Symptomatic treatment is prescribed depending on the severity and severity of allergy signs. These may be antihistamines (loratadine, cetirizin) or hormonal drugs (prednisone). For relief of skin symptoms, antihistamine ointments are used, and vasoconstrictive sprays and drops are used to eliminate nasal congestion.
To remove traces of the allergen from the body, the doctor prescribes sorbents. The sorbent provides a detoxification effect, adsorbs antigen residues and toxic metabolic products on its surface, prevents their absorption and reduces the intensity of external manifestations of allergic reactions.
Specific immunotherapy is carried out by sequential administration of an increasing dose of the allergen, starting with the minimum values. It can save the patient from allergies for a long time.
Since, in the case of this type of allergy, allergen is fairly easy to eliminate from the diet, a kind of etiotropic therapy is to avoid eating citrus. A skin test will help determine which fruit causes a hypersensitivity reaction; in some cases, it can only be excluded, without necessarily abstaining from all citrus fruits.
Citrus AllergiesIt is considered in modern allergology as a type of food allergy – a specific hypersensitivity to an external foreign irritant that enters the body with food. The substances that trigger such an allergic reaction, in this case are the components of citrus fruits. Many experts, allergists, immunologists believe that the development of allergies to citrus fruits play a significant role chemicals that process the fruit to maintain an attractive appearance for buyers. Diphenyl, the active compound without color, taste and smell, is most commonly used for these purposes, and fungicides and sulfuric gas are used to protect against insects and other pests. It should also be noted that the human enzyme system usually adapts to the food that is common for the locality in which it was born and raised,
The prevalence of this pathology in our country is associated with the deterioration of general environmental well-being, coupled with the increased level of citrus fruit imports from China, South Africa, Egypt and Morocco over the past decades. A person who had previously eaten, for example, a couple of slices of orange on the New Year, could not even guess that his body would respond to the regular use of this fruit with a pathological hypersensitivity reaction. Most often, such an allergy is acquired.
Causes of Citrus Allergies
Citrus fruits are classified as highly allergenic. If you are allergic to citrus fruits, the high molecular weight component of citrus can be an allergen – usually a protein compound with antigenic activity. Just as alien, the body can be perceived special chemicals that process the fruit to preserve the presentation, extend the shelf life, make it more attractive to the buyer.
Equally important is the high content of liquid and sugar in citrus fruits – because of this, if not properly stored, fruits quickly become covered with mold, which, in turn, is also a strong allergen. Storing citrus next to other moldy food contributes to cross-contamination – fungal particles can be on the fruit, even if the storage conditions are fully respected.
Additional factors for the occurrence of citrus allergies can be a genetic propensity for allergic diseases or other immune pathologies, congenital or acquired immunity, disturbance of the gastrointestinal tract, urinary system. The frequency and amount of citrus used in food, as well as the age of the primary intake of antigen in the body – all this significantly affects the susceptibility of the organism to the allergen.
Symptoms of Citrus Allergies
An allergic reaction occurs almost immediately, usually 10-15 minutes is enough for the development of the first symptoms. External signs of an allergy from forty minutes about several days remain. The spectrum of symptoms is quite wide, due to the fact that the disease affects various organs and systems of human organs.
Very often, especially in pediatric patients, such an allergy is manifested by skin reactions, namely the development of an unpleasant rash, itching, redness, urticaria, eczema. Eye syndrome is expressed in the form of allergic conjunctivitis: edema, itching, redness of the mucous membrane of the eyes, tearing occurs.
Respiratory manifestations range from allergic rhinitis (nasal congestion, mucus discharge) to bronchospasm, accompanied by wheezing and choking. On the part of the digestive system, the following pathological reactions can be observed – stomach pain, diarrhea, flatulence, nausea, vomiting. Less common are hearing impairment and dizziness due to low blood pressure.
Citrus Allergy Complications
In severe forms of allergic reactions, life-threatening symptoms may appear, such as Quincke’s edema – a pronounced, rapidly developing angioedema, asthma attack, and anaphylactic shock.
Without the immediate provision of specialized emergency medical care and further monitoring of health by an allergist-immunologist, such complications can be fatal.
Diagnosis of Citrus Allergies
Diagnostics is carried out on the basis of the collected anamnesis, the establishment by the attending physician of the fact of taking the product with the occurrence of symptoms. Since citrus allergy is the most commonly acquired condition, the diagnostician should pay attention to both the functioning of the digestive and excretory systems and the patient’s immune status. Since the genetic nature of the disease cannot be ruled out, the doctor should request and analyze the family history of the patient.
In the process of choosing a treatment regimen, it is important to distinguish between citrus allergies and individual food intolerances of a particular product.
Recognize hypersensitivity to citrus with the help of skin samples, set by the method of scarification or the method of prik-test. A few days before the test, the patient should stop taking symptomatic treatment (antihistamines or hormones) in order to avoid false-negative results. The test is carried out using water-salt solutions of protein-polysaccharide complexes isolated from the fruit pulp. On the skin of the inner side of the forearm treated with a disinfectant composition, liquid droplets with an allergen and test liquid are applied to eliminate false results. Scratches or pricks about 1 mm deep are applied through a drop with sterile individual instruments – a lancet or a needle.
In the case of a positive result, the reaction is observed fifteen to twenty minutes after the start of the test, it persists up to forty minutes. Since this sample is specific, it allows you to select a certain type of provoking allergen, and to optimize the patient’s diet accordingly.
Forecast and prevention of citrus allergies
In order to avoid the appearance of repeated pathological reactions, it is enough to refrain from consuming the allergenic product. People suffering from allergies, and especially patients with complicated allergic reactions in history, must always have access to antihistamines, as well as a solution of epinephrine for injection in case of angioedema or anaphylactic shock.
Faced with an episode of allergy in oneself or in a loved one, it is better not to postpone the visit to an allergist-immunologist – the disease can be life-threatening with sudden complications