The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) estimates that 8 percent of children up to age 18 have some kind of food allergy. Strawberries are among the possible foods that could cause mild to serious allergic reactions. You can even develop anaphylaxis if you have a serious reaction to this allergen.
Symptoms of a Strawberry Allergy
Allergic reactions usually occur from half an hour to one hour after eating this fruit. You may develop a rash that begins on your face or chest and spreads to other parts of your body. Some people develop hives, raised red welts that also begin to pop up on various parts of the body.
Redness around the mouth, as well as itching of your lips, tongue or throat, are signs that you may be having a serious allergic reaction to strawberries. A food allergy is extremely dangerous and requires immediate emergency room treatment if you have any of these symptoms. Without treatment, the swelling in your mouth and throat can continue, making it impossible to breathe.
The Allergy Test
Your allergist can perform allergy skin testing that will show if you have antibodies to these fruits in your system. When a tiny amount of the fruit is placed under your skin, you will develop a hive if you have a particular allergy. Your doctor is prepared to administer ephinephrine, a drug that is used to stop severe allergic reactions if necessary.
Avoiding a Reaction
According to the AAAAI, a study on fruit allergies showed that people who have a strawberry allergy may also be allergic to cherries and grapes. All of these fruits are in the same Rosacea family, and it is common for members of the same family to cross-react with one another. Since allergies can develop at any time, even if you have previously eaten foods that did not cause an allergic reaction, be cautious when you eat cherries and grapes if you have developed a strawberry allergy.
Unfortunately, the only way to completely avoid a serious allergic reaction to strawberries is to avoid eating the fruit. If you have experienced a serious allergic reaction in the past, your doctor will probably prescribe a epinephrine auto-injector for you to keep on hand. Strawberries may be hidden in other foods, so you will need to be very cautious about avoiding any mixed berry desserts. When strawberries are cooked or baked, their appearance changes completely, making it difficult to see whether a food contains strawberries.