7 rare food allergies you never knew existed

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Rare food allergies can be a big deal.

We've all heard horror stories of diners getting caught out by a stray peanut or piece of shellfish, but these reactions can, to a certain extent, be anticipated. What's really disastrous is when something takes us by surprise. 

rare food allergies Food can cause all sorts of unexpected responses (Credit: Alamy/David Stuart)

Rare food allergies

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.

Read More: Foods that can actually make you hallucinate

To help you stay alert, here are seven rare food allergies you never knew existed.

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 skin-crawling on earth.

In the southern states of America, symptoms can develop after a bite from the infamous Lone Star tick, a blood-sucking parasitic arachnid. After being bitten, many people report being unable to eat red meat for the rest of their lives.

Red meat is a rare food allergy Red meat is a rarefod allergy that can be caused by a tick bite - Credit: Pixabay

2. Gelatin

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.

gelatin is one of many rare food allergies Gelatin is one of many rare food allergies - Credit: Pixabay

3. Avocado

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.

Avocado is a rare food allergy An avocado allergy has also been linked to latex allergies - Credit: Pixabay

4. Mango

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.

Mango can cause a rare food allergy Mango skin is rich in urushiol - Credit: Pixabay

5. Corn

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.

Corn causes rare food allergies Corn allergies are rare but can be extremely serious - Credit: Pixabay

6. Caffeine

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.

Coffee in a cup Caffeine allergies can also be caused by energy drinks - Credit: Pixabay

7. Water

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.

Water in a pond Credit: Pixabay

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.

Read More: Common foods that can have a seriously weird effect on your body