The proteins in birch pollen is identical to plum and people with birch pollen allergy may develop this allergy. People with a pollen allergy experiences oral allergy syndrome. The symptoms of this kind of allergy included itchy mouth, scratchy throat, hives, vomiting, abdominal pain, asthma, difficulty in breathing, anaphylaxis or swelling of the lips. Sometimes the immune system wrongly determines plum proteins as a threat and produces antibodies to detect them. This usually occurs due to cross reaction between foods due to birch pollen. Skin prick tests and other testing methods like blood test, oral food challenge and food elimination diet are used by allergist to test the kind of allergy.
Ordinarily, such a allergic reaction is triggered within seconds or minutes after consuming the food. The allergic reactions stops after throwing the raw fruit out. Sometimes when the reaction is rapid it causes life threatening conditions known as anaphylaxis. If that is the case, the doctor recommends epinephrine auto-injector. Cooking of food before consumption is also recommended. Canned and processed fruits are relatively safer. Peeling of skin of the fruit before consumption.
Such allergies can easily be avoided by avoiding the food or maintaining a diet. The only hard task is to recognize the type of allergy. In skin prick tests if- The tests are positive if there is a wheal or a raised white bump surrounded by a small circle of itchy red skin. If no wheal appears than the person is not allergic to the tested food. Oral food challenges are also recommended when the allergists want to know if the patient has outgrown the allergy or not. In the oral food challenge if- There are mild reactions such as flushing or hives. The allergy is affirmed. If there are no reactions. The food allergy is ruled out.
The kind of allergy is detected by skin prick test, which includes- Placing a drop of solution containing the food allergen on forearm or back. Scratching or pricking the skin to allow a tiny amount of solution to enter just below the surface. Oral food challenge includes the following procedure- The allergist feed the suspected food in measured doses. They start with very small amounts that are unlikely to cause symptoms. The patient is put under observation for any sign of a reaction. Larger and larger doses are given until the symptoms are evident.