Mustard allergy

Fact Checked

Mustard allergy is considered as an uncommon food allergy. The prevalent forms of food allergy that trigger an allergic reaction include shellfish, soy, wheat, fish, tree nuts, milk, eggs and peanuts. Once an individual develops the common symptoms of an allergic reaction after eating mustard, it is best to schedule an appointment with a doctor to confirm the possibility of an allergy via allergy testing either a skin test or a blood test.

When diagnosing mustard allergy, the doctor should determine if the immune system produces immunoglobulin E or IgE antibodies once exposed to mustard.

Closer look on mustard allergy

If an individual has mustard allergy, the body reacts to the proteins present in food as if it was a threat. Even though the proteins are relatively harmless to the body, the immune system overly reacts as if it is under siege.

The lungs can become inflamed, resulting to difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, chest tightness as well as wheezing, coughing and asthma symptoms.

The body reacts by producing IgE antibodies which are complex proteins that fight off the mustard proteins. During the production of these antibodies, the mast cells in the body react by triggering the release of histamine. The histamine is responsible for causing inflammation and swelling in the soft tissues in the body, resulting to the usual allergy symptoms.

Even if an individual experiences an adverse reaction after consuming mustard, it does not necessarily mean that he/she is allergic to it. Food intolerance is another condition that can cause similar symptoms to food allergy. The two conditions are usually confused due to the similar nature of their symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating and gas. The difference with food intolerance is that it is basically a malfunction of the digestive system to generate the required enzymes to digest mustard.

What are the allergic symptoms?

When it comes to mustard allergy, it usually affects the lungs, sinuses, digestive tract and the skin. Right after eating mustard, the sinuses become congested and followed by sneezing episodes, a runny nose or postnasal drip.

The lungs can become inflamed, resulting to difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, chest tightness as well as wheezing, coughing and asthma symptoms. As for the skin, it becomes irritated and inflamed, resulting to redness and swelling. The usual skin rashes that develop include hives and eczema. These symptoms can cause discomfort to the individual and some would require immediate medical care to prevent them from worsening.

Management of mustard allergy

An individual suspected with mustard allergy should be properly assessed by a doctor. Once an individual accidentally ingested mustard, the minor symptoms are usually managed with antihistamines. The minor symptoms include skin irritation, runny nose and nasal congestion. As for severe allergic reactions, it would require an epinephrine shot to minimize the symptoms.

The doctor can come up with the suitable treatment plan for the individual whether he/she usually experiences mild or severe symptoms.

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