sudden onset tomato allergy

avidchampAugust 2, 2010

After going out a couple of days ago to pick green tomatoes, as I returned to the house, I was suddenly struck with a terrible allergy that almost closed my eyes, choked up my breathing and stuffed my nose completely. It did clear up about 8 hours later. I talked to a friend and his 45 year old son had a similar reaction to being in his tomato patch. I checked on-line and this sudden onset tomato allergy thing is happening. I wonder if anyone else on here has had a similar reaction and whether this new allergy is short lived or whether I will retain the allergy on into the future.

I ate tomatoes last evening and no reaction to eating them. It just seems to be related to the vines and leaves or possibly something else in the weeds growing in with the tomatoes. I had noticed several times earlier in the year that contact with the vines did make me itch some but nothing as severe as this was.

Bob

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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Bob,

I do not believe I have had quite as strong of a reaction to tomato plants as what you experienced, but yes, it happened to me in about 2000. Did it last? Not completely. After the initial outbreak/reaction, it was a sporadic thing for a couple of years. It hasn't been as bad since that first year. For me, it is the worst when the sunlight is very strong...so it happens more in, say, July and August, but not so much in April or May, or in Sept.-Oct. With me, it only happens with green plants, so I have no problem making all the contact in the world with dead plants when I'm removing them after frost.

I don't know what to tell you except that I take Claritin almost every day and sometimes still have a tomato reaction. It hasn't stopped me from growing them or eating them. I do often wear one of Tim's old, white, long-sleeved cotton dress shirts when I am doing a great amount of picking tomatoes. It helps if I can avoid making direct physical contact between my skin and the tomato plants. Obviously, wearing thick or impermeable gloves (I wear nitrile gloves) helps too.

I think the amount of contact is what brings it on because I can run outside and pick 3 or 4 tomatoes for lunch and not have a problem, but let me stay out there picking tomatoes for an hour or two or three and I am in for itchy rashes on my arms and many of the other symptoms you described.

I have friends who aren't supposed to eat tomatotes (their tongue and lips itch and then go numb and they can even have breathing difficulty) but they eat them anyway. For them, cooked tomatoes are not as much of an issue as raw ones, so cooking them must deactivate some enzyme or something that is what their bodies are actually reacting to.

I hope your allergy is temporary or at least lessens in intensity.

Dawn

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 6:19PM
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