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The modern world is rich in allergic diseases. Carrot allergy is a common form of food allergy. Carrots, due to many factors, can bring problems no less than any other vegetable or fruit, so it is important not to forget about precautions.
Its manifestations are varied and may include skin rashes, itching, rashes on the mucous membranes and dyspeptic symptoms in the form of diarrhea. Of great danger are severe allergic reactions - Quincke's edema and anaphylactic shock.
Is a vegetable an allergen?
Carrots contain proteins and glycoproteins that can cause an allergic reaction. The vegetable itself has a low allergenic potential and causes hypersensitivity reactions in only 2% of the population. However, in practice, the incidence of carrot allergy is much higher. This is due to cross-allergy.
It is characterized by the fact that when carrot proteins enter the body, the immune cells begin to regard them as other allergens due to structural similarities. This is due to the fact that the proteins in its composition are structurally identical to the proteins of dandelion, birch and willow pollen. These protein compounds are strong allergens and sensitize the body.
Causes of an allergic reaction
The immediate cause of an allergic reaction is eating or contacting carrots during cooking.
- The highest incidence of allergies is observed with the consumption of raw carrots or carrot juice in large quantities.
- Less commonly, allergies occur in people who have consumed thermally processed or canned carrots.
- In a young child who is breastfed, an allergic reaction may occur due to the presence of carrots in the mother's diet.
Symptoms of the disease
Allergy symptoms usually develop 1-3 hours after eating carrots, less often after 5-8 hours. The clinical picture is characterized by mucocutaneous and dyspeptic manifestations.
The mucocutaneous signs of allergy include:
- a rash in the form of blisters with transparent contents or deep red spots - most often they are located in the chest, arms and face;
- itching and burning in the area of the rash;
- ulceration or flaking of the lips (allergic cheilitis);
- redness and swelling of the oral mucosa;
- itching and burning in the mouth.
Dyspeptic symptoms are manifested by the following symptoms:
- bouts of cramping abdominal pain;
- nausea, less often vomiting.
Much less often, manifestations of allergy to carrots are allergic conjunctivitis or respiratory disorders in the form of a runny nose, cough, sneezing or shortness of breath.
Why is it dangerous?
The danger of hypersensitivity is the development of severe acute allergic reactions that pose a threat to life. These include:
- Quincke's edema - characterized by a massive spread of dense edema to the subcutaneous fat of the face and neck, less often of the extremities. In 35% of cases, swelling extends to the larynx, which causes acute respiratory failure. If the patient is not helped in time, he will die from suffocation. The first signs that allow one to suspect Quincke's edema are puffiness of the face and neck, coughing and a hoarse voice.
- Toxic epidermal necrolysis - extreme manifestation of an allergic skin reaction. In this case, the formation of large blisters, filled with a transparent liquid with an admixture of blood. Subsequently, the upper layer of the skin begins to be torn away, and large ulcers and erosion form on the surface of the body.
- Anaphylactic shock - the most severe type of allergic reaction. It is characterized by profound disturbances of microcirculation and a sharp decrease in blood pressure. The person collapses and loses consciousness. Due to circulatory disorders and hypotension, all vital organs suffer, which leads to death without medical assistance.
The diagnosis of an allergy episode is based on the patient's history and clinical examination. However, these methods make it possible to establish only the presence of an allergic reaction, but do not make it possible to determine the allergen itself.
In this case, after the course of treatment, the physician may prescribe a diagnostic administration of the product, i.e. deliberately eating carrots and evaluating the patient's condition. As a rule, such provocative tests are carried out under the supervision of a doctor.
An immunological study with the determination of immunoglobulins E to carrot allergens is a specific and reliable diagnostic method that allows to identify the hypersensitivity of the body. For the analysis, it is necessary to donate venous blood.
Step by step instructions for treatment
Important! To select the correct treatment regimen, you should consult a doctor. Any drug, even directed to treat allergies, can aggravate the manifestations of an allergic reaction and has many side effects.
If you suspect toxic epidermal necrolysis or Quincke's edema, you should not self-medicate. In such cases, you should immediately call the ambulance team, because there is a direct threat to human life.
