A pineapple allergy can lead to irritation in the mouth, rashes, swelling, and — in severe cases — anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition that needs urgent medical attention. A person with a pineapple allergy may also be allergic to other fruits, such as kiwi.
Symptoms of pineapple allergies include skin rashes, itching of a person’s mouth or lips, and tongue swelling.
This article will explain the symptoms of pineapple allergies, the cross-reactivity of a pineapple allergy, its diagnosis, and its treatment.
A pineapple allergy is an allergic reaction. A person may experience it after eating pineapple or drinking pineapple juice. People may also have an allergic reaction after touching the fruit.
Pineapple allergies are much less common than other food allergies. They can be serious and, in certain cases, can cause anaphylaxis, a life threatening condition.
The symptoms of a pineapple allergy can range from mild to severe, depending on the reaction type. A person usually experiences symptoms immediately after contact with pineapple.
A milder form of pineapple allergy includes mucosal irritation. The mucosa is the membrane that lines the inside of the body’s passages, organs, and cavities. Symptoms may include burning and soreness of a person’s oral mucosa and tongue.
Symptoms of oral allergy syndrome (OAS) usually occur immediately or several minutes after consuming pineapple, according to a
In severe cases, a person may experience anaphylactic shock, which is life threatening. Symptoms include:
- vomiting and diarrhea
- angioedema (rapid swelling of the area beneath the skin or mucosa)
- difficulty breathing
- wheezing or coughing
- low blood pressure
A person who experiences anaphylactic shock needs immediate medical help.
There aren’t enough specific studies into pineapple allergies in babies to assess how the condition presents in infancy.
According to a
Learn more about allergy reactions in babies.
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can be life threatening. The symptoms develop suddenly and include:
- swelling of the face or mouth
- fast, shallow breathing
- a fast heart rate
- clammy skin
- anxiety or confusion
- blue or white lips
- fainting or loss of consciousness
If someone has these symptoms:
- Check whether they are carrying an epinephrine pen. If they are, follow the instructions on the side of the pen to use it.
- Dial 911 or the number of the nearest emergency department.
- Lay the person down from a standing position. If they have vomited, turn them onto their side.
- Stay with them until the emergency services arrive.
Some people may need more than one epinephrine injection. If the symptoms do not improve in 5–15 minutes, or they come back, use a second pen if the person has one.
There are several potential causes of pineapple allergy, according to 2019 research.
Pineapple contains bromelain, which is a
The body may also recognize bromelain as a threat and release histamine to protect itself. The activation of histamine release can cause allergic symptoms such as swelling, itching, and difficulty breathing.
Pineapple also contains profilin, which may cause allergies in some people. Profilin is a key mediator of cross-reactivity between certain fruits, like pineapple, and pollen. This means that people with pineapple allergies
Learn more about pollen allergies.
OAS is an allergic reaction that
When these proteins and the mucous membranes inside the mouth come into contact, a local allergic reaction may occur.
Learn more about OAS.
People with a pineapple allergy may also be allergic to other fruits of the same family.
This cross-reactivity is typically not severe, and a person usually experiences only mild allergic symptoms, such as mouth or tongue itching.
However, in some rare cases, it may cause severe symptoms, such as anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a life threatening reaction that requires immediate medical treatment.
According to the
Anaphylaxis is the most serious complication of pineapple allergy. It is a medical emergency and may be life threatening. Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical help.
Anaphylaxis symptoms include:
- rapid heartbeat
- difficulty breathing
- swelling of the lips, throat, or tongue
- loss of consciousness
- diarrhea and vomiting
A person with a pineapple allergy should avoid eating both canned and fresh pineapples and drinking pineapple juice.
Other foods and products that may contain pineapple include:
- canned fruit salads
- pineapple jam, rum, soda, soft drink, and salsa
- banana chips
- tropical beverages
It is a good habit to check the ingredients label on food products to ensure they do not contain pineapple or other allergens that may cause an allergic reaction.
Pineapple substitutes may include:
Learn more about allergy testing.
There are treatment options for people with a pineapple allergy. Doctors may prescribe treatments
- Antihistamines: This may help relieve allergy symptoms by blocking the action of histamine.
- Epinephrine (EpiPen): This may be the choice to treat severe pineapple allergy reactions. Epinephrine can reduce anaphylaxis symptoms. A person must inject it and then go to the hospital for further treatment.
- Bronchodilators: This
may helprelieve asthma symptoms that pineapple allergy may cause. Bronchodilators open up the airways.
- Corticosteroids: This may help reduce the inflammation in the airways and make breathing easier.
Once a healthcare professional diagnoses the allergy, a person should avoid contact with the fruit. The doctor may also prescribe taking medications such as antihistamines or carrying an EpiPen as a safety measure.
Pineapple allergy is a rare type of allergy. Its most common symptoms include localized itching and rashes. However, in some serious cases, it can cause an anaphylactic reaction, a life threatening condition that requires immediate medical treatment.
People with pineapple allergies may also experience cross-reactive reactions after eating other fruits, such as kiwi, papaya, apricot, or chestnut.
Doctors can diagnose pineapple allergy with a skin prick test or a blood test. They may also prescribe antihistamines or other types of treatment that can help a person improve their symptoms.