An allergic reaction to kiwi may occur in anyone, although it is more common among children than adults. This allergy can take on a variety of forms, ranging from mild to potentially life threatening. Oral allergy syndrome is the most common type reaction and involves symptoms such as burning, itching, and swelling in the mouth. Birch pollen allergies and latex allergies are closely linked to kiwi allergies and may become severe enough to cause breathing problems or even death.
The most common type of allergic reaction to kiwi is referred to as oral allergy syndrome. This type of reaction usually causes the mouth to tingle, itch, or burn after kiwi has been consumed. In some cases, the mouth, lips, or tongue may begin to swell. Unlike more serious allergic reactions, the symptoms usually last only a few seconds or up to a few minutes. If the symptoms persist or if breathing becomes difficult, the sufferer should consulted a medical professional immediately.
In some cases, an allergic reaction may be due to what is called a birch pollen allergy. The proteins that cause allergies to birch pollen are very similar to those in kiwi fruit, so the reactions can be similar. Oral allergy syndrome is the most common type of reaction among those with a birch pollen allergy and is less likely to occur when the fruits are cooked instead of eaten raw. Additional symptoms may include dizziness, rapid pulse, and low blood pressure. People who have a birch pollen allergy may also have reactions to foods such as apples, peaches, or potatoes.
In some situations, an allergic reaction to kiwi may be connected to a latex allergy. These symptoms may include oral symptoms, gastrointestinal disturbances, or breathing difficulty. If facial swelling occurs along with trouble breathing or a loss of consciousness, a serious and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis may be happening. This combination of symptoms should be treated as a medical emergency, as a lack of proper oxygen flow can cause permanent brain damage or death within a matter of minutes. An injectible medication known as epinephrine is usually prescribed for those who have ever had an anaphylactic reaction and can be life-saving if another reaction occurs.