|Oral Allergy Syndrome
||[Jan. 17th, 2008|11:07 pm]
I was told it was OK to post human illnesses here, so if this is out of place, please let me know.
Oral Allergy Syndrome is a condition in which people are basically allergic to salad. Specifically, it's an allergy to certain raw fruits, raw vegetables, and nuts as well (not peanuts, those are legumes). Those with OAS have immune systems that mistake the proteins in said food for those in pollen, which trigger reactions similar to that of hay fever. Sometimes the reactions are so bad that they can cause anaphylaxis, which is basically where the body goes into red alert and tries to expel the "poison". This often results in swelling of mouth, lips, and hives, and in extreme cases, the esophagus swells up to the point of suffocation.
This isn't just a trick of mind, coming into contact with these foods can cause reactions on the skin (such as hives); the level of severity depends on the proteins in the food. Cooking makes the foods edible. The neat thing is that if you live in an area where the pollen count is higher, your reaction will be more severe.
Sources: Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Wiki, and me.