You may find food tasteless without a tinge of garlic. However, suffering garlic allergy is worse than having garlic-free food. It creates several health problems in many people. Garlic allergy occurs when your immune system wrongly identifies the proteins present in garlic as a threat to your life and starts to fight against them by producing antibodies. Those who suffer from onion allergy are also allergic to garlic, as they both belong to the same family.
Diagnosis of garlic allergy
Some people can tolerate a small amount of garlic. But, they suffer from garlic allergy, if they consume it in larger amount. If you suspect you are allergic to garlic, avoid eating it for 1 or 2 weeks and check whether your symptoms are reduced. If you are allergic to garlic, various tests can confirm your allergy. Skin prick test can be done to know the allergy to garlic. In this test, garlic extract is placed on the skin and it is checked for reaction against it. Blood test (RAST) is another test to check the allergy.
Symptoms of garlic allergy
The symptoms of garlic allergy affect the various organs and systems of the body including skin, nose, eye, stomach, mouth throat and respiratory system. Some common garlic allergy symptoms are itchy, watery, red and sore eyes, runny nose, hives, cough, swelling on lip, throat, face and tongue, hives, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, wheezing, sneezing, hoarseness, sinus pain, abdominal pain, breathing difficulties, eczema, constipation, light-headedness, disturbance in sleeping, skin flushing and low blood pressure. In severe cases, the allergic person may experience anaphylactic shock.
Treatment of garlic allergy
Anti-histamines are most commonly used to treat the symptoms associated with the allergy to garlic. Steroids are also useful. In order to prevent anaphylactic shock, self-injection of epinephrine can be applied as a primary treatment. The person should rush to the hospital for detailed check up and treatment. Taking all these medicines as per the prescription of a doctor is advisable.
Prevention of garlic allergy
The best way to prevent garlic allergy is avoiding its consumption. As garlic is a main ingredient in many food items such as sauces and pizza, it is very difficult to avoid it completely. Some food manufacturers may not label garlic on the product, even though it is present. So, having homely food is better to avoid garlic. If you are eating in restaurants, ask them about the ingredients and make sure the food is garlic-free.
Having too much of a particular food will encourage the allergy or sensitivity. So, doctors suggest changing your diet often. In addition, drinking plenty of water helps to flush out allergens from the body. Those, who are allergic to garlic, can detoxify their body with a 24 hour juice cleanse. If you have frequent attacks, you can do it one to three day every three months.
Herbs and supplements
Using ant-inflammatory supplements such as bromelin helps to reduce the garlic allergy symptoms. If garlic allergy troubles your digestive tract, you can take bromelin with your meal. For those, who experience reaction to garlic, taking bromelin 20 minutes before or after a meal is good for its anti-inflammatory effects. One cause of garlic allergy, just like other food allergies, is the deficiency of digestive enzymes.
Taking betaine hydrochloric acid (HCL) can increase the stomach acid. You can eat one to two capsules of HCL with each meal. Quercitin has anti-allergy properties. You can take 500 mg Quercitin a day. L-glutamine improves nutrient absorption by repairing the lining in the small intestine. It also can be taken as 500 mg a day. Taking 1,000 mg vitamin C three times a day is helpful to reduce the symptoms of garlic allergy, as it contains bioflavonoids.
We can easily suppress the symptoms of garlic allergy with medications. However, it may reappear. So, for a permanent solution, strict prevention is the only way.