Eggplant, also known as aubergine, is a fruit that is found in various types of food. A few examples include stews, vegetable lasagna, and many vegetarian cuisines. Although available year round, its peak season is during the fall.
Eggplant is identified as a fruit in the Nightshade family. If you react to tomatoes, peppers, or potatoes, it is likely you will react to eggplant, and vice versa. Generally people will find out they are allergic by having a reaction after eating something made with eggplant.
If an allergic reaction happens, immediately after ingestion, it is likely that you have a food allergy. However, occasionally a food allergy could be delayed. For severe allergic reactions, seek a professional in the area of allergies for a medical diagnosis. If a doctor believes there is potential for a life-threatening allergy to eggplant, an Epi Pen may be prescribed in case of an emergency.
Allergic reactions to eggplant usually present themselves after eating food that contains eggplant. A weak aversion to eggplant will produce a subtle allergic reaction with a slightly itchy mouth, lips, and/or throat. This reaction would be labeled as oral allergy syndrome and will have a worse effect during the seasonal time of fall due to ragweed allergens in the air. Another symptom would include the swelling of lips. A severe reaction would include the throat closing and feeling sick to your stomach. Infants and toddlers may get a reaction of a red skin rash through eggplant contact.
Relief of Allergy Symptoms
For slight allergic reactions, an antihistamine medicine, such as Benadryl, should help with any discomfort. Drink water or milk to help soothe your itchy mouth and throat. In cases of a severe reaction, an ambulance should be called. A trip to the Emergency Room may be necessary to control any extreme symptoms. This will allow for medical staff to keep an eye on the reaction in case it becomes life threatening.
Avoiding Eggplant Allergies
Luckily, eggplant isn't often hidden in foods in the manner that peanuts can be (oil, sauces, topping). Scan menus to look at the ingredients. Eggplant is commonly found in vegan and vegetarian meal options, so do your best to avoid them or ask your waiter if it is possible to have the meal without eggplant. Cooking at home is the best option, if you are concerned about eggplant showing up in your meal. At home you can control the amount of contact your food has to your allergens, and since you are preparing your own meal there will be nothing for you to worry about.
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