Guava fruit is a very highly nutritious food. Probably it might be your favorite fruit. The rich taste enhances its palatability and the favorable phytochemical compounds enhance its place as a valuable fruit. But everything has pros and cons, same applies to guava. In this article, we are going to provide you with every detail regarding guava and its effects on your health and safety. Especially about Guava allergy. Let’s get into facts one by one.
- Overview on Guava fruit
- Introduction on Guava Allergy
- Allergic reactions due to guava leaves
- Guava fruit allergy
- Guava allergy symptoms
- Causes of the allergy
- precautions to avoid the allergy
- Diagnosis of guava allergy
Overview of the guava fruit
Guava (Psidium guajava Linn.) is a tropical fruit. As we mentioned in the above chapter, It is a fruit with high nutrient density and functional importance. We consume many guava types, but there are high available and more palatable options. Therefore we commonly eat guava types like yellow-fruited cherry guava, apple guava, strawberry guava, and red apple guava. They show many health benefits in our bodies.
Vitamin A & C are important to our skin. And other secondary metabolites like Guaijaverin, Quercetin, Gallic acid, Catechin, and Epicatechin, are also essential chemical compounds responsible for other functional effects. In addition, there are Naringenin, and Specific lecithins, too. All these compounds have important roles in preventing diseases in the body. Therefore health benefits of Guava are a completely different chapter to discuss.
Introduction to Guava Allergy
What is an allergy? An allergy occurs as a sudden reaction of our body defense system for external substances entering the body. This happens especially for pathogens. However, most of these foreign substances are harmless compounds like dust, pollen, nuts and other food compounds, wasp, etc. In simple words, this is a misguided reaction of our body. So then what is this guava allergy?
How Guava allergy occurs?
There are antibodies called IgE cells(Immunoglobulins) in your body. They produce as a result of an overreaction of the immune system when an allergen enters the body. These IgE cells are sensitive to certain proteins. If you eat a food or a fruit like Guava having this protein while your body has the particular antibody(IgE) then there’s a problem. The body will show extra sensitiveness to that food. That’s simply what happens in guava allergy. Some allergen experts suggest that A 30 kDa which is an allergenic protein in guava may have an effect on this . Let’ see what they will find about this in the future and we’ll give you the updates.
Usually, allergies are common with nuts, mushrooms, peanuts, shellfish, and fruits like pears. But rare in guava. However, there are reported incidences of guava allergy.
Is guava allergy common?
Since guava is not a common allergen, the answer is no. But according research studies occurrence of guava allergy is possible and there are reports situations.
How do Guava Leaves treat skin and cause allergic reactions too?
From ancient times until now guava was a solution for most of the problems in our bodies. One of the most obvious examples was the use of guava leaves for skin. People used the leaf extract to apply for wounds and skin irritations as well. Not only that diarrhea, diabetes, and mouth ulcers were also treated with Guava leaves.
However, In some people, guava leaves develop allergic reactions. Mostly these people have other disease conditions such as Eczema and anaphylaxis.
Moreover in certain conditions, you may have experienced allergic dermatitis due to skin contact with guava leaf tea.
This is also possible if you use guava leaves without washing for blending and other purposes. But these allergic reactions are due to latex and pollen in the external leaf surface.
Are there any uses of guava leaves?
The uses of guava leaves are still in the debate. But these are some of the suggestions on guava leaves. But further evidence is necessary.
- You can use the leaf extract to regulate blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. That means its a positive sighn for diabetic people.
- Antioxidants ,vitamins and soluble fibers in guava leaves contribute to a better heart health.Antioxidants perevent the free radical damage.
- Reduce menstrual cramps to a smaller content. Some say that it’s more powerful than painkillers.
- You can also use this to reduce Knee pain
What about guava fruit allergy?
In fruits, allergic reactions are associated with Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS), AKA Pollen food allergy. If you have a pollen allergy, then there is a high possibility for you to be allergic to fruits too. In simple words, your immune system recognizes the similarity between protein in the fruit and the pollen (That you are allergic to) and triggers an allergic reaction. The scientific term for this is Cross-reactivity.
Actually, there are no completed researches on the allergy to guava fruit. Because the occurrence is rare. But it’s better you know about these facts as a precautionary measure. Because there are some people who show higher sensitivity to guava. And also underlying medical conditions are also responsible.
- In 2005, scientists did an experiment on allergens causing asthma in children. They found that more than 75% of children had IgE protein in them related to guava.
- One of the survey done on patients in allergy Unit of child health institute, Culcutta found positive results for guava sensitivity. Out of 800 , 123 patients were tested. 25% results were positive.So do not consider this lightly. Anything that is nutritious can also be poisonous to your body.
What are the causes of guava allergy?
There are several causes for guava allergy. Let’s see those factors.
- Underlying medical conditions in the body such as Eczema and anaphylaxis
- Family history also has an effect on this. If you have a family history of fruit allergy, be cautious.
- Consuming guava fruit and using guava leaves without washing. This happens when the surface of the fruit or leaves contain pollens, dusts, and wasps etc.
- Eating unhygienic guava with warms and harmful microbes
- Genetical factors
What are the Guava allergy symptoms?
Common symptoms in fruit allergy also apply to guava allergy. The symptoms occur as a result of eating the fruit or due to contact. If you develop an allergic reaction due to touching, then we call it “contact dermatitis“.
