Andre Drummond made national news this week because of a reported allergic reaction to avocado. The Detroit Pistons were in Mexico City to play the Dallas Mavericks. He reportedly was in a restaurant and told the waiter he was allergic to avocados, despite the warning, avocado was present in his food and he had a reaction. Andre was later seen at events wearing sunglasses because his eyes were still puffy.
“He came into practice [on Wednesday] and his eyes were all swollen,” said Pistons coach Dwane Casey. “I thought he had gotten ahold of some bad tequila or something, but he doesn’t drink tequila. He had a bad reaction to [avocados]. He was going to try to get his contacts in. He was trying to let it rest as much as possible.”
Avocado is not one of the most common food allergies, the top 9 allergens are; wheat, milk, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish.
Avocado can also be a part of oral allergy syndrome, where one is allergic to pollen and it cross reacts with certain fruits and vegetables. For avocado, it cross reacts with latex allergy. Banana, kiwi and chestnut also do the same.
Many celebrities and famous people in the past have stated their allergies has caused them specific problems.
Andre later gave an interview in which he stated, “I went to a restaurant and asked for some ceviche and I know people put avocados in ceviche. I asked the lady four times and my friend knows Spanish and I had him ask her too,” Drummond told The Detroit News. “She said there wasn’t any avocado in there. I said, ‘Are you sure?’ before she brought out the food.
“The food comes out and my plate is green. I asked my friend: ‘Ask her again if there’s avocado in there because my plate is green.’ I wasn’t trying to eat it if there’s avocado in there. She said no.
“I started devouring it and I get to almost the bottom of the plate and I see a big strip of avocado in there. Three or four minutes later, my throat starts to close, everything starts to itch, and my eyes start watering.”
The reaction he is describing sounds like a true IgE mediated food allergy reaction. Patients who do have this type of food allergy reactions should always carry an injectable epinephrine around in case a situation like this aries. Epinephrine is the treatment of choice and not an anthistamine (benadryl, claritin, zyrtec, allegra).
Andre Drummond ended up playing the game and he registered 34 minutes, 23 points and 15 rebounds in the loss, so it seems he recovered well from his reaction. First line treatment for food allergy reactions are injectable epinephrine, we don’t know if that was used or not. Antihistamines will not treat and reverse the signs of anaphylaxis.
If we hear further information about Andre Drummond’s avocado allergy, we will be sure to update this post.