Latex Allergy and Food Allergy May Be Connected
Medical experts are saying that people allergic to latex might also be allergic to certain foods. People who suffer from latex allergies may now be vulnerable to food allergens making it twice as difficult to curb this debilitating condition.
Lisa Batchelder, a violinist based in West Orange, NJ, recalled getting welts on her skin right after she slung a plastic bag on her arm. It was only when she used an adhesive bandage that she realized she may be allergic to latex. Latex comes from the sap of a rubber tree that manufacturers use often on clothes, medical equipment and condoms.
People allergic to latex often experience severe itching once they come into contact with this material. Others display much more severe reactions such as a swollen throat, sudden decrease in blood pressure and difficulty in breathing. People who experience the latter symptoms required immediate medical attention otherwise their allergic reaction might prove fatal.
People with latex allergies don’t even have to come into contact with a substantial amount of this substance. Some people with severe allergies could experience a reaction just by sniffing latex powder. But that’s not all. On top of having latex allergy most people with this debilitating condition are also allergic to certain foods. Batchelder’s allergies extend to apples and melons, which doctors refer to as cross-reactive allergies.
So not only does the violinist avoid latex but she also stays away from fruits that trigger a nasty reaction to her body. Some of the fruits and vegetables that people with latex allergy should avoid include apple, avocado, banana, carrot, celery, chestnut, kiwi, melons, papaya, raw potato and tomato.
Prevention is key
Unfortunately, latex allergy does not have a cure and the most effective way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid latex as much as possible. That is much more difficult for medical professionals since most physicians, surgeons and nurses use latex gloves when they’re treating patients.
Fayne Frey, a dermatologist based in West Nyack, N.Y. suffers from latex allergies and though her profession required her to keep in constant contact with the dangerous material she made sure that her clinic had alternative equipment that are totally free from the stuff. She’s one of the many medical professionals who have a latex-free environment in her clinic.
Frey said that the more frequent people with latex allergy are exposed to this substance the more that their bodies see the material as an allergen. In order to effectively avoid latex people allergic to this substance should conduct some research and find all products, equipment etc. that carry this material.
Doctors also advise people with latex allergy to wear wristband that could inform bystanders that they’re allergic to this substance. In the event that they do come in contact with latex and experience a severe allergic reaction, such as an anaphylactic shock, people nearby could call 911 and have that person rushed to the hospital immediately.
Also, an epinephrine self-injector could come in handy for people who are severely allergic to latex. For those who have a mild reaction to this substance, an antihistamine or bronchodilator inhaler is enough.