Monday, November 18, 2013

Help I'm Allergic to Pumpkin....

This time of the year we see pumpkin in everything from beer to ice cream.  I thought it'd be the perfect time to talk about pumpkin allergy.

Pumpkin is a delicious gourd and commonly added to salads, pies, and beverages.  The seeds can be cooked and ground into flour.   Some people use the flour as bait for fish.

Luckily, allergy to pumpkin  is rare and only a few case reports exist in the literature.

Interesting Facts About Pumpkin Allergy
  • Pumpkin belongs to the Curbitacea family. Other members of this family are watermelon, zucchini, squash, muskmelon, and cucumber
  • We don't know the incidence of pumpkin allergy; there are a few case reports in the literature
  • Most allergy to pumpkin is caused by the seed rather than the pulp. 
  • You can be allergic to the seed, pulp or both.
  • If you have pumpkin allergy, you make also react to squash, zucchini, watermelon, muskmelon and cucumber and other seeds. 
  • Some people may develop pumpkin allergy from a cross reaction from a tree pollen, called birch.
  • You can be tested for pumpkin allergy by an allergist by pricking the skin

Symptoms of pumpkin allergy are:
  • Itching or blisters in the mouth
  • Swelling
  • Hives
  • Shortness of breath or
  • Asthma 
If you're worried you have pumpkin allergy, see an allergist and they can test you.

Want to talk to me about your symptoms? Please call the office at 212-679-3574 or email me at jcollins@grammercy.com. As always you are welcome to visit our website to learn more.

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