Unusual food allergies

According to the FDA, the most common foods to cause allergies in adults are shrimp, lobster, crab, and other shellfish; peanuts; walnuts and other tree nuts; fish; and eggs. My mother-in-law’s allergic to shellfish.

The most common ones for kids are eggs, milk, peanuts, soy and wheat. My wife has a friend whose kid is allergic to most of this list.

But apparently someone could be allergic to just about any food.

I’m not allergic to anything that I know of, but I had a friend in high school who was allergic to potatoes. No chips, no fries, no nothing. In fact, he had to leave the room while we worked with potatoes in a biology class because spud juice gave him a rash.

So who’s got unusual food allergies, or knows someone who does? What are the weirdest culprits you know of?

My husband’s ex-boss is allergic to chocolate, which is just cruel. She’s also allergic to tomatoes and fish, I believe.

Mexican shrimp, but not American. (Something about the iodine levels.) Ditto with Chinese food–in Mexico. (MSG issues, I think.)

I also get hives from various soaps, deoderants and laundry detergents. I know they’re not food but I still think it’s kind of weird.

Tree nuts, from any country, and also red wine.

Well, there’s an important difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance: quite a few people have intolerances, over a range of food stuffs.

I developed a lactose intolerance at age 23 (I’m now 35), following a nasty bout of 'flu. It seemed quite a rare thing to have at the time - I know initially, drs. just kept saying it was stress :rolleyes: - a good gastro. dr. recognised it for what it was. :smiley:

Increasingly over the years, I’ve come across more and more people with it. Wouldn’t say it was “rare” though?

I’m allergic to onions but not in the way you might think.

I can eat onions (cooked and raw though I’m not a fan of raw) all day long but I cannot be around freshly chopped onions without bursting in to uncontrollable tears and sneezing. Slicing doesn’t seem to affect me as much.

Other people get a little teary or sniffly. I’m hurting for hours afterwards, even if I leave the area where onions are being chopped.

While in Korea we met a guy who was deathly allergic to peppers. As in, if he ate them it could cause an embolism. He didn’t find this out until after he got to Korea. Yikes!

One of my best friends is severely allergic to poultry. She once went into anaphylactic shock in a pizza parlour within a few minutes after taking a bite of a “vegetarian” pizza that had some kind of cross-contamination. Her Epi-Pen saved her life and since then she will eat only food prepared in 100% vegetarian kitchens.

About ten years ago a med student friend of ours did some research on this allergy and found only about 5 cases on record in the past 100 years, so I’d say that’s pretty rare.

I have what is called “adverse reactions” to certain foods. Not an allergy in the truest sense of the word, but I call it that in restaurants so I don’t get served foods I can’t eat.
Some foods are migraine triggers for me and I just cannot eat them. I’m talking full-blown Killer Migraine, not just a “bad headache.”

Shrimp (but not other shellfish), raw peanuts, red wine, yogurt, MSG in Chinese food, sourdough bread, avocado and certain root veggies.

I’ve come in contact with more food intolerances than actual allergies. A friend in college would become violently ill upon consuming the combination of chocolate and orange. She could eat either food independently, but not together. A woman I used to work with would get very sick after eating avocados, which didn’t prevent her from eating them as she loved them, but she’d always make sure to be near a bathroom for the next few hours.

I have known people who have extreme food intolerances to chicken, tomatos, oats and oatmeal, strawberries, cranberries, nutmeg, and citrus fruits.

To me this means severe upset stomach usually with diarrhea, rashes and/or hives.

I have known someone who on top of most of the above list is allergic to chocolate, nuts and seafood. This means ingesting even small amounts causes anaphylactic shock.

Also know people who are lactose and gluten intolerent.

Get us all together and try making a meal. I have tried. :frowning: It sucks. I gave up.

I don’t see most of the people any more, so it’s no longer a problem.

My mother can’t have very much caffeine (no dark chocolate, though white is fine) because it gives her a headache and she’s sick for three days. Myself, I can’t eat bananas. How’s that for odd?

My partner has trouble with onions and garlic. Apparently, the common component to both is something called allicin. Raw onions or garlic will leave him doubled over with intestinal cramps for two days. Fully-cooked onions (eg: sauteed until carmelized) or garlic are OK in moderate quantities.

Strangely, he can eat raw red (aka “bermuda”) onions.

What makes this even worse on him is that he’s Sicilian and therefore, supposed to (stereotypically, at least) eat lots of food with garlic, and that I have no problem with garlic and use it frequently.

I’m allergic to a lot of things, but so far no foods. I can eat kiwi fruit, but it can not touch my lips or I will swell up like a Macy’s balloon.

My friend Tobin was allergic to chocolate, poor guy. He was allergic to a lot of other foods too. He ate a lot of white bread and cheese whiz, last I heard.

Another friend is allergic to only potatoes, and still another to peanuts and pumpkin only. Odd!

