Have you heard about a mushroom allergy? As with any allergy, it can sound very scary and dangerous. In this article, though, you will find the list of signs and symptoms to know about. You should always check with a doctor if you suspect you may have an allergy, and refrain from eating mushrooms until you are sure.
An allergy is not the same as intolerance. Allergies are the result of our immune systems reacting to what we ingest, whether it is food or an environmental compound, and then trying to suppress it. Allergies can be very dangerous, and the symptoms range from mild to very severe. On the other hand, intolerance is often milder, and the signs are usually all gastrointestinal.
What to look for?
If you suspect you have a mushroom allergy, you will find out that the symptoms occur almost immediately. Your body is identifying the proteins in the mushrooms as foreign substances and releases antibodies and histamine to fight them off. In some cases, histamine can cause mild symptoms and in others, it may cause a severe reaction.
When your body reacts to the ingestion of mushrooms, you will immediately begin to show signs of allergy. Some of the common symptoms include watery eyes, skin rashes, and hives. In some severe situations, you can often find that your lips, mouth, and throat are swelling up. If this is the case, you must seek emergency care immediately, as it can turn into something called anaphylaxis, which is a difficulty breathing that can cause death.
Watch out for mushroom intolerances too
Many believe that they are allergic to mushrooms, but in reality, they are experiencing intolerance. A common mushroom to cause these symptoms is the shiitake mushroom. Some people react poorly to the high quantity of complex polysaccharides in this mushroom. In these cases, you may find yourself feeling bloated, gassy, distended, and in pain.
Always consult a doctor!
Be careful with a mushroom allergy, as it is something that can escalate quickly. Take into account this list of 7 facts to know and decide if you should get medical help. You can also try and find an allergy test to rule out any other allergens.
When you suspect you have a severe allergic reaction, call your emergency services as soon as possible. Avoid eating mushrooms altogether until you are sure you are not allergic to them.
A mushroom allergy sounds scary, but there are a lot of signs and facts to know before you decide whether you have one or not. If you suspect a mushroom allergy, it is best to always go to a doctor and confirm. However, there are things you should be aware of about mushroom allergies and intolerance.
What is the difference between allergy and intolerance?
A food allergy causes your immune system to react, which will result in a variety of symptoms and affected organs. In some cases, allergies can be serious and life-threatening. On the other side, an intolerance comes with much less serious and severe symptoms, which are often limited to the digestive system.
Let’s dive into the 7 facts to know if you suspect a mushroom allergy:
Fact #1: Know how to differentiate a mushroom intolerance
If you often feel bloated, have severe cramping, and experience abdominal discomfort, then you may have a mushroom intolerance. These symptoms are often not severe and will go away after a few hours of consuming mushrooms. An intolerance can cause discomfort and pain, but it is not life-threatening or dangerous.
Fact #2: A mushroom allergy is an immediate response
Unlike a mushroom intolerance, a mushroom allergy results from the body’s immune system attacking the mushroom proteins. This occurs because your body identifies the proteins as foreign substances. The immune system then releases IgE antibodies and histamine.
Histamine causes your body to react in different ways; some of the signs and symptoms may be mild, while some may be extremely dangerous.
Fact #3: Mushroom allergy symptoms are easily recognizable
Some of the first signs of a mushroom allergy include watery eyes, skin irritation, hives, and rashes. More severe symptoms include swelling of your lips, mouth, and throat.
Once the swelling becomes more prominent, breathing will also become difficult. This can turn into a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, which leads to difficulty breathing, a drop in blood pressure, and fainting. The reaction can get worse if there is no immediate clinical assistance.
Fact #4: You can get tested for a mushroom allergy
If you have experienced any of these symptoms, or feel like you may be prone to allergies, there are things you can search for. For a more specific diagnosis, your doctor will perform a food allergy test.
This test is uncomfortable, but it is the most accurate method to diagnose an allergy. In this process, doctors will inject the mushroom protein into your skin, then they will check for inflammation or redness, which gives you a positive result.
Not to worry, though, if you do experience a severe reaction, doctors are always prepared to treat it immediately.
Fact #5: You can treat a mushroom allergy quickly
Once you are diagnosed with an allergy, your physician may prescribe an antihistamine to relieve the symptoms. If the allergy is more severe, however, the doctor may prescribe a steroid.
In the case of an anaphylactic attack, you will need emergency care. This requires an immediate shot of epinephrine, which helps relax your respiratory tract and allows air to come in again.
Fact #6: You can prevent a mushroom allergy
Allergies remain complicated, as some people eat mushrooms for years before they develop any symptoms. Still, once a reaction occurs, the allergy is probably not going away.
The best way to treat a mushroom allergy is to avoid the mushroom that causes it. If your allergy is severe, you may also be allergic to other mold products, like yeast. With time, you will also be able to determine other food products that cause a similar reaction, like dried fruits or alcohol.
As with any other allergy, once diagnosed, you should always carry anti-allergic medications, such as nasal steroids or antihistamines.
Fact #7: Be careful with shiitake mushroom intolerance
This type of mushroom is one of the most common foods to cause intolerance. Because these mushrooms contain high concentrations of L-ergothioneine, more people may experience gastrointestinal discomfort when consuming this compound.
If you like shiitake mushrooms and feel bloated, distended, or in pain, you may be experiencing intolerance to this specific kind of mushroom. You probably can still consume it; but you have to do so in smaller amounts.
Be careful with food allergy
While many of us enjoy mushrooms constantly, there is a probability that some of us can develop intolerance to them. Yet, we need to be mindful of a mushroom allergy, as this is a serious reaction that can lead to serious health problems.
If you suspect you are suffering from a mushroom allergy and feel like you can’t breathe, call 911 immediately. Otherwise, consult a physician who can help rule out other foods and determine if mushrooms are to blame.
Always exercise caution with food and be aware of the signs and symptoms of a food allergy. Stop eating mushrooms if you develop any of the symptoms, such as rash, hives, and shortness of breath.
Now that you learned more about mushroom allergies, why not supplement this knowledge by reading this article about the 10 Ways to Tell if Mushrooms Are Bad?