Mushrooms are widely consumed as a delicious and healthy food worldwide. However, some individuals may experience an allergic reaction after consuming mushrooms. Mushroom allergy is an immune system response to the proteins in mushrooms. The symptoms can range from mild to severe and can be life-threatening in some cases. This article provides an overview of mushroom allergy, including its symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
Mushroom allergy symptoms can appear within minutes to hours after consuming mushrooms. The symptoms can vary in severity from mild to life-threatening anaphylaxis. The common symptoms of mushroom allergy include:
- Hives or rash
- Itchy or swollen lips, tongue, and throat
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach cramps
- Sneezing and runny nose
- Difficulty breathing
- Anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction that can cause a drop in blood pressure, difficulty breathing, and loss of consciousness)
If an individual experiences symptoms of mushroom allergy, they should consult with an allergist. The allergist will perform a physical examination and review the patient’s medical history. They may also conduct skin tests or blood tests to identify the specific allergen causing the allergy.
Skin tests involve exposing the skin to small amounts of mushroom allergens. If the skin develops a raised, red, itchy bump, it indicates that the person is allergic to mushrooms.
Blood tests measure the amount of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies in the blood. High levels of IgE antibodies suggest that the individual is allergic to mushrooms.
The most effective treatment for mushroom allergy is to avoid mushrooms. Individuals with mushroom allergy should avoid all types of mushrooms, including shiitake, portobello, white button, and oyster mushrooms. Mushroom is also a common ingredient in many dishes, so it is important to read food labels carefully and ask about the ingredients in restaurants.
Antihistamines are medications that can help relieve mild allergy symptoms, such as hives and itching. However, antihistamines do not treat anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis requires immediate treatment with epinephrine, a medication that can rapidly reverse the symptoms of anaphylaxis.
Mushroom allergy is an immune system response to the proteins in mushrooms. The symptoms can range from mild to severe and can be life-threatening in some cases. The most effective treatment for mushroom allergy is to avoid mushrooms. If an individual experiences symptoms of mushroom allergy, they should consult with an allergist for diagnosis and treatment. In severe cases, anaphylaxis requires immediate treatment with epinephrine.
There are many different species of mushrooms that are ingested. Mold allergy where the mold spores are inhaled, is more common and up to 10-30% of the population can be affected.
If you suspect that you have any type of food allergy, speak to your allergy doctor and they can run specific tests to see if you have it.
A study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, described 3 patients who had immediate reactions to mushrooms.