Do your mouth and tongue itch and burn after eating certain foods?

@blueskies (1186)
United States
March 13, 2007 8:59am CST
Does your mouth burn after eating certain foods? Do you experience itching lips and tongue or have a runny nose and watery eyes after ingesting fresh produce? If so, oral allergy syndrome may be to blame. I noticed a few years ago that certain foods made my mouth raw and sore when I ate them. Because of this, I stopped eating bananas and walnuts. As time went on, I started to notice that other foods bothered me as well. Apples, cucumbers, potatoes, almonds, tomatoes, and peaches seemed to cause the worst and most immediate reaction. When I mentioned my difficulty to my family doctor, he just shrugged and had no idea as to why I would be having this problem. That led me to search the internet for answers. A simple search of “burning mouth and tongue” led me to several entries explaining oral allergy syndrome. I was surprised to see that my severe allergy to birch and ragweed pollen could be causing me difficulty with the foods that I loved. It seems that your body mistakes the food proteins for the pollen proteins which you are allergic to, which causes the reaction. Many people are able to continue to enjoy their favorite foods simply by cooking the food item. Cooking changes the protein that is causing the reaction. This prevents the body from reacting to that protein. Unfortunately, cooking the foods doesn’t seem to work for me, I still have the same reaction to the foods when eaten cooked as I do when they are eaten raw. One thing that you can do to ease your oral allergy symptoms (it worked for me). Limit your exposure to the main allergen. For me, moving to a rental that did not have a large birch tree growing outside my bedroom window made a huge difference. My body was not able to handle the constant exposure to the birch pollen, so it was reacting to the least bit of protein that I ingested. Once I moved to a different house, I was able to enjoy apples and tomatoes occasionally. I plan to start eating raw honey produced in my area this weekend, as I’ve just discovered a honey shop here. I’ve heard that ingesting the raw honey can help to desensitize you to local pollens. I will let you know how well that works for me.
8 people like this
33 responses
@GardenGerty (71515)
• Marion, Kansas
13 Mar 07
Do let us know how your honey treatment progresses. I also sometimes drink a beverage made of apple cider vinegar and honey in water, it is supposed to be healthful in many ways. Of the foods you mentioned, I have only had trouble with two, bananas being the worst, but only if they are really overripe, or if they are served in red gelatin the way my grandma used to make it. Walnuts is the other one that will do it to me, but only after I have eaten quantities of them. I always assumed it was the tannic acid. I notice a lot of the foods you mention are really good sources of potassium, so I hope you make up for that some other way.
• United States
13 Mar 07
I knew I had oral allergies, but I didn't know that it can be more of a problem if there are other allergens around. That's something I'll have to take into account in the future. Thanks for the advice!
2 people like this
@deeeky (3669)
• Edinburgh, Scotland
13 Mar 07
A very strong curry has that affect on my mouth and tongue which makes me have to drink plenty of water to try and cool it down. but the taste does linger for quite a while longer than it should so I have to eat soemthing else to combat the burning sensation.
1 person likes this
@polachicago (19145)
• United States
13 Mar 07
This is very interesting to know. I didn’t hear much about oral allergy syndrome before. I get my eye swollen after eating salty food; basically I can't have salt at all. If I stay away from salt, I am fine.
1 person likes this
@snowflake5 (1580)
• United States
13 Mar 07
I have that problem after eating plums - don't know why, but my mouth just swells up. The thing is I usually forget, so every year when plums are in season, I buy a punnet, find I react badly and then give them up for the rest of the season - till next year comes round, by which time I've forgotten!
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Mar 07
I have never had that problem
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Mar 07
Wow I never heard of this. Why do we have to figure out what is wrong with us? Why don't doctors know. It is a good thing that you found this out. I am glad you were able to move and that has helped. The honey should help as the local pollens will be used to make it. Hhhhh wonder if this is anything like my son experiences. My son can eat certain foods and have no reaction but if they touch his skin he reacts.
@patootie (3593)
17 Mar 07
'Why don't doctors know' .. I hear this a lot in conjunction with allergies .. but 'we' are the only people who know how we feel when we eat certain foods .. surely it's in our own interests to do as much as we can to be as educated as possible about our own bodies ... if I feel I am having an 'allergic' reaction I write down everything I've eaten in the last 48 hours .. cross off those I;ve had before .. and cautiously experiment with what's left .. that helps me to avoid most things that give me allergic reactions .. a doctor simply can't do this as quick and as easily as we can .. so 'we' are the experts !!
18 Mar 07
My mouth doesn't go like that but if I eat too much strong cheese I get a pins and needles type of feeling spread across my face. The stronger the cheese and the more I eat the worse it is. Do you think that could possibly be an allergy?
