Food allergies are a big deal. Every year, thousands of unwitting diners get caught out by a stray peanut or piece of shellfish, leading to uncomfortable nights in the hospital, or occassionally even worse.
We’re all aware of the major allergy monsters and how to look out for them. But, beyond the big names like wheat and soy, there are a whole load of dangers that sneak under the radar. These reactions, though sometimes incredibly rare, can be just as lethal. Here are seven of the world’s most unusual food allergies.
1. Red Meat
It’s not unheard of for allergies to develop after an external event. The event that causes a red meat allergy, however, has to be one of the most bizarre on earth. In the southern states of America, symptoms can develop after a bite from the infamous Lone Star tick, a bloodsucking parasitic arachnid. After being bitten, many people report being unable to eat red meat for the rest of their lives.
It’s not just veggies who need to avoid bags of marshmallows. In very rare cases, some people can be allergic to the protein formed when animals are boiled down to make protein. Interestingly, it is believed that sufferers from this particular allergy are also more likely to be allergic to certain vaccines.
Avocado on toast might have become the calling card for a new generation of hipsters, but it can still prove deadly. Allergic reactions to avocado have been linked to latex allergies, as both substances actually share a similar protein structure. Anyone with either of these allergies is also likely to react badly to fruits like papaya, bananas and kiwis.
Similarly to avocado, mango has been known to prompt a reaction in latex allergy suffers. Where the two differ is that it isn’t just mango flesh that can cause problems. The skin is rich in urushiol, a substance found in both poison ivy and poison oak, so anyone with a bad reaction to either of these would also do well to avoid it.
Though far less common than other problems, corn allergies can be as severe as any on earth. Causing everything from hives to anaphylaxis, corn can be tricky to identify because the symptoms are so similar to so many other, less unusual conditions. If you do discover you have a corn allergy, doctors recommend that you avoid it in all its forms.
Many people find that coffee disagrees with them. However, as anyone with this condition will tell you, there’s a world of difference between intolerance and allergy. Caffeine allergies can result in severe anaphylaxis and can be caused by everything from energy drinks to coffee - not good for the sleepier members of society.
There can surely be nothing worse than being allergic to something that makes up 70% of your body. That nightmare is a reality for a few, very unlucky people. Aquagenic urticaria has only been reported in a few instances in human history, but is surely one of the worst allergies it’s possible to have. Causing hives and blisters as soon as water comes in contact with the skin, this condition is no joke.
Food allergies are no fun for anyone. Even things that sound relatively easy to avoid end up making eating a total pain. Anyone who is allergy free should thank their lucky stars that they don’t have to worry about what’s in their next meal.