An individual with chocolate allergy might experience various symptoms upon ingestion or exposure. Generally, chocolate is widely used in various desserts and even in savory dishes.
Even though it is considered as a sweet treat, some individuals are highly sensitive or allergic to chocolate or an ingredient present in a chocolate-based food.
What are the signs of chocolate allergy?
Generally, if an individual has chocolate allergy, the immune system releases chemicals such as histamine into the bloodstream.
Some of the symptoms that might arise after ingesting chocolate or from direct exposure include the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal cramps
- Swollen lips, tongue or throat
These are signs of a severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis. This condition can be dangerous if not promptly treated.
What is the cause?
An individual is likely to end up with a reaction to chocolate if allergic to it or its source or cocoa. Take note that the ingredients in chocolate-based foods such as wheat, milk and nuts can also trigger a reaction.
Those who have gluten intolerance or celiac disease oftentimes react to chocolate, especially milk chocolate.
When to consult a doctor
See an allergist if an individual is might have chocolate allergy or sensitivity. Generally, blood tests, skin prick tests or an elimination diet can help determine if chocolate is responsible for a reaction.
Depending on the seriousness of the response to chocolate, the doctor will instruct the individual to avoid it. In some cases, the individual should limit chocolate in his/her diet.
Nevertheless, for a severe case of chocolate allergy, an epinephrine auto-injector must be on hand always. Once a shot is given, it stops a reaction and alleviates symptoms such as swelling of the face and shortness of breath.