I was thrilled to read an article in the health section of yesterday’s Observer all about OAS, oral allergy syndrome. For 15-odd years I have been careful about which fruits and nuts I eat raw but been quite dismissive of my weirdness as I’ve never heard of anyone else having the same sort of reaction and being loathe to claim it as an allergy as it doesn’t actually make me fall down blue or anything. Now, when health professionals ask, I’ll be able to answer properly without shuffling my feet and saying erm well I’m a bit weird with fruit.

Trouble with the Observer of course, they asked these new agey “alternative” people about it (though to be fair a couple of sensible people give their ideas too). The alternative woman claims that “in a trial, an OAS patient treated with vitamin c was symptom-free within a month” (my italics). I am absolutely not deficient in vitamin c, citrus fruits being some of the few I can eat uncooked: and if this was all it was down to, surely my symptoms would fluctuate? Which, apart from disappearing when pregnant, they don’t. The private specialist gives me some hope though, as he claims it can be treated by desentitisation immunotherapy, which will become available in the UK in the next few years. The NHS chap just says to avoid raw fruit, which is what I have done for years. It would be lovely not to have to, though!

And now I have a name, I can google it…

3 Responses to “Fruity”

  1. Hsien Lei
    March 3rd, 2008 14:52

    Food allergies are the worst of all! To be limited in what you can eat not because of your own choice is so sad. 🙁

  2. Clare
    March 4th, 2008 00:54

    Well there you go! Sounds like the reason I don’t eat almonds, nectarines, peaches and green kiwifruit (though golden Kiwifruit are fine!) I’d always put it down to a reaction to pesticides.

  3. VP
    March 4th, 2008 20:29

    Lisa – I’m sure desensitisation therapy’s already available. A friend of mine had it when we were students decades ago for his tree pollen allergy. It was very successful too. Perhaps Google will help on this!

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