Is This a Food Allergy? - Fort Worth,TX

Updated on April 24, 2012
K.U. asks from Fort Worth, TX
11 answers

I started having a tightness and burning sensation on my lips about 10 days ago. At first I assumed it was sun or wind burn from being outside at the park with the kids and running so much. Last weekend though, I made my usual morning smoothie with banana, strawberry, spinach, almond milk, and protein powder and my lips swelled up and blistered and felt like they were on fire! I did buy a new brand of frozen strawberries and thought that maybe I was reacting to something they were packaged with. But now, I've had similar reactions to strawberries and tomato sauce at least another 4 times in the last week. My lips constantly feel really tight now too. I'm not sure why I'm all of a sudden reacting to things I've eaten my entire life?! I've never been allergic to anything before and I'm a healthy 29 year old. I'm thinking I should see an allergist?

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answers from Dallas on

You could have a sensitivity to a food that you have always eaten, and then suddenly you eat a lot of it, and you have a full-blown allergic reaction.

It does sound like a food allergy to me.

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answers from New York on

It is probably an allergy. I was not allergic to mangos until about a year ago when my lips blistered up and hurt. It is probably the strawberries. Try eliminating them and see if it gets better. Put something like Medex on your lips to cool them if they hurt and take an antihistimine if it happens again. After 2 weeks reintroduce just tomato sauce and see if it happens again.

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answers from Louisville on

I never had any allergies until after having my fourth child. I made shrimp one night not long after he was born, and after two bites, I realized my mouth was swollen and tingly. I had been eating shrimp my whole life with zero reaction. Now I can't eat it at all (which stinks because I love shrimp). Apparently, it's not uncommon for adults to develop food (and other) allergies later in life, but keep an eye on it because according to several articles I read when I started having my reactions, if you see an increase in the things you react to, it can signal autoimmune problems.

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answers from Washington DC on

My husband had a reaction to carrots last week. He is 42 and has eaten them all his life.

Since you are putting them in your system daily, your body may be on overload. Sometimes we can eat an item we are allergic to, not have a reaction then all of a sudden break out violently with hives or have some kind of shock reaciton, but after not eating the item for a while, years, have no reaction when presented with it again.
Your body's natural defenses are always on high alert when you eat strawberries, so each time you eat more it gives you a greater reaction.

I would go for an evaluation just to be sure, watch kiwis, mangoes, apricots, too. Do you have a latex sensitivity? That is related to bananas and kiwis.
My daughter is also allergic to all sorts of things; spinach, bananas, mangoes, kiwis, latex, adhesives, rice, the list goes on. We find new things all the time too.

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answers from Detroit on

This sounds like the reaction I had when I realized I was allergic to bananas. I would make an appointment with an allergist to be tested for food allergies and in the meantime, make the smoothies without strawberry and see how you feel.

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answers from Chicago on

I agree strawberries are a high allergen from what I understand, go see the doc and modify your diet to low acid and reduce your intake of known allergen foods.

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answers from Boston on

Allergies are so weird. Both strawberries and tomatoes are common allergens, so it does sound like that's what's going on. I know that you said that you've never been allergic to anything, but does that include seasonal pollen allergies? My oldest son has had severe allergies to spring tree pollens since he was 3 and 2 years ago, those progressed to oral food allergies. He's not allergic to the food itself, but his immune system confuses the proteins in many uncooked fruits and vegetables with the protein in the pollens he's allergic to and it causes a reaction in his mouth. For him, it's that his throat and tongue get itchy and feel funny.

If you're getting a reaction to tomato sauce, that sounds like a true food allergy because that has already been cooked, which breaks down the proteins that get confused with pollen. The blistering is also alarming.

If I were you, I would stop eating anything with strawberries and tomatoes immediately and see an allergist ASAP to get tested. Many allergists have wait lists for appointments that are months long, so in the meantime, get an epipen prescribed by your primary care physician. Food allergies are nothing to take lightly and you can go from a topical reaction to an anaphylactic one with no warning.

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answers from Portland on

Definitely sounds like an allergy. My DH didn't develop his food allergies till his mid 20's.


answers from Columbia on

It does sound like a food allergy. I'm allergic to cherries and some other tree fruits. When I have a reaction, my lips tingle, ears get hot, and throat gets really itchy. That's before I break out in hives.

Next time, have som regular Benadryl around. Take two with a BIG glass of water. If the reaction lessens or goes away, it's definitely allergies.

Strawberry allergies are VERY common, by the way.


answers from Washington DC on

dang. it sure sounds like it. that stinks.
sometimes my morning smoothies, which are almost identical to yours, make my mouth itch a little. if i back off for a few days, i can have them again. it seems to be the overload that causes it.
try cutting out one thing at a time to narrow down the specific allergen. it may be that you can have, say, strawberries, but only every now and then.
my son, who ate all kinds of fruit his entire childhood, developed several food allergies while he was getting the seasonal allergy shots (not sure if there's a connection, but i suspect so.) he can eat most things in combined forms, but watermelon, bananas and peanut butter by themselves are off limits now.


answers from Omaha on

Sounds like a food allergy to me. My son and I both have food allergies. I would suggest you find an allergy doctor in your area and get tested to confirm. Be careful eating those items because many times the reactions can get worse as your body gets more exposure to the item. This was the case with my son and milk. He now has to carry an epipen because the reaction could cause anaphylaxis.

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