The kiwifruit, also called Chinese gooseberry, is a healthy and colorful addition to your daily diet. That is, unless you’re allergic to kiwi.
For over 30 years, kiwifruit has been known to cause an allergic reaction in certain people. Some people react to the fruit just by itself, and others have other food, pollen, or latex allergies that cross-react with kiwi.
Symptoms may be localized to the mouth or other areas that touch the kiwi. Symptoms may also be more severe and affect your entire body.
Mild symptoms include:
- itching of the mouth, lips, and tongue after eating the fruit
- skin rashes
In more severe cases, symptoms can be serious and can become life-threatening. Call your local emergency services immediately if you have any of these symptoms after eating kiwi:
- difficulty breathing or asthma symptoms
- swelling of the mouth and throat
- numbness of lips and throat
- severe abdominal pain
- dizziness and loss of consciousness
- vomiting, cramping, or diarrhea
- drop in blood pressure, known as anaphylactic shock
Some people may show symptoms of what is known as oral allergy syndrome. This syndrome causes a person’s mouth and throat to feel itchy and tingly as soon as they eat a small amount of kiwi, or another food that they’re allergic to. Oral allergy syndrome can also cause swelling and skin rashes.
If you or someone you know has a latex allergy, the risk of reacting to fruits such as kiwis, bananas, and avocados is increased. That is because allergic compounds that are present in latex are similar to compounds in certain tree pollens, fruit, nuts, and vegetables.
Some people can react to fruit such as kiwi if they’re allergic to pollen or latex. Others can have a kiwifruit allergy by itself. In both cases, symptoms can be either mild or severe. Since having a kiwi allergy can make you allergic to other fruit, nuts, and vegetables, monitor your reactions after eating various foods so you know what to avoid.