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filling the void

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Family: Rosaceae

I just confirmed a suspicion I have had now for quite some time.
Not too long ago, I started displaying allergic symptoms when eating apples in winter. I didn't think much of it, but after a couple of trials, I simply gave up eating apples in winter. This was painful, as apples are not only delicious, but also healthy (though not for your teeth). Eating apples in spring and summer was no problem, as you will soon see why.
This winter, I also ran in to the same problems with almonds. They would give me the same allergic reactions of an itchy upper lip, and itching on the top of my mouth.
A couple of weeks ago, the same thing happened when I was eating some cherries that my roommate had brought home with him.
This made me very suspicious, but the dime didn't drop until today when I experienced almost the same thing from strawberries. My mouth would get itchy, and my face would get flushed. I sometimes get that reaction to tomatoes too, but that generally only happens when I have a small cut or something in my mouth. To any botanist readers, it should be abundantly clear now what types of foods I can't eat.
If you haven't guessed it already, it is fruits form the family Rosaceae. If you follow that link, you will find that all the above mentioned fruits are mentioned in one of the subfamilies of Rosaceae.
Unfortunately, the subfamily that contains cherries and almonds also contains plums, peaches and apricots, two of which I really really like. Surprisingly, I have never had allergic reactions to peaches or apricots.

Since I have pollen and pet allergies, I regularly take my antihistamines every day from early April to late august or September, depending on which country I am in. This is part or what clued me in to my new-found allergies, as eating apples in the summer presented absolutely not problems, since I was taking my allergy medicines at the time. Also, one small pill taken after the cherry incident completely relieved me of my pains in about 20-30 minutes (which is much faster than the 120 minutes that the box states with regards to pollen).

There is good and bad in this. The bad thing is that I can't eat a lot of the fruits I love anymore. The good thing is that as long as I take my medicine well beforehand, I can eat whatever I want. I just don't want to go from a 180 days-a-year allergy sufferer to 365 days-a-year.

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