Mustard allergy is an uncommon type of food allergy. Once an individual develops the common allergy symptoms after eating foods that contain mustard, it is best to set an appointment with a doctor to ratify or dismiss the likelihood of an allergy.
During testing, an allergist should determine that the immune system produces immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies once the body is exposed to mustard. If an individual is allergic to mustard, the body responds to its proteins as if they are a threat. The body initiates the production of IgE antibodies to fight off the proteins. During the production of these antibodies, the mast cells take action by releasing histamine which is responsible for causing the swelling and inflammation in the soft tissues in the body, resulting to the common symptoms.
What to watch out for
Even if an individual experiences undesirable reactions after consuming mustard, it does not necessarily mean that he/she has mustard allergy. A possible condition that can trigger comparable symptoms of a food allergy is intolerance.
Both conditions are usually confused due to the similarity of the symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating and gas. Food intolerance is described as malfunction of the digestive tract to generate the required enzymes to properly digest mustard. Consulting a doctor is a must to pinpoint the exact condition.
Effects of mustard allergy
An individual with mustard allergy can experience various effects all over the body. This allergy can affect the lungs, sinuses, skin and the digestive tract. The following are the usual effects of an allergic reaction to mustard:
- Nasal congestion and runny nose
- Postnasal drip
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest tightness
If any of these symptoms are present after the individual ate foods that contain mustard, it simply indicates that he/she is allergic. The best to determine the allergy is to consult a doctor so that proper testing can be carried out.
An effective treatment for mustard allergy is complete avoidance of mustard once a diagnosis is given by the doctor. If the individual unintentionally consumed mustard, medications such as antihistamines can be given for minor allergy symptoms such as skin irritation, runny nose and nasal congestion.
As for severe reactions, the individual might require a shot of epinephrine as soon as possible to help alleviate the symptoms.