My brother is allergic to raw carrots but has no reaction to cooked ones. How is this possible?

-- asks Tony from New York, NY.

If the spinach doesn't get you, the carrots might. [CREDIT: USDA]
By | Posted October 15, 2006
Posted in: Ever Wondered?, Life Science
Tags: , ,

The humble carrot, familiar fare for Bugs Bunny and armies of school children, can be a dangerous, even lethal, snack for a small number of people. Heating the carrot, however, can render them harmless to the allergic, according to a recent study.

But how could a little heat turn a vegetable from deadly to delectable? And how can a wholesome carrot be dangerous in the first place?

The carrots we buy in grocery stores are certainly not poisonous. The carrot, native to Afghanistan, is a root that has been grown and eaten for thousands of years. The typical orange variety was developed in 17th century Holland. Carrots are a good source of carotene, the compound that our bodies convert into Vitamin A.

This innocuous, nutritious vegetable is nonetheless dangerous to those people whose bodies react to it as a foreign invader. These people have immune systems that respond to carrots in ways that are usually reserved for illness-causing germs. No one really knows why this happens, but food allergies are becoming more common and seem to be on the rise in the industrialized world.

The cause of this proliferation may be excessive cleanliness. Today’s western children are exposed to fewer microbes not only because of the lack of dirt and germs in the foods they eat, but because they are more socially isolated than children in developing nations. Research has shown that children who attend daycare have fewer allergies than children who remain at home. Furthermore, both children and adults use antibiotics to combat microbes in their environments. In sterile environments, immune systems lack enemies, and may attack food proteins as if they were germs.

Our bodies are protected from germs by the antibodies that constantly roam the blood system looking for foreign invaders. For allergic people, antibodies target food proteins moonlighting as allergens. When antibodies detect an allergen, a reaction occurs. The body’s response to an allergen can cause a variety of symptoms from facial swelling to serious anaphylactic shock. In carrots, several proteins can cause a reaction.

Everyone knows that cooking carrots renders them mushy. A little heat breaks down the carrot’s cell walls, and turns this crunchy vegetable into perfect baby food. Heat, in fact, makes many vegetables more palatable. In their natural state, plants have ways to avoid being eaten. These defense mechanisms are called secondary compounds and can be poisonous to the eater. Most common crop plants have long since lost these harmful effects, and cooking some toxic wild plants can break down their toxins, making them edible.

When carrots are cooked, the potentially allergenic proteins within them unravel, rendering them safe from targeting by the immune system. According to a recent study in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, these denatured carrot proteins can no longer bind to the posse of antibody scouts, and when antibodies cannot recognize allergens, a strong immune response does not occur. The same study found that cooked carrot protein can still activate a milder immune response that causes a less dangerous reaction. Some participants who ate cooked carrots did not swell up and suffer breathing problems, but did get rashes from the second type of immune response. Because of this, researchers recommended that people allergic to carrots avoid carrots in all forms, even though heating reduces risk.

Don’t run to the crisper and dump those carrots just yet, though. Not many people have bonafide food allergies. The FDA estimates that only about 1.5 percent of adults and six percent of children have some kind of food allergy. Children outgrow most allergies, and allergic adults are typically only allergic to a few foods. Allergies to carrots are most common in Europe, where up to 25 percent of people with a food allergy need to avoid this orange root. Some experts say that food allergies develop in adults because of previous sensitivity to pollen; the patient may become allergic to a variety of plants that contain proteins similar to those found in the pollen. For example, celery, which is related to carrots, mugwort, certain spices and birch pollen all contain the same allergenic carrot proteins that some people just can’t stomach.

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  1. Thank you for your excellent explanation about why some people are allergic to raw carrots. Our 8 year old son has life threatening food allergies, and I have been reading about this topic since he was born — your article truly stood apart from the rest!

    Our son has inspired us to open a gourmet bakery (www.divvies.com) dedicated to being peanut-free, tree nut-free, milk-free, and egg-free. People with AND without food allergies nationwide love our products and can’t believe what’s not in them. We have been featured in GOURMET Magazine, The New York Times, ABC News, Vogue and many other publications.

