Coconut allergy is considered rare and brought about by an erratic immune response to products containing coconut.
A reaction might arise right away or delayed after a few hours after exposure. Generally, exposure is via the ingestion of food or after using any coconut-based products. The condition can affect both adults and children and typically mild in most cases.
What are the signs?
The indications of coconut allergy might manifest within a few minutes or even a couple of hours after exposure to any coconut-based products.
It is important to note that the symptoms are also the same with other forms of food allergies. Generally, the signs are relatively mild while a few can be severe.
The usual signs might include:
- Hives or skin rashes
- Facial flushing
- Shortness of breath
- Stuffed or runny nose
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Contact dermatitis
In most instances, not all reactions are the same in seriousness. In some individuals, the severe symptoms are triggered by anaphylaxis, but this is considered rare with this form of allergy.
Management of coconut allergy
If an individual is diagnosed with coconut allergy, the following measures should be taken into consideration.
- For a mild reaction, an anti-allergy drug can be given such as antihistamines.
- For relief from the nasal symptoms, decongestants or steroid sprays might be suggested by the doctor.
- Breathing support is needed to control asthma and low blood pressure.
- In severe cases, immunotherapy might be suggested for long-term development of tolerance to the substance.
- If anaphylaxis is likely to occur, an auto-injector epinephrine must be on hand always and given if symptoms manifest.
In most cases, the individual is instructed to avoid foods that contain coconut. An elimination diet might be recommended by the doctor as well. Additionally, oils, cosmetic products and hand wash gels that contain coconuts must be avoided.