Is a Food Latex Allergy contributing to your auto-immune problems?

Is Avocado my forbidden food even more than gluten?
Is Avocado my forbidden food even more than gluten?

I love Avocados. Growing up I didn’t particularly care for them but as I’ve gotten older, they are my love. I put them on everything. After all, they are heart happy foods right?

Wrong.

You can imagine my disappointment when Dr. Aukerman told me that I not only have a gluten allergy and have celiac, I also suffer from a latex allergy found in foods. He knew immediately from looking at me. He handed me a mirror and pointed out that the whites of my eyes were actually off white or gray and there was swelling around my lips. I also had a latex allergy on my chest – little white lines of allergy horror. I thought it was just my body. There were other things but these were the most obvious. Then he handed me this sheet of paper along with everything else in my packet that day, which also listed the other latex ridddled food I should avoid.

From Better Health in 120 days by Glen Aukerman, MD.
From Better Health in 120 days by Glen Aukerman, MD.

Eating foods that with latex-like proteins exposes people suffering from those allergic to latex. Apparently, our bodies can’t tell the difference between latex found in medical gloves and kiwi. Since I’ve cut out gluten, my body has become much more sensitive to these foods and the effects are more serious each time I eat them. (similar to gluten) Sometimes I just think my body is revolting against me and my brain lives in another world.

You should avoid the following foods if you have a known rubber latex allergy or a latex rash on your chin, cheeks and lines on your neck and chest.

Say Goodbye to avocado, banana, kiwi, chestnut, raw potato, tomato, stone fruits (peach, cherry), hazelnut, melons, celery, carrot, apple, pear, papaya and almond.

greer_latex_cross-reactivity
Foods to avoid with latex allergy

Ethylene is a gas used to quicken commercial ripening can increase the reaction in some people so it’s best to buy these items when they are locally grown and in season if you will have them at all. Companies frequently use this gas in bananas.

You never know what is going to go on with your food when it is being processed by large companies. Have you ever seen the lettuce video on YouTube where they actually physically peel plastic layers off the leaves?? Here is the clip – It’s really gross. They spray fruits and vegetables with that stuff so they stay “fresh” and look ripe in the grocery stores. It allows them to last longer than locally grown, fresh fruits and vegetables.

I will admit, I’ve been a naughty girl. Since I’ve cut gluten foods from my diet, I’ve been relying more on these forbidden fruits and maybe it’s about time it caught up with me.

It started Friday afternoon on our long drive back from Hilton Head. I thought I was just stiff from being in the car for 12 hours. My back ached liked crazy, I was abnormally sore from my workout the day before and my neck was throbbing with severe tension pain.

My fingers are the first to give way that something is wrong. It’s like they move in slow motion and I can barely type. What the hell is wrong with me (I think to myself), I’m only 30 how could I possible have arthritis like this.

My lips starting tingling too – it’s just from being in the sun I said all week. (knowing very well what Dr. Aukerman said during my first appointment)

I know I ate guacamole at lunch that day. But, I didn’t think I’d pay for it like this.

Fast forward to today. I ate Chipotle and yes, I devoured some guacamole.

img_3602
All day. My. Joints. Ached. I took the dog to the park and my knees throbbed just walking 10 minutes to the spot where he goes swimming.

Come on Mom! Throw me the stick...
Come on Mom! Throw me the stick…

My lips are tingling and I can see the red lines around them like that time at Dr. Aukerman’s office.

I can barely type this blog post because my fingers are so stiff and hurt so bad.

Conclusion: I should stop eating avocados.

But why? I love them so much. It just seems like my whole world is crashing down just because of another set-back, another list of foods I can’t eat anymore. It isn’t fair. I want a freaking bagel or a sandwich with everyone else. Why can’t I just have my banana and eat it too?

Have you struggled with these foods?

Do you have a latex food allergy? Leave a comment below and tell us about it….

Be Happy, Be Healthy

Rebecca

Want to learn more about latex in fruit?

Latex-Fruit Syndrome and Class 2 Food Allergy

Latex Allergy Blog

American Latex Allergy

Food Allergens

Comments

  1. Amanda Yoder says:

    I don’t think this is my issue, but I have a rash on my stomach–a stubborn one, so I have to ask the doc what foods might be causing it or it’s gluten in my soap, not sure yet. It is frustrating, first celiac, then lactose-intolerance, and i’m extremely sensitive to acids like tomatoes too! So very frustrating when it feels like so many foods are taken from what I can eat. However, when I look at my immediate family for the last several generations, they were farmers who ate grassfed beef, free range eggs, and potatoes A LOT, which salad/vegetables from the garden and only the fruits occasionally that grew near them…rarely wheat because they had to buy it and raw milk—it kind of reflects what’s left so maybe it’s what my body is best adept at handling (this is a problem frequently left out when saying the healthiest way is for everybody to “be vegetarian like Indians” or “eat Mediteranean” or “eat fish and seaweed like the Japanese cuz they live a long time” when studies have found that Caucasians don’t absorb nutrients from seaweed at all compared to native Japanese.)

