An individual who has been diagnosed with any of the major food allergies can end up with a reaction after consuming chocolate. Always bear in mind that chocolate products can contain milk, soy, nuts, eggs and wheat depending on the product.
Once an individual has a known food allergy, it is vital to avoid the consumption of chocolate products. If an individual has a known food allergy, it is recommended to avoid chocolate products. Cocoa allergy is considered unlikely and quite uncommon. If the individual experiences rapid pulse rate after consuming chocolate, he/she might be experiencing an anaphylactic shock which requires immediate medical attention.
Link between chocolate and allergies
If an individual has been diagnosed with a food allergy, the consumption of chocolate increases the risk for exposure to an allergen, thus leading to a reaction. A food allergy occurs once the immune system falters and wrongly identifies the proteins in a specific food as a threat.
This instigates the bodily defenses and generates chemicals in the body to fight off the allergen. Immunoglobulin E or IgE antibodies are produced to defend the body as well as start the production of histamine. Take note that histamine is a hormone in the body that is responsible for protecting against infection but it can trigger evident swelling.
What are the allergy symptoms?
The distinctive allergy symptoms due to chocolate can develop rapidly or up to an hour after ingesting the offending food. Once the individual experiences any of the following symptoms, a doctor should be consulted right away:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Generalized skin itchiness or tingling
- Difficulty breathing
- Shortness of breath
How does the heart react to chocolates?
Once the individual experiences an increased but faint heart rate, he/she might be experiencing an anaphylactic shock. This is a severe allergic reaction that affects the whole body in which it progresses into a state of shock. Other symptoms of anaphylaxis include the following:
- Abdominal pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Facial swelling
- Skin redness
- Slurred speech
How to identify an allergic reaction
If the individual develops an allergic reaction after consuming foods that contain chocolate, an allergist should be consulted to determine the specific ingredients the individual is allergic to.
The allergist will extract a sample of blood or utilize a skin test to determine the foods that the individual is highly sensitive to. Once the potential triggers are determined, these must be avoided.