4 rare food allergies that you should know about

rare food allergies

4 rare food allergies that you should know about

It’s easy to see why some people are foodies. There’s such a rich variety of foods out there to enjoy. A bounty of fruit, vegetables, meats, different cuisines from around the world – we hope we’re not making you too hungry!

But not everyone can enjoy every food. Food allergies prevent people from eating some very common ingredients, making it hard to navigate simple meals. We all know about nut allergies, or something like gluten intolerance. But what are some lesser-known food allergies? Let’s take a look at some of the rarer and more bizarre ones out there.

Meat allergies

A staple in many people’s diets, meat allergies can be incredibly strange. Take red meat allergies, for instance – otherwise known as alpha-gal syndrome. It can suddenly appear in people after a tick bite. It’s a strange reaction that isn’t fully understood. But we do know that the allergy isn’t directly to the meat. It’s actually a reaction to a molecule found in various red meats called alpha-gal.

Another odd allergy is a pork allergy. Through something called “pork-cat syndrome”, people who are allergic to cats may also be allergic to pork. This is because there is a similarity in the structure of cat and pork albumin (a type of protein).

Honey allergy

While a honey allergy might sound a bit strange, it makes sense. Because of how honey is made – by bees taking pollen from plants and trees – it can potentially affect people with pollen sensitivities.

It is considered incredibly rare – estimates put it at 0.001% occurrence rate. But this can change depending on allergies people have. For example, in one study, they found that 65% of participants were sensitive to honey made with dandelion pollen. So, theoretically, a person could be allergic to some honey but not others, depending on the source of the pollen.

Nickel allergy

We know what you’re thinking. This is a blog about food allergies, so why is nickel – a metal – on here? That’s because some foods contain nickel. Usually nickel allergies come up when talking about jewellery, but it’s just as relevant here.

Some flours and grains have been shown to have nickel in them. This includes oats, wheat, multi-grain bread, and brown rice. You can also find it in seafood, legumes like peanuts and lentils, certain vegetables (such as leeks or cabbages), and even chocolate.

Wine allergy

With wine, there are a few components that could be causing the reaction. Chief amongst them is grapes. But then you also have ethanol – which is the type of alcohol present in wine – yeast, sulfites, and firming agents, which can include proteins taken from milk, eggs, and fish.

And though this could technically happen with any wine, the research seems to show that red wine is the more common trigger. 83% of participants developed symptoms after drinking red wine, compared to the second most likely, white wine, at 31%.

All of these allergies are rare, but it just goes to show that anything can cause a reaction. What’s important is that you stay aware of your body and notice any changes after consuming something. That’s the only way you’re going to catch potential conditions before they do any real damage.

If you ever have any allergy concerns and want to talk to someone about them, feel free to reach out to our allergy specialists. They’re always happy to help. You can call us on 02031 433 449 or register as a new patient here.

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