     

  2. Jenny says:

    OMG! This is crazy! I have been battling a really bad allergy reaction in my skin which covers my mid section, arms and hands for close to 2 years and now just 2 wks ago started on my face! Have been to 4 doctors and no one could tell me what is except its allergy related. Well 3 months ago I ran into a person who looked at my arm and asked me what the hell was wrong with me and suggested it might be gluten. At that time I only ate wheat products (bread, cereal, pasta etc). I gave it all up and my skin magically began to clear up and the itch to go away. At the same time I started a hormone (latex) patch treament and also got hooked on sweet potatoes, avocados, bananas and strawberries, eating these everyday and boom, the itching and red spots came back with a vengeance. It was so bad that on Monday I had to go to my dermatologist so she could give me a Keladon (sterocrotisol) shot and cortisone cream. Still not helping. So yesterday I went on line to the website of a new doctor I am seeing on the 30th and there I found the information about latex. I could not believe that this is what has been close to driving me insane. And of course, I have been overdosing on the foods listed here!!! I tend to eat the same things every day. I even just recently gave up milk, cheese and eggs thinking that could also be affecting me, but still there has not been any relief. Yesterday I removed my hormone patches and called my doctor to get other treament. Today I had for breakfast a cereal that is made of brown rice, no bananas or berries, with rice milk! Just had for lunch quinoa with plain broiled chicken. Don’t know what I will be eating for dinner! Feeling much better, though still have a little bit of itching but my red areas are starting to get better. I was at the point of embarrasment and having to quit going to the gym because my body looked like a checkers board and the sweat would drive me crazy. I am now hoping that by eliminating all of these foods and having the doctor confirm that a latex allergy is what I have, I will get my life back. I do know it is going to be hard because I am a very picky eater and I loved all the foods on the list. Will see…

     

  3. Amy says:

    Sister, I feel your pain! Literally! I’ve been suffering from latex food syndrome for years and only in the last couple of years have I really felt the BIG effects. Forget the list of foods I can’t eat. That’s most everything, especially if any part of the plant bleeds white when you cut into it. Prepackaged foods are out of the question because of the additives and thickeners. I have a list of 32 foods I can eat without any reaction whatsoever. I’m a Chef. Food is my LIFE and it’s a painful HELL every time I decide to eat just a little something off my list. I carry an Epi-Pen with me and keep one in the office because I just never know when one of the off-limits foods will send me to the ER in respiratory distress.
    These are the things I CAN eat: Grass-fed beef, bison, elk, venison, fish (no shellfish-allergic), wild turkey, organic chicken, antelope, eggs, cooked spinach, well-cooked collard greens, cooked onion, garlic & shallot, wild black rice, blueberries, grapes, wine (thank God!), red wine vinegar, olives, olive oil, capers, cheese, milk (very little), frozen yogurt with no thickening agents, plain yogurt, organic cooked dates, honey, cooked mushrooms, coffee, tea, cocoa powder.

     

    • Maria says:

      Amy, I think that I’m almost in your same diet, thanks for telling me of the cook mushrooms, cause I was having a little pain, on that, so I’m gonna cooked it we’ll done! Because , the way my allergies reacts, like I’m having a heart attack , lm treating it like is a acid reflux, so since I’m drinking charcoal activated, is muuuuuuuuch better, you can find it in vitamin shop

       

  4. Rebecca says:

    I recently just learned about latex allergy and foods. I have been allergic to latex my whole life and never clued into this. Over the passed 2 years I have experienced many different health problems and have gone for thousands of test. My abdominal area swelled up so big within a 3 day period that it causes me to gain 20lbs in those 3 days! after that i started waking up with large swollen areas on either my forearms or my legs. They would be large, hot and very itchy. Doctors thought it was a million other things, like an allergic reaction to a bug bite and never put two and two together. But after hearing about this and researching it more it all makes sense to me! Im also a vegetarian so I eat a lot of these foods that are sensitive to me now. Im starting to narrow my options down myself without my doctors help. Im also studying to be a holistic nutritionist so doctors opinion i am kind of biased too. Has anyone had any of these symptoms? I have read that there are different degrees of it.

     

  5. Hillary says:

    I am so excited. I have been gluten free and dairy free for years. In the last two years while breast feeding my son, I’ve had to eleminate soy, along with many latex foods. Sometimes when my husband and I drive past restaurants we joke, wouldn’t it be fun to eat out….then I say, ‘yeah, remeber how sick I was when we ate out?’ I dont miss my gut issues, my rashed hands, my hair falling out or those God awful stomach pains that would render me immobile. I do however miss all the new recipes we used to try. I often find myself staring in the refrigerator wondering ‘why hasn’t someone written a cook book for this group of allergeries?’ I am so EXCITED to have found your website! It may just put the creative spark back in my cooking. :)
    Thanks,
    Hillary

     

  6. Heather says:

    I really wish latex fruit syndrome would go main stream. It’s very difficult when people don’t understand it. I ate the comment “I never heard of anyone being allergic to bananas! That is just crazy”. Yes people are allergic and it will kill me and my son, is what I want to scream! LOL
    It’s very frustrating with the school too. They will take out peanuts but we had to fight for years on the bananas. When my son and I both had to use a epi pen after being in the school from bananas being served they finally listened. My husband can’t even eat them because if he kisses one of us without washing his mouth or hands well it is off to the ER.
    I can’t have any foods on the list which is a lot bigger than the one above now.