@patootie (3593)
17 Mar 07
Well done you for tracking down what was causing the mouth problems .. I used to have a problems with meats and eggs .. all down to the fact that at the time the farming industry was using large doses of antibiotics to control disease in food animals .. I have an allergy to the anitbiotic and sufficient traces of the antibiotic were still in the meat I bought and that cause my antibiotic allergies to flare up .. Same things with the 'Flu virus jab they give every year .. although I am in the 'at risk' catagory should I catch 'flu (the proper thing, not just a bad cold) .. for many years I couldn't have the 'flu jab as the vaccine was grown on egg albumen .. and chickens were given antibiotics .. the antibiotics were in the eggs and so relayed into the vaccine .. noew they have changed the way the vaccines are cultured and I can have the 'flu jab ... Another big problem for me is Rape (no, not THAT kind). the rapeseed pollen gives me instant bad heads and dizziness (particularly bad when I'm driving around the countryside of course!) .. and if food has been cooked in rapeseed I react badly ..
• United States
16 Mar 07
Yes, I have oral allergy syndrome as well. It's really a bummer beacsue I can't eat plums, peaches, cherries or apples anymore. I really miss my plums! You have to wonder what they put in pesticides or whatever, because so many people have this syndrome these days. Intersting that your symptoms improved when you moved-- I never thought of that. I never has this before and now in the past few years I have, maybe there's too much pollen near my house.
@rainbow (6763)
14 Mar 07
I'm so sorry you have had these problems and I really hope the local honey helps, I was a bit upset today, my honey is from our village and have always had it but today I went into the garden centre whoh have honey from the next village, apparently their local honey actually comes from about 15 miles away, so is not really local at all to my mind, please make sure you get honey from as close to home as you can. Cod, haddock and crab do that to me, I still eat it although not as often. I can eat other fish, I realised when I took a second job in a fish and chip shop years ago that my hands are=ms and face itched when dealing with the fish and I would feel generally itchy, if I ate it it was worse. It's not as bad now I'm not in daily contact with it but occasionally other foods do it too.
• United States
14 Mar 07
I wasn't aware that such an allergy existed. It doesn't surprise me the doctor shrugged it off though. I didn't have a severe reaction to anything but I did experience a severe case of PMS. My doctor shrugged off my systoms as depression caused by too much stress because I had 4 children. All I can say is it's a good thing we both had the internet and were able to solve our health issues ourselves.
@ausnikki (4090)
• Brisbane, Australia
14 Mar 07
I actually have this problem with kiwi fruit (chinese gooseberries)they cause my mouth and throat to itch severely.It's a pain in the butt because I like kiwi fruit but can't eat it.
• Australia
14 Mar 07
As we get older, there sure is a tendency to find ourselves with more and more allergies, Im finding this to be true to myself alot. its always good to do a food elimination diet when ever you suspect anything, if you cant find whats causing a problem, surely go see a doctor. But I do agree with you, raw honey does help the digestive system and it does have alot of natural goodies which can benefit your health.
@ackars (1942)
• India
14 Mar 07
Yes it itch with ceratin foods...I ve personally sorted out some foods in India which cause burn and itching on eating them especially if they are not cooked properly...They include colocasia,amorphophallus,papaya,alocasia etc...All these except papaya are biological names for which I dont know the local laymans terms...I think its because of some special chemical compositon in these items...Among these,amorphophallus sometimes can make even your esophagus itch...Eating spicy foods really burn your tounge...
@rpebad (89)
• Uganda
14 Mar 07
my tough does itch after eating pineapples and sugar-cane.it has nothing to do with allergy.those fruits have substances that does repel with your tough.
@Bhutto (742)
• India
14 Mar 07
Until now i have no experience of such things.only in case of spicy food it will bur a bit other wise i have no problems.
• United States
14 Mar 07
My mouth doesn't usually itch or burn, but I have noticed that my eyes run whenever I am eating! I look like I am crying! Not just spicy foods, either. I can be eating the blandest food imaginable, like cornflakes or something, and my eyes will run! I can never figure out why! Could that be caused by some sort of allergy?
@melanie652 (2526)
• United States
14 Mar 07
I've had the inside of my mouth start itching after eating certain foods. I figure out it was a food allergy. Eggs is something I can't eat - my mouth itches and it really upsets my stomach. Almonds is something else I'm allergic to. I just don't eat those things. I used to occasionally eat eggs anyway, but would make sure to take an antihistimine first. Even though I didn't have the allergic, itchy reaction I still didn't feel good. I've heard that about raw honey desensitizing allergies. I think you need to make sure it's honey from your area. Good luck - hope it works for you!
• Philippines
14 Mar 07
I do have that experience when I eat crabmeat, certain type of fresh pineapple. Sometimes the allergy spread through out my body. I got red rashes. I haven't tried searching their real causes but I tried not to eat too much of crab and check the kinds of pineapple I have to eat.