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How Do I Recognize a Broccoli Allergy?

Dizziness can be caused by a broccoli allergy.
An allergic reaction to broccoli is due to a chemical in the plant's makeup.
Hives can appear as an allergic reaction.
Article Details
  • Written By: Madeleine A.
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 12 April 2014
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A broccoli allergy can be recognized by symptoms of mouth tingling, dizziness, difficulty breathing, and hives shortly after ingesting broccoli. Swelling of the lips, nausea, vomiting, and a constricted throat can also indicated a allergy to broccoli. Typically, such an allergy develops when the immune system sees broccoli as a threat and makes antibiotics to it. If broccoli is eaten again, these antibodies will create a response, releasing chemicals into the blood stream that result in an allergic reaction.

Sometimes, a broccoli allergy is not the result of the broccoli itself, but an aspirin-like chemical within the broccoli. This is more likely to occur in those who are allergic to aspirin and similar allergic responses can be encountered when eating strawberries, coffee, apples, and nuts. When symptoms of an allergy to broccoli or other food allergies occur, emergency medical treatment needs to be sought to prevent respiratory distress. Mild symptoms from a broccoli allergy, such as itching, can be managed by taking an over-the-counter antihistamine.

When the allergic reaction is severe, epinephrine is generally given by injection at the hospital in combination with intravenous fluids. Failure to interrupt a severe allergic reaction to broccoli can result in multiple organ demise and cardiac arrest. When a broccoli allergy is swiftly recognized and treated, recovery is usually rapid and the prognosis is favorable. To help first responders determine that a person has a broccoli allergy or other allergy, a medical identification bracelet or necklace can be worn.

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To diagnose a broccoli allergy, the health care provider needs to take a complete medical history and perform a physical examination. Sometimes, the health care provider will recommend allergy testing to determine if exposure to broccoli yields an allergic reaction. If the allergy test proves positive, the patient may need allergy shots and may have to carry a prescription epinephrine pen to reduce the risk of a reaction or stop the allergic reaction once it begins. Self-injections of epinephrine should be reserved only for severe allergic reactions and not used for mild allergic reactions, such as itching or sneezing.

Allergic reactions from broccoli or other substances, such as antibiotics, may not occur when ingesting the substance for the first time. This is why people who are allergic to antibiotics often do not experience allergic symptoms when they take them for the first time. Though an allergic reaction to broccoli can be a serious event, avoidance will prevent it from occurring.

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Discuss this Article

donasmrs
Post 3

@fBoyle-- That does sound like an allergic reaction. I react the same way to foods I'm allergic to. You could try a piece of broccoli by itself and see if you really are allergic to it or to something else. This might be dangerous though, so ask your doctor about it first.

If you're allergic to either broccoli or cauliflower, you're probably allergic to the other because these belong to the same family. So I would suggest being careful with both.

Also, I know that some people are allergic not to vegetables per say, but to the pesticides and chemicals used while growing the vegetables. I have a cousin who has an allergic reaction to all non-organic broccoli. She has no problem with organic broccoli.

It can be tough to figure out what exactly is triggering the allergy but it's best to stay away from that food until you're sure. I recommend getting a food allergy test as soon as possible.

SarahGen
Post 2

My three year old is severely allergic to broccoli. We found out last year when she developed hives all over her body after having just a few pieces. It was scary.

fBoyle
Post 1

I had a mild allergic reaction yesterday to a vegetable soup I ate. As far as I know, the soup had broccoli and cauliflower in it. After about half an hour of eating the soup, I felt nauseated and bloated. The inside of my mouth and my lips also became irritated and tingly.

I don't think I'm allergic to cauliflower because I eat it all the time without problems. I don't eat broccoli very often and I think I might be allergic to it.

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