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There are several health benefits of mushrooms, which explains why many people eat them. Mushrooms are a high-fiber, protein, and antioxidant-rich low-calorie food.
Mushrooms might even reduce the risk of severe health problems like Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
That said, this highly nutritious food poses serious health risks to people with mushroom allergies. If you have a mushroom allergy or want to learn all about it, continue reading this article for everything you need to know about mushroom allergy.
What is a mushroom allergy?
Mushrooms are a type of fungus which grows in the soil.
Mushroom allergy is a type of allergy that occurs when a person comes into contact with a specific kind of mushroom or fungi.
In this condition, the body’s immune system reacts to it as an invader and triggers an allergic response by releasing histamine.
Histamine leads to inflammation and other allergic reactions such as itching, redness, swelling, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms occur within minutes to an hour of eating a mushroom.
While there is no cure for mushroom allergy, many effective treatments can help alleviate its symptoms.
What causes mushroom allergy?
Allergic reactions to mushrooms are caused by the body interpreting the mushroom proteins to be foreign. The body’s immune system responds to this by deploying a histamine chemical, which leads to allergic reactions.
If you’re allergic to mushrooms, you don’t have to eat one to experience an allergic reaction; if you inhale the spores, you might have some symptoms.
Symptoms of mushroom allergies
One of the most common symptoms of a mushroom allergy is an itchy rash on the skin. The rash typically appears on the arms, legs, and torso after contact with a fungus or mold. It may take up to 24 hours for this reaction to start showing up.
An allergic person may also experience uneasiness, diarrhea, and bloating in the stomach. One may also experience a runny nose and watery eyes. Some people may have swollen lips and throat.
Lastly, some people may have Anaphylaxis, a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction. The symptoms include some of the ones already mentioned, but they are heightened.
You might need immediate medical care if you experience this. We recommend ERinfo’s emergency response technology if you have a history of food allergy or you’ve had a prior attack of this magnitude.
Mushroom allergies are not as common as other allergies, but they can be just as serious. Symptoms of mushroom allergies can be life-threatening if not caught in time.
The most common symptoms include:
- Skin reactions such as redness and itching
- Nasal congestion and sneezing
- Watery eyes
- Itchy throat and ears
Types of mushroom allergies
There are two main types of mushroom allergies: immunoglobulin E-mediated allergy and non-immunoglobulin E-mediated allergy. They are both caused by different parts of the mushroom.
The immunoglobulin E mediated allergy is an immune system response to a protein in the fungi that the body deems dangerous because it recognizes it as foreign. This allergic reaction occurs within a few minutes to a few hours.
On the other hand, Non-immunoglobulin E mediated allergy is caused by an accumulation of allergens in the body due to constant contact with fungi spores over time. The body reaction that ensues is usually delayed.
The diagnosis of mushroom allergy and the treatment options available
Several diagnostic tests can help determine if someone has a mushroom allergy. The most common test is called an oral food challenge.
This test is performed by giving the person a small amount of the suspected food in a safe setting and then monitoring their body’s response for about an hour. If any allergic reactions occur, the diagnosis has been confirmed.
There are four treatment options available for people with a suspected mushroom allergy: avoidance, strict avoidance, immunotherapy (allergy shots), and antihistamines (medication).
Immunotherapy – Allergy shots are a type of immunotherapy treatment. Allergy shots are injections given regularly for some time — usually two to five years — to prevent or minimize allergy reactions. Each allergy shot contains a trace amount of the substance(s) that induce an allergic response.
Antihistamines – These are a class of medications that are often used to treat allergy symptoms. These medications are intended to treat diseases caused by too much histamine, a substance produced by the immune system. People who are allergic to pollen and other allergens are typical users of antihistamines.
How to prevent mushroom allergy
An allergic reaction can be triggered by either consuming or touching a mushroom or inhaling pollen from mushrooms.
To reduce the risk of an allergic reaction, you should avoid consuming mold products such as yeast. You should also eat packaged foods with caution and wash your hands thoroughly after touching any fresh produce to reduce the chance of an allergic reaction.
You should avoid mushrooms as much as possible. You should also avoid sour milk, cheese, pickled meat, and fish. The first line of defense against mushroom allergy is avoidance. Avoiding these items will significantly decrease the chances of an allergic reaction occurring.
You can take anti-allergic medicines with you to prevent allergic reactions.
Mushrooms are not for everyone. This is because they are most likely to cause an allergic reaction. Approximately 90% of people who are allergic to this type of food will experience symptoms within one hour after eating them.
Most reactions to this type of food will be mild, but you must know the signs and symptoms if your response is more severe. Observing a strict avoidance of mushrooms in any shape, form, or quantity is even better. You might also want to diagnose and treat the problem with the aforementioned options.
Consult your doctor and consider the options available to you.