    I get why people don’t understand it because I don’t always. Like I didn’t know about the hair falling out, joint pains and the rash just staying around. I thought I had to have a reaction to where I itched bad, with a rash and breathing problems. This explains a lot lot more now.
    I have been diagnosed with Lupus, fibromyalgia, & now looking at MS. I wonder if it isn’t just all the latex fruit syndrom. I say this because they go back and fourth on the lupus every few years.
    I have been knowingly fighting this for 10 years but I have been allergic to latex since birth and strawberries us other foods off and on.

    If your just starting out in this or have had it a while remember it isn’t just foods you have to worry about. Shampoos is a BIG ONE for us. There is soy, banana purée, but oils, sunflower oils and other things on the lost. Lotions, skin care products, soaps, hair sprays and more. A lot of meds have soy protein has a binder, mostly capsules so you have to check the inactive ingredients on these things too. A lot of the natural or herbal meds use soy or sunflower.
    Be sure and look of the scientific name to all of these foods too, I can post a link on a bit if you want. I found out about my banana allergy by getting sick every time we went to my friends for dinner. She used a lot of marinades and every one had a banana purée in it as a thickener (it is made in a powder form too and used in soaps and candies). You have to get to know these names to stay safe or to keep the kids safe.
    Epi pens are always a great thing thing to have on hand just in case. You never know when that eating it one more time will be the one that gets you the most. That is how I lived for years, eating it anyhow and taking benadryle. Then my dr told me every time I eat one it makes me more allergic and some day I want have help to get to the ER. It took that happening for me to open my eyes.
    Well I didn’t know that the names where not listed has we “know” them Normally & I just looked at the allergy list not the whole ingrident list. After 3 bites I was on the floor not able to breath. Thank goodness my 4 year old was home due to a ice storm! He called his daddy on my ipone, ran across the field in his undies and no shoes to get our cop neighbor in the ice of all things. He saved my life! The cop gave me the epi pen I had manged to get out and throw toward him under his feet, I couldn’t talk at all. The ambulance came and gave me another shot plus IV meds. I couldn’t move at that point.
    Anyhow I told you that part to let you know how bad or could be to just keep eating these things. It really effects is worse each time.

    Thank you for spreading the word about this and I hope others do too. ;)

    It is a very hard and frustrating thing to have because it changed your whole lifestyle in the blink of a eye.

    ((As I was typing this my son had a reaction to a candy cane… It has sunflower oil in it and I had NO IDEA. I had to look up the manufacturer to find it out)) I’m
    Not proof reading due to this I need to go watch him but I had to finish this post I started 2 hours ago… Much love and hugs to all who deal with this.

     

  7. Anita says:

    Wow~! I am allergic to latex and really only thought about gloves and condoms. I had no idea it extended to foods and therefore ingredients for skin care. I’m very happy to learn this since I’m a skin care formulator~! No wonder there are so many unexplained reactions to different creams while everyone else loves them.

    I’m so happy to find this info. Thank you so much for posting it~! Now all I can think is this is going to be a TON of work. Not only figuring out what I can eat, but I’m going to have to change some of my formulas for myself and you~! I found this by searching the link between latex and shea butter (yes, something else we’re supposed to avoid).

    @Rebecca YES! My bloating is ridiculous~! I look like I’m 6 months pregnant after eating certain foods. I had gained a ton of weight, then lost 65 lbs over 2 years and have now gained back almost 50 lbs in about 3 months after becoming a vegetarian. Now I can see that a lot of what I’m eating is on the no-no list – not to mention the great things I’m using on my skin – which are apparently related to latex, Ugh~! I’m so tired from this~!

     

  8. Anita says:

    Here is a research sheet about the link between latex allergy and shea butter:

    http://latexallergyresources.org/sites/default/files/newsletter-attachments/The%20ALERT%20Dec%202012.pdf
    Anita recently posted…15gm Vitamin C Ester Ascorbyl Ascorbic Ester C PowderMy Profile

     

    • Anita says:

      Here is a research sheet about the link between latex allergy and shea butter:

      http://latexallergyresources.org/sites/default/files/newsletter-attachments/The%20ALERT%20Dec%202012.pdf

       

  9. Bee says:

    Excellent blog post! I get the same inflammatory response too from these foods. Avocado and kiwi are especially bad. Do u know where cucumber lies on this spectrum bc that’s another fruit I notice issues with

    Lastly, do u experience gi issues when u eat these foods? What has been ur experience?