In mild cases, it is sufficient to take any antihistamine tabletavailable in the house (Suprastin, Diphenhydramine, Cetrin, Alercaps, Loratex).
If the allergic reaction is severe, then antihistamines are administered intramuscularly or intravenously:
- Suprastin 2% - 1 ampoule.
- Diphenhydramine 1% - 1 ampoule.
Intramuscular or intravenous administration of antihistamines is used only in exceptional cases and after consultation with a doctor.
In the case when the patient has Quincke's edema or epidermal necrolysis, glucocorticosteroids (Prednisolone, Methylprednisolone) are additionally injected into the vein.
For the treatment of manifestations of an allergic reaction, a group of antihistamines is used. They reduce the effect of histamine (an allergy mediator) on the body by blocking specific receptors. An addition to pharmacotherapy is traditional medicinereducing the appearance of itching and rash.
The use of 2nd or 3rd generation antihistamines is recommended. These include:
- Loratadin (Lorand, Claritin) - 10 mg (1 tab.) 1 time per day.
- Desloratadine (Alergostop, Loratek, Elius) - 5 mg (1 tab.) 1 time per day.
- Cetirizine (Paralazin, Tsetrin) - 5 mg (1 tab.) 2 times a day.
The drugs must be drunk throughout the entire period as long as the manifestations of allergies are expressed and 2-3 days after the symptoms subside. The average duration of the course of treatment is usually 5-7 days.
Reference! 1st generation antihistamines (Diphenhydramine, Suprastin, Tavegil) are not recommended for use. They are less selective and have a negative effect on the central nervous system and heart.
If the allergy manifests itself only with skin rashes with mild itching, then you should limit yourself only to ointments containing glucocorticosteroids:
- prednisolone or hydrocortisone ointment;
The ointment is applied only to the affected skin with a thin layer 1-2 times a day. The course of treatment is no more than 5-7 days. Long-term use of glucocorticosteroid ointments leads to the formation of age spots, trophic ulcers and areas of hyperkeratosis.
Allergic skin rashes can be lubricated with olive oil. It has antioxidant properties and can help reduce itching and inflammation. Some medicinal plants have similar effects:
- aloe juice;
- decoction of chamomile or centaury;
- rosehip oil;
- decoction of oak bark.
The affected skin should be lubricated 2-3 times a day. With severe puffiness, you can use compresses from raw potatoes, pounded to a mushy state. After the disappearance of the rash, the course of herbal medicine is stopped.
Adults and children prone to carrot allergies are advised to follow an elimination and hypoallergenic diet. Elimination involves the complete elimination of carrots and dishes prepared with its content from the diet.
A hypoallergenic diet is a therapeutic food aimed at reducing the sensitization of the body. It involves avoiding foods with a high allergenic potential. These products include:
- red apple varieties;
- cow's milk;
- carbonated drinks;
- sweets and pastries.
It is recommended to give preference to cereals and vegetables, lean meat and dairy products. It is necessary to drink at least 1.5 liters of clean drinking water per day in order to reduce the phenomena of internal intoxication of the body.
A hypoallergenic diet should be followed during manifestations of allergies, as well as within 10-14 days after the signs of an allergic reaction subside. An elimination diet should be followed at all times to avoid repeated episodes of food allergies.
Carrots rarely cause allergies. They grow different varieties of vegetables in their own garden for the preparation of various dishes and use for medicinal purposes, and they also give carrots for food to animals. And not only the vegetable, but also its seeds have healing properties.
Preventive measures consist in the complete exclusion of carrots and dishes prepared from it from the diet.
It is recommended to pay great attention to strengthening the immune system, because any form of allergy is a manifestation of an inadequate response of the immune system to a foreign substance. For this purpose, the intake of immunomodulators, hardening and a full healthy diet is shown.
Despite their low allergenic potential, carrots often cause food allergic reactions. This is due to the phenomenon of cross-allergy and the similarity of its proteins with strong natural allergens. The clinical picture of allergy is individual and can be manifested by skin rashes, itching or dyspeptic symptoms.
In severe cases, Quincke's edema, Lyell's syndrome and anaphylactic shock may develop. Treatment involves taking antihistamines, avoiding carrots from the diet, and following a hypoallergenic diet.