Medically reviewed by Sian Baker, Dip ION mBANT mCNHC
on January 19, 2024. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Check My Body Health blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
Mangoes, with their sweet and succulent flesh, are a tropical delight for many. However, for some people, the enjoyment of this flavourful fruit may be tinged with concern about the possibility of a mango allergy.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the world of mango allergies, shedding light on the signs and symptoms, testing methods, and important considerations for those who suspect an adverse reaction to this tropical treat.
Mango allergy symptoms
Mango allergy symptoms can manifest in various ways. Affecting different systems of the body. Common symptoms include:
- Skin Reactions: Itching, hives, redness, or swelling.
- Gastrointestinal Issues: Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or diarrhoea.
- Respiratory Symptoms: Sneezing, nasal congestion, coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath.
- Anaphylaxis: In severe cases, a mango allergy can lead to anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction that requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms may include difficulty breathing, a drop in blood pressure, and loss of consciousness.
What causes a Mango allergy?
A mango allergy occurs when the immune system identifies proteins in mangoes as harmful invaders, triggering an allergic response. The proteins responsible for this reaction are found in various parts of the mango, including the skin and pulp.
The difference between a food allergy and food intolerance
It’s essential to distinguish between a food allergy and food intolerance. A food allergy involves the immune system, triggering a rapid and sometimes severe response. In contrast, food intolerance does not involve the immune system and typically leads to digestive issues, such as bloating or diarrhoea.
How common is a Mango allergy?
While mango allergies are possible, it’s crucial to recognise that food intolerances are more common than food allergies. According to recent studies, food intolerances affect a significant portion of the population, with estimates suggesting that up to 20% of people worldwide may experience some form of food intolerance.
How do you test for a Mango allergy?
If you suspect a mango allergy, consulting with an allergist is essential for accurate diagnosis and appropriate management. Common testing methods include:
- Skin Prick Test: Small amounts of allergens, including mango proteins, are applied to the skin, and the skin is pricked to observe any allergic reactions.
- Blood Test: A blood sample is taken to measure the presence of specific antibodies (IgE) associated with allergies. At Check My Body Health we offer a range of Blood Allergy Tests to help you diagnose potential allergies.
What other foods might you be allergic to
Cross-reactivity between mangoes and certain other foods is possible due to similarities in proteins. Individuals with mango allergies might also experience reactions to foods such as:
- Cashews: Cross-reactivity may occur due to shared proteins with mangoes.
Pistachios: Similar proteins in pistachios may trigger reactions in those allergic to mangoes.
- Poison Ivy: Mangoes belong to the same botanical family as poison ivy, and some individuals with mango allergies may experience cross-reactivity.
Navigating a potential mango allergy requires a vigilant understanding of symptoms, testing options, and potential cross-reactivities with other foods. Seeking professional medical advice is crucial for accurate diagnosis and guidance on managing allergic reactions. By staying informed and exploring suitable alternatives, individuals with mango allergies or intolerances can continue to make informed dietary choices and maintain their overall well-being.