your family members have any food allergy.
A blood test helps in detecting the amount of allergen-specific antibodies in the blood. If a person allergic to peach, unintentionally consumes peach, his/ her immune system overreacts and produces antibodies, which are known as ‘immunoglobulin E’. These antibodies travel to certain cells that release chemicals, which in turn cause allergic reactions. An increase in the antibodies in the blood is a clear indicator of an allergy.
Oral Food Challenge Test
With the help of this test, your allergist can confirm about the allergy, if it persists. During this test, your allergist will feed you with peach in measured amounts. Once you have consumed the fruit, your allergist will wait for the signs of a reaction. If signs of allergy are present, the test is stopped and the allergy is confirmed. If no symptoms are present, your allergist will rule out the food allergy.
- Individuals with birch pollen allergy often react to peach
- A family history of peach allergy may increase your risk of having an allergy
- Having an allergy to any other fruit from the Rosaceae family. For example, people allergic to apples are often allergic to peach
- A history of oral allergy syndrome with any kind of food
- Individuals living in the Mediterranean countries are more prone to peach allergy. This can be due to their genetic make-up
Treatment of MSG Allergy
A minor peach allergy can be treated with anti-histamines. Taking this medication after eating a peach will help in relieving the symptoms of allergy such as, itching, hives, nasal congestion and sneezing.
It is used in treating severe allergies, where anti-histamines do not work. This type of medication helps in combating life-threatening reaction to the peach allergen.
- Allergic individuals must completely avoid peach and products made out of peach
- Read the food label carefully before purchasing any food product. If a product contains even traces of peach, avoid purchasing it
- Before ordering any food preparation at the restaurant, ask them in detail about the food ingredients. If possible, let them know about your allergy so that they can be extra-careful with the food they serve you
- If your school-going child is allergic to peach, then inform the class-teacher about his/ her allergy
- Avoid using cosmetic or beauty products that contain peach. For example- Peach-flavored face wash or lip balm
- Some types of alcohol are flavored with peach. Allergic individuals must avoid it
List of Foods to Avoid
- Peach-flavored juice
- Mixed fruit juice that contains peach
- Peach-flavored ice cream
- Peach-flavored frozen yoghurt
- Peach cakes
- Peach chutney or peach jam
- Peach candies
- Peach squash
- Peach butter
Photo Attribution Images by Forest and Kim Starr