I am a freelance writer. For years, I didn't know I was allergic to avocados.
Avocado allergies aren’t all that common, but for those who have this allergy, the symptoms can range from mild to severe, including the life-threatening condition anaphylaxis.
Because there’s more than one type of avocado allergy and the symptoms can vary greatly in type and severity from person to person, it’s important to have a doctor, allergist or immunologist diagnose this allergy.
Also, since other medical conditions or food allergies can cause similar symptoms, you will want to have those ruled out to determine if you are in fact allergic to avocados.
Many people who have an avocado allergy are also allergic to latex, as well as foods such as bananas, kiwis, tomatoes, papaya and chestnuts. Like the avocado allergy, being allergic to latex or any of these other foods is something you’ll want to explore to avoid any serious health problems or reactions.
Oral Allergy Syndrome
The least severe type of avocado allergy is connected to Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS).
In Oral Allergy Syndrome, the body reacts to foods that contain certain proteins in a similar way that it does with allergens like pollen.
Interestingly, there’s a link between various pollen allergies and OAS. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America states: “up to a third of pollen allergy patients may be affected.”1
Symptoms of an OAS response to avocados are usually limited to the lips, mouth and throat and can include:
- Itchy Eyes
- Watery Eyes
- Itchy Mouth
- Itchy Throat
- Swelling of mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat
These symptoms usually appear rather quickly, but can sometimes happen an hour or more after consuming avocado or products containing avocado, such as guacamole.
A very small percentage of people with Oral Allergy Syndrome can get anaphylaxis, which is a very serious allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention because it can be deadly.
The Latex-Avocado Allergy Connection
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology says that approximately 50% of people who are allergic to latex are also allergic to avocados. People with latex allergies may also have allergies to other foods such as bananas, chestnuts, kiwis and tomatoes.2
According to the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, some of the symptoms of a latex allergy can include a skin rash, hives, eye tearing, sneezing, congestion, wheezing and itching.3
Latex allergies can range from mild to life-threatening, so if you find out you’re allergic to avocados, it’s important to see a doctor to find out if you have a latex allergy too.
Even if you're not allergic to latex, you can still have symptoms related to the latex version of the avocado allergy.
Some Symptoms of a Latex-Related Avocado Allergy:
- Itchy throat or eyes
- Hoarse voice
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble swallowing
If You Have or Might Have an Avocado Allergy
If you suspect you’re allergic to avocados, stop eating avocados and any avocado-based products, make a list of the symptoms you’ve experienced, and see your doctor to get tested.
A doctor, allergist or immunologist will be able to determine if you have an avocado allergy and test you for other related allergies (like latex or other fruits and nuts) that you might not be aware of.
Depending on the type and severity of your allergy, you may need to just avoid eating avocados or in more severe cases, wear a medical alert bracelet or carry an EpiPen.
If you’re extremely allergic to avocados, be aware avocados and avocado oils are used in all sorts of products like salad dressings, guacamole, breads, salsas, soups, oils—and even in some soap and facial care products.
My Experience with an Avocado Allergy
For years, I didn’t know I was allergic to avocados. I only occasionally ate foods containing avocado (like guacamole), but each time I got severe nausea and felt like I could throw up. Since I had no idea avocados were something people could be allergic to, I thought my symptoms were from food poisoning or possibly from other foods I ate along with the avocado (like the refried beans in a burrito or nachos at a Mexican restaurant). Unlike some people with avocado allergies, I don’t have a latex allergy, but I am allergic to bananas.
What is Anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis is a sudden, extreme form of an allergic reaction that affects the whole body. This reaction can include some, but not necessarily all of the following symptoms: Rash, swelling of mouth, throat or tongue, trouble swallowing, skin flushing, slurred speech, cough, mental confusion, change in heart rate, abdominal pain, collapse, and unconsciousness.
If you believe you or someone else is having this type of reaction, seek immediate medical attention or call 911.
1. Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America – Oral Allergy Syndrome – https://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9⊂=20&cont=728
2. American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology – Latex Allergy – http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies/latex-allergy.aspx#Tab1
3. Cleveland Clinic Foundation – Latex Allergy – http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/Latex_Allergy/hic_Latex_Allergy.aspx
Resources for Further Information
- Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America
- The American Latex Allergy Association and Latex Allergy - Blog @ AllergyHome.org
AllergyHome.org proudly presents the American Latex Allergy Association. This guest blog post discusses latex allergy and ALAA's mission and resources.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2013 carolynkaye
Steph on August 23, 2017:
From the very first time I recall ever eating avocado, my stomach as revolted! I could eat an entire avocado or less than a gram and the results are the same: intense stomach cramps worse than anything I've ever experienced in my entire life!
I'm a chemist, and I'm so glad that my lab supplies me with nitrile instead of latex gloves. I can only assume that if I was exposed to latex on a daily basis, my avocado allergy could get worse or extend into a latex allergy.
Brenda on June 11, 2017:
I have noticed anytime I eat avocado I need to have a drink near by or else I experience the itchy mouth, nausea and deep inside my ears feel itchy as well. It really helps to take a sip of something after every couple of bites and it helps eliminate these symptoms especially the nausea. I love avocados, bananas, watermelon and cantaloupes so not willing to discontinue from my diet. I just eat in moderation and always have a drink nearby :)
carolynkaye (author) from USA on February 19, 2017:
Hi Jo Jo, I know how you feel. It's so hard to have to skip a food you like so much, but I'm sure feeling that sick, especially during pregnancy isn't fun. If you ever get tested by an allergist, you'll know if you need to give them up or just have them in moderation. Thanks so much for your comments :)
Jo Jo on February 19, 2017:
I developed an avocado allergy while pregnant, I craved them and was eating up to 5 a day in my last month of pregnancy. I've since read that over exposure can cause an allergy to develop! I get the worst stomach cramps followed by severe vomiting. I'm absolutely gutted as I'm pregnant again and craving avocados once more. I have to keep reminding myself how ill I am after eating them otherwise I'd be buying them bulk! I don't have any other allergies, but I think it's the latex version that I've developed. Nothing else quite substitutes the taste or texture. I was thinking about chancing one again but after hearing that the allergy can get worse with time I think I'll (sadly) be giving them a miss from now on.
carolynkaye (author) from USA on August 31, 2016:
You're welcome, Nadine! Glad you found it helpful :)
Nadine May on August 23, 2016:
First time i learned about avocado Allergy Symptoms. Thanks for that info...
carolynkaye (author) from USA on June 21, 2016:
Thanks, techygran! I'm glad you've found it helpful :-)
Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on June 21, 2016:
I have many food sensitivities but fortunately, it appears that I am not intolerant of avocado. Thank you for posting this useful information!
carolynkaye (author) from USA on October 21, 2015:
I know. I feel the same way. I like the taste so it's hard to pass it up, but I remind myself how I feel afterwards when I have it. Thanks for your comments :)
Zaton-Taran from California on October 21, 2015:
It's a shame, because avocado is such an amazing fruit. Very good, fats are contained therein - but it gives me allergies so I've had to find an alternative.
vcochran on September 19, 2013:
big bumps in face and neck itchy skin face' head and body