What you ought to know about allergy cross-reactions


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As a nurse, you may think you’re aware of all your allergens and have them under control.

But did you know that some allergy sufferers can have allergic cross-reactions to foods that have similar protein structures as your main allergen? Yep, it’s one of nature’s un-fun surprises: Because you’re allergic to, say, latex, you may also be allergic to a bunch of foods…and not even know it!

To avoid an unpleasant and potentially dangerous allergic reaction on your lunch hour (okay, your lunch 5 minutes), check out this list of the top allergic cross-reactions. Several of these items are commonly found in hospital cafeterias, so be particularly mindful of what you nosh on at work. Who knows–this list may give you an excuse to avoid that mushy honeydew in the hospital cafeteria once and for all!

If you’re allergic to any of these items, be cautious around the associated food allergens:

1.      Got a terrible grass allergy? You may also be allergic to potatoes, melon, tomatoes, oranges, kiwis, cherries and peanuts.

2.      Speaking of peanuts, if you have a known allergy to them, you also may have a wheat, corn, legume or grass allergy.

3.      As a nurse, you’re probably well aware if you have a latex allergy, but you may also be allergic to avocados, bananas, potatoes, tomatoes, chestnuts, kiwis, herbs and carrots.

4.      Ragweed is one of the most common fall allergens, and it’s associated with allergies to melon, sunflower seeds, honey, bananas and chamomile.

5.      A plantain allergy may be indicative of a melon allergy.

6.      Allergic to birch? Watch out for apples, carrots, cherries, pears, peaches, plums, fennel, walnuts, spinach, wheat, cumin, coriander, anise, hazelnuts, peanuts, honey and celery.

7.      If you’re allergic to mugwort sage, you may also be allergic to spices, celery, melon, chamomile, hazelnuts, anise, coriander, cumin and fennel.

8.    If alder pollen drives your allergies mad, watch out for almonds, cherries, celery, parsley, peaches and pears.


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