Watermelon is one of the yummiest, healthiest, and refreshing fruits in existence. Biting into a succulent red piece of watermelon has been the highlight of many summers. However, some people may find themselves unable to consume this delicious fruit due to allergies. Here’s what you should know about this.
Is It Common to Have This Allergy?
Watermelon allergies are not that common, but the oral form is the most usual kind. Such allergies become more common when there is more pollen in the air. It is possible to develop an allergy to watermelon even if you or any family member hasn’t experienced such a thing before.
The most common cause is the presence of substances such as triosephosphate isomerase, profiling, and malate dehydrogenase. When the body detects these, it secretes a natural chemical called histamine and some antibodies to fight them off.
Those who are allergic to watermelons are most likely having a reaction to ragweed pollen. Hence, they should also avoid consuming foods like celery, peaches, bananas, tomatoes, and oranges. Avocadoes, kiwi, and other kinds of melons may also be a risk factor.
What are the Signs?
There are several warning signs that occur right after eating a watermelon if your body can’t process it too well. These include the ones below:
- Itching mouth and throat
- Swelling throat, making breathing difficult
- Swollen tongue
- Stomach pain and cramps
- Experiencing shortness of breath
How Much Is Too Much?
You should not eat a watermelon at all if you suspect an allergy within your system. It is especially recommended to leave watermelon and the foods listed above during ragweed pollen season. This means the fall season in most parts of the world.
In other words, you should really strive to remove watermelon and all foods which may have traces of ragweed pollen from your diet.
What to Do If You’re Having an Allergic Reaction to Watermelons
You should get a proper diagnosis for the allergy if you suspect one. If left untreated, it may present a serious and even life-threatening problem. An allergic reaction needs to be treated with antihistamines prescribed by a knowledgeable doctor.
You should also be able to avoid watermelon, but pollen is a different story. Consult a doctor immediately for any precautions you can take during the risky times of the year. This is especially necessary if you’re experiencing your first negative reaction after downing a watermelon. Remove any tight clothing and lie down if you’re having breathing problems.
If you’re not able to get to a doctor right away, you should take an over-the-counter antihistamine. One of these is called Benadryl and is a form of diphenhydramine.
The risk of a severe allergic reaction is not too high with watermelons as a rule, but it is definitely possible. If possible, try injecting an epinephrine injection such as EpiPen. If you’re prone to pollen allergies anyway, you should have one with you most of the time.