I’ve had an allergy to eggplant since I was a baby (apparently, my mom fed me pureed eggplant when I was around 6 months old, which is how we found out). I get an itchy red rash around my mouth for a few days after I eat it. The severity of the rash depends on how much I eat.

It’s a bummer to be (mostly) vegetarian and not be able to eat eggplant. I like the way it tastes, but it’s not worth it to me to eat it.

I’m not allergic to tomatoes, bell peppers, or potatoes, though, which are all nightshade family (as is eggplant).

I have a bizarre twist to a common allergy. I’m allergic to fish… EXCEPT for tuna. This doesn’t make any sense to me-- I should be allergic to fish, or not. Is tuna somehow significantly different from other types of fish? I always eat canned tuna-- could some part of the canning process remove what I am allergic to? I always thought salmon was pretty similar to tuna, but I discovered I can’t even touch salmon, let alone eat it.

I find a lot of places will cut corners on seafood dishes by adding in inexpensive fish instead of the more expensive clams and shrimp. If I were as allergic to fish as I am to walnuts, I’d probably be dead by now. I can eat clams and shrimp all day long, but I’m wary of eating them out, now. Gunther Toody’s clam chowder has some sort of non-clam seafood in it, however Joe’s Crab Shack doesn’t. I bought some “Shrimp Dumplings” at CostCo (they look like har gau) but when I went to eat them, I discovered they had COD in them! When I buy “shrimp dumplings”, I don’t expect any meat other than shrimp in them! Why are they allowed to call things like this “clam chowder” and “shrimp dumplings” when they should really be called “seafood chowder” or “seafood dumplings”?

I have lots - they all developed when I was about 20 - I don’t know why. Up until then I’d only been allergic to pollen, etc - typical hay fever stuff. When I eat the following foods in their natural state (peeled or unpeeled makes no difference with the fruit), my mouth and tongue get very itchy and it feels like my throat gets swollen - not to the point of panicking, but it’s definitely uncomfortable.


Potatoes (raw) - I have a less severe reaction to potato juice than your friend, but peeling them will often make me sneeze and cause my hands to itch.

Etc … most nuts I guess - but not legumes (e.g. peanuts)

The weird thing is - once any of these foods are cooked - I can eat them without any problems at all!

Another weird thing - I’ve found that any dairy product - but especially cheese - will help neutralize the allergic reaction - nothing else works as well.

I read somewhere that apple allergies are common in people who are also allergic to certain types of pollen … guess that’s where it all stems from. But I’m not sure about something like raw CARROTS???

According to my allergist, I should stay away from:


odd-socks, lactose intolerance is technically the norm, not the exception. A good deal of non european adults are lactose intolerant because they lose the ability to produce lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose) as they age.

Stainz, you might be ok eating cooked foods because the heat breaks down the antigens that cause your reaction.

I’ve never been to a specialist, but I know I’m allergic to onions and garlic (two food products that my husband LOVES). They tend to give me shortness fo breath and make me break out in hives.

We’re both asthmatic (YAY for kids), but I’m gradually getting over my aversion to spicy foods because we try to cook at least twice a week. My dad was very averse to cooking with either onions or garlic. He HATED it.

My allergies are inherited from my father…my husband is adopted and he’s never shown an adverse reacton toward spicy foods. So, there is a compromise in cooking styles.

I really hate cooking with onions and garlic, but I make an exception when there’s something special I want to make for him.

I’m sure this is much more than you want to know, but my point is…

I’m allergic to:


Now, this probably wouldn’t matter to people who didn’t like strawberries in the first place, but…


They are the most lucious, succulent, tasty fruit in the world to me…AND I CAN"T HAVE THEM!

Help me , people…I can’t have anything that tastes good because it makes my mouth swell, my skin itch, and my lungs collapse.

YAY, ME! :frowning:

I am allergic to beef, cheese, milk, and anything that contains any of those. No milk chocolate, pizza, hamburgers, just about anything that’s fun to eat. I have to carry an Epi-pen at all times.

I have only two absolute never-ever-eat food types. Both trigger migraines.

  1. Hostess[sup]®[/sup] products, or anything similar. No Twinkies[sup]®[/sup], no Ding Dongs[sup]®[/sup], no Ho-Ho’s[sup]®[/sup], no Snoballs[sup]®[/sup], no Hostess[sup]®[/sup] fruit pies … basically any pastry or cake product that has enough preservatives to let it sit on a shelf for months, is out. Once in college I got a little drunk and forgot, ate a Ho-Ho[sup]®[/sup], and threw up so violently (along with the headache) that I burst all the blood vessels around my eyes. I looked like I’d been beaten up.

  2. Artificial cinnamon flavoring. No Dentyne[sup]®[/sup], no Big Red[sup]®[/sup], no Red Hots[sup]®[/sup]. (Ned Flanders says they promote the Devil anyway.)