Dr. Barbara Huggins

Allergic Kiss

February 14, 2008

Allergic Kiss -  February 14, 2008Serious food allergies send 30,000 people to the emergency room every year and are responsible for 200 deaths. That's 3 times more than those who die from insect stings. But not all food allergies are caused by eating a particular food. UT Health Center's Dr. Mom tells you why a sweet embrace sealed with a kiss can go sour.

Roses are red, violets are blue, you can kiss me but before you do...

When you kiss your Valentine sweetie, be sure you give a love reaction and not an allergic reaction. Food allergies affect children and adults alike. 8% of children younger than six years experience food intolerances. It is also estimated that 1 to 2% of adults are sensitive to food or food allergies. Peanut and/or tree nut allergy affects about three million Americans, and are responsible for the vast majority of fatalities due to food-induced anaphylaxis.

Can kissing cause an allergic reaction?
Brushing your teeth, rinsing with mouthwash, water, or Listerene will not remove a food protein from the mouth. Studies in peanut allergic patients show that peanut protein can be present up to 4 hours later – even after brushing and rinsing the mouth. Anyone with a severe allergy to a food protein could be at risk of a life-threatening allergy if they are exposed that that protein, and that includes kissing!

Food allergy symptoms:

Let your sweetie know of any food allergies you may have so these foods may be totally avoided. The last place you want to be on Valentine’s Day is the emergency room.

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