A person may have an oral or latex allergy to avocado. An oral allergy can cause symptoms after eating avocado. Also, people with an allergy to latex foods — such as banana and kiwi — are more likely to have an avocado allergy.
Avocados are gradually becoming popular as more people add them to food recipes to increase their texture and flavor. Some manufacturers of body care products also include them as cosmetic ingredients due to their potent moisturizing ability.
However, some people may develop an avocado allergy after eating it. People may also have an avocado allergy if they react to the protein found in latex food products.
Symptoms of avocado allergy may include sneezing, nausea, vomiting, or difficulty breathing. There is no cure for an avocado allergy. However, treatment aims to manage allergy symptoms.
This article provides an overview of avocado allergy. It also covers the cause, symptoms, and management of an avocado allergy.
Most symptoms of oral avocado allergy occur in the lips, mouth, and tongue.
If a person is allergic to latex, they will also have a greater chance of experiencing an allergic reaction to avocado. This may be due to cross-reactivity.
The protein in avocados is similar to that in chestnut, banana, kiwi, pawpaw, tomato, fig, peach, bell pepper, and rubber.
As a result, a person may develop an avocado allergy if they have had previous allergies to any latex-containing food or products, and vice-versa.
With latex allergy, similarly to pollen food allergy, antibodies binding to a specific antigen — any substance, such as a baterium, fungus, virus, or toxin, that can cause an immune response — can successfully replicate the same immune response with similar antigens.
The AAFA also notes that people in the following category are at high risk of having an avocado allergy:
While avocado allergy is rare, symptoms can range from mild to severe. Symptoms can also affect people differently. This includes:
- itchy lips, mouth, or throat
- red and watery eyes
- runny nose
- stomach discomfort
- anaphylaxis — severe allergic reaction
Anaphylaxis is a rare symptom of avocado allergy. Without treatment, anaphylaxis can be life threatening.
If a person shows symptoms of anaphylaxis, such as shock, low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, or swelling in the throat, call 911 or the local emergency number immediately.
If a person feels allergy symptoms after eating or coming into contact with avocado, they may have an avocado allergy. If this happens, contact a doctor immediately. The doctor can help determine the underlying cause of the symptoms and the most effective treatment.
A doctor can also prescribe some over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines if symptoms are mild. However, if symptoms are severe and life threatening, the doctor can recommend an epinephrine injection to avoid complications.
In addition, if a person has a skin reaction after handling avocados, it may be due to pesticides and other chemicals on the surface of the avocado. Thoroughly washing avocados before consuming them may reduce any worsening symptoms. Cortisone cream can also help relieve skin reactions.
There is no cure for avocado allergy. Health experts recommend that people with the condition avoid eating avocados.
Avoiding avocados and avocado-based products, such as guacamole, can help prevent mild and severe allergy symptoms in the long term. A person’s symptoms will significantly improve after avoiding the source of the allergen.
A person should also ensure to:
- read food labels carefully to ensure they do not contain avocado
- inform staff of their allergy when eating out
- check labels of body-care products for avocado
- get a written anaphylaxis action plan from a doctor
- learn how to use an epinephrine auto-injector
A person with an avocado allergy can consider other options to substitute as ingredients in recipes or dishes with similar texture, flavor, calories, and fiber content.
- mashed banana
- tofu spread
- butternut squash
- greek yogurt
- egg yolk
- soaked pistachios
- cashew nut butter
- chayote squash
If a person experiences mild to severe symptoms after taking avocado, they may have an avocado allergy. An avocado allergy may be due to pollen food allergy syndrome or latex allergy.
Although avocado allergy is rare, if a person has one, they should contact a doctor. The doctor can prescribe OTC medications and recommend lifestyle modifications.
Avoiding avocado is the best strategy for managing an avocado allergy.