- Infections in the respiratory tract -coughing, sneezing , shortness of breath
- Swelling – Throat, tongue,lips, face and neck
- Infections in skin – rashes, hives
- Tingling or Itching in mouth
- Infections in digestive tract – Abdominal pain. diarrhea, vomiting
- In severe conditions anaphylaxis and cardiovascular symptoms can occur
The severity of these allergic reactions depends on several factors such as,
- Time of exposure
- Amount of fruit consumed ( the dose of the allergen ingested)
- Individual sensitivity to guava fruit
- Individuals health, age etc.
Some of these reactions can make fatal effects on your body. So taking necessary precautions is the best thing to do before the occurrence of any allergic reaction.
Are there side effects?
Yes, there are some side effects if you consume a lot of guavas. Bloating and constipation are the most common ones.
What are the precautions to avoid guava allergy?
It is very important that you eat guava or use guava leaves with great attention when you are in following conditions,
- Pregnancy and lactation – Although guava is a healthy fruit, there isn’t exact data claiming that guava is perfectly safe for pregnant or lactating mothers.
- During surgery – Some researches found that guava may have the ability to lower blood sugar. Theoritically it can increase the risk of bleeding. Therefore as a better safety measure do not consume guava prior to a surgery
- Eczema – Guava leaves can worsen the eczema condition. Because the leaf contains compounds that cause skin irritation.
In addition to the above, always be cautious towards guava. Although you are perfectly healthy it can cause allergies if you didn’t wash them well. Keep in mind to clean any fruit before consumption.
However, the best option to avoid this allergy is to reduce the consumption of guava and guava containing foods as much as possible. If you are a guava allergic person, make sure to check your all diets in day to day life. remove all the possible foods that contain guava.
Guava allergy testing
After eating if you sense a bad reaction in your body, the first thing to do is meeting your doctor. Or else directly go meet an allergist. In there you will be subjected to the following methods for diagnosis.
- Reviewing symptoms
- Examination of your body physical conditions
- Reviewing allergy family history
- Blood analysis for IgE cells
- Performing a skin prick test
What are the guava allergy treatments?
After diagnosis, there are some treatment methods that can be used to relieve guava allergy reactions.
- Using steroids
- In different regions people use various creams and herbal treatments to control the allergy symptoms in skin
- In addition you can use epinephrine drugs and antihistamines too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is guava high in histamine?
Guava is generally considered as a low histamine food. To your knowledge histamine is a chemical compound that is produced by the body’s immune system in response to an allergen or irritant. Some foods such as fermented foods, aged cheeses, and cured meats, are high in histamine and can trigger symptoms in people with histamine intolerance or other conditions that cause elevated histamine levels.
However, fresh fruits like guava are generally low in histamine and may be well-tolerated by most people. In fact, guava is a good source of vitamin C, which has been shown to help reduce histamine levels in the body. Additionally, guava contains other nutrients like fiber, potassium, and antioxidants that may provide other health benefits.
However, some people may still be sensitive to guava and experience symptoms such as a rash, hives, or digestive upset. If you have a suspected histamine intolerance or other condition that causes elevated histamine levels, it’s a good idea to work with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian to identify triggers and develop a personalized dietary plan.
Guava allergy cross reactivity
Usually Cross-reactivity occurs when the proteins in one food are similar to the proteins in another food, which will cause the immune system to mistake the two foods, triggering an allergic reaction. In case of guava, rarely there are some evidence to suggest that people who are allergic to certain other fruits or vegetables may be more likely to experience an allergic reaction to guava due to cross-reactivity.
Guava belongs to the family Myrtaceae, therefore it is possible to have some cross reactivity for fruits that belong to the same family or the fruits related to this family such as kiwi, peach, banana, mandarin, rose apple, strawberry etc. Additionally, some individuals who are allergic to latex may experience a cross-reaction to guava due to similarities between the proteins in latex and those in guava. In those cases it could be guava latex allergy condition.
Cross-reactivity is not always predictable, because there are many factors affecting that. An individual’s specific allergies should be evaluated by a medical professional. If you suspect that you may have an allergy to guava or any other food, it is better you seek medical advice for proper diagnosis and management of your symptoms.
Guava allergy symptoms in babies?
Guava is not a common type of allergen. Therefore, occurrence of allergy symptoms may be rare in infants. Individuals who have latex allergy and the ones who experience Oral Allergy Syndrome may also show sensitivity to guava.
Therefore, there’s a possibility for your child to show allergic reaction to guava if he/she have above mentioned conditions. This symptoms are usually mild and temporary, such as tingling, itching, or burning sensation in your child’s mouth. However, it is not life-threatening. You can simply reduce the effect of allergic reactions by peeling or cooking the fruit. However,it is important to keep in mind the above factors, when you are making meal plans for your child.
What is Oral allergy syndrome
If you have allergic hay fever due to pollen, you may experience an itchy mouth or throat after consuming certain foods. This condition may arise in up to 50-75% of people with allergic reactions to birch tree pollen.
This phenomenon is the same issue as we discussed above in the chapter, which is referred to as cross-reactivity. When it occurs between pollen and certain foods, it is known as oral allergy syndrome (OAS), or pollen fruit syndrome.
As a final conclusion, you should know that guava allergy is not a common occurrence. And the factors affecting the allergic condition may also vary from person to person. If we summarize all the factors, they include dose, exposure time, individual immune system factors, Age, and health.
Hope this article was helpful and leave us your comments!!
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