Did You Know?Tomato is a nightshade plant. So, those allergic to tomatoes may also exhibit an allergy to other members of the nightshade family such as potatoes, peppers, and aubergines.
It is observed that tomato allergy differs from person to person. For instance, one may be allergic to raw tomatoes but may not experience any adverse effects on consuming ketchup, sauce and soups that contain the offending food. In some cases, the reaction occurs after a few minutes or maybe hours after ingesting the tomatoes. While others experience the symptoms 2 to 3 days after consuming the allergic food. So the onset, severity, and duration of symptoms experienced will vary in each individual.
An allergic response to foods that one is allergic to leads to the release of histamines―chemicals in the body that trigger a wide range of allergy symptoms. Some of these are discussed below.
People suffering from tomato allergy may also develop skin problems like eczema and hives shortly after consuming them. The release of histamines into the skin causes irritation, inflammation, and itching. In some cases, even simply touching the tomatoes can also cause a rash, swelling, redness, and itching in the exposed areas of the skin. Depending upon the severity of the allergic reaction, these skin problems may be localized or widespread.
Frequent sneezing, watery eyes, getting a runny nose and a cough after eating tomatoes are also recognizable symptoms of tomato allergy. Histamines released into the body prompts the blood vessels to dilate as well as increase vascular permeability. As a result, there is gradual fluid loss from various tissues and small blood vessels, particularly those located in the nose. This fluid leakage from blood vessels is what causes runny nose and watery eyes in people affected with tomato allergy.
In extremely rare cases, some allergic individuals may suffer from a fatal allergic reaction, anaphylaxis, in which the symptoms worsen rapidly, almost seconds after consuming tomatoes. This severe form of allergic reaction affects the whole body. Difficulty in breathing, tightness in throat, swelling of the face, lips, and tongue are some of the most common symptoms of this catastrophic allergic reaction.
A patch test can also reveal whether you are allergic to tomatoes. In this test, the patch is smeared with the offending food and then attached on the back for a day or two. In case the exposed areas of the skin develops a rash, it is an indication of tomato allergy.
In this test, a very small amount of allergic food is placed on the skin. A sterile needle is then pricked through the suspected allergen into the skin. This allows the suspected allergen to enter the skin. In case the exposed area of the skin develops a bump or forms a rash, it is an indication of an allergy.
Another way to manage tomato allergy is to boost immunity. Eating foods high in antioxidants, vitamin B complex, and Quercetin (a flavonoid) strengthens the immune system. One can also take these nutrients in a supplemental form to reap their benefits. Improved immunity may help block the effects of histamine, in turn contributing to alleviate and even prevent the symptoms of tomato allergy.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.