Many households always include garlic as part of their regular grocery item since it is utilized in various dishes and one of the palatable ingredients in several dishes. Take note that health conscious individuals also include garlic in their daily diet in order to get the most of its health benefits. On the other hand, there are some individuals who are highly sensitive who should avoid garlic since it triggers an allergic reaction.
What are the symptoms?
Food allergies might be common but most individuals who have garlic allergy are not even aware of their condition. This is because they tend to ignore the symptoms similar to those triggered by common allergens.
Those who have garlic allergy should be given appropriate care since the complications can lead to death. With this in mind, it is vital to watch out for these common symptoms.
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Abdominal cramps
- Gas formation
- Skin itching
- Runny nose
- Swelling of the face and mouth that is accompanied by redness
Always bear in mind that the symptoms can manifest minutes or hours after the ingestion or inhalation of garlic. The doctor might often prescribe medications that can relieve the discomfort caused by flatulence or skin rashes.
Diagnosing garlic allergy
An allergic reaction to garlic occurs once the immune system wrongly identifies the protein in garlic as a harmful substance which results to the release of histamine. This is the chemical responsible for triggering the symptoms. Individuals with allergy to onions can even have garlic allergy as well.
Individuals who suspect that they have the allergy can test themselves by avoiding garlic for 1-2 weeks and observe whether or not the signs have subsided. A doctor should be consulted so that an allergy test will be carried out via a skin prick test. During the test, garlic extract is applied on the skin and any reactions are noted. In severe cases, the doctor might also perform a blood test.
Management of garlic allergy
Antihistamines are commonly used in treating the symptoms of garlic allergy. Once the over-the-counter varieties could not provide relief, the doctor might prescribe steroids and even a self-injectable epinephrine that is both effective in preventing anaphylactic shock which is a severe reaction. Once a shot of epinephrine is administered, the individual should be taken to the hospital for further care.
Aside from the first aid medications, it is also required for those who have garlic allergy to avoid garlic in the diet. Take note that this can be a challenging task since various pizzas, sauces and dishes in restaurants usually contain garlic. There are also manufacturers who do not include garlic in the list of ingredients at the labelling. It is also recommended to cook dishes at home. When eating outside, ask for the ingredients included in a particular dish being ordered.