    Please contact me, if you would like to receive a press kit and samples of our products. I am sure your readers would appreciate learning about Divvies!

    Thank you for your time,

    Lori Sandler
    http://www.divvies.com

    Lori Sandler, October 16, 2006 at 6:35 am
  2. Read more about the powr and goodness of carrots at the World Carrot Museum, nutrition pages.

    John Stolarczyk, October 17, 2006 at 7:02 am
  3. Kristin-

    Thanks so much for the role that you are playing in educating about the severity of food allergies.

    As seen on CNN, the goal of AllergyKids is to create universal awareness of life threatening food allergies in order to prevent accidental allergic reactions.

    We are using our universal symbol for food allergies as seen at http://www.allergykids.com to help protect the millions of children with food allergies and to raise money for medical research in the hopes of a cure.

    The role that you play in bringing awareness to this issue is so valuable.

    Again, thank you so much for your time on this.

    With hope for the cure,
    Robyn O’Brien
    Founder, http://www.AllergyKids.com

    Robyn O'Brien, October 17, 2006 at 11:09 am
  4. I took the ALCAT food test and the results were interesting. It brought my attention to the fact that certain foods that I enjoy and eat regularly may not be doing me much good — such as bananas and sweat potatoes! Now I don’t feel quite as sluggish after I eat if I just pay attention to following the results of the test.

    Linda Burger, October 17, 2006 at 2:55 pm
  5. i read in a french cookbook the i thought at the time obscure information that cooked carrots develop a toxin if left overnight. not being internet literate at the time, i did my own experiment on myself, ate a significant amount of left over cooked carrots, and did indeed feel somewhat “toxified” the next day. and have since avoided using or serving same, which is a bummer since my original recipe make ahead pot roast had included same. I’m thinking freezing the cooked carrots would at least retard the process. I’m surprised as always now that i am internet literate that there is as much info as there is , and think everyone should definitely read dr weils page 39 available on this search re: raw cruciferous veggies. but i am tired of looking specifically for corroboration (sp?)==2nd or 3rd opinions on original question. interesting that 25% of europeans have carrot allergies, doesn’t specify particulars. any french housewives out there, or french trained cooks that can offer more info? or, for that matter, anyone else with more info? we certainly don’t need any more toxins, especially when we think we’re getting something good! thanks so much. jjudyf8888@yahoo.com

    judy ford, November 25, 2006 at 12:17 pm
  6. Interesting article respecting carrots. I thought I was “alone”.. I am 58 years old and became allergic to raw carrots at about the time I went through puberty. I tried one when I was 22 and nearly lost my life! Up until adulthood, I loved raw carrots right from the garden.

    My food allergies are limited..raw carrots, raw celery, raw parsley and cilantro, hazelnuts and Brazil nuts–and that’s it!…but because of this strange grouping, it forbids me from trying something new, especially in other countries just in case #7 shows up.

    Michael Faulkner, November 25, 2006 at 2:25 pm
  7. I seem to be allergic to carrots. I am 72 years old. For the past five years or so I am sick whenever I eat raw carrots.This never happened when I was younger.
    Recently I roasted a dish of winter vegetables including carrots. The next day I ate one of the carrots and within minutes I was sick. This was the reason why I checked this website. I had never heard of an allergy to carrots. The only allergic reaction which I have had previously was to bee stings many years ago.

    George Medawar, December 19, 2006 at 2:44 am
  8. thank you so much i also thought i was alone. since i was younger i could never eat that stupid raw vegatable platter at partys. parents always said i was making it up, and other people now think im weird for eating them cooked but cant raw. it makes sense now. also im trying to figure out why especially with raw carrots as well as throat and ear discomfert why my back and chest get exrtremely sore like im being paralyzed. this happen to anyone else?

    lisa, January 3, 2007 at 5:37 pm
  9. I can’t eat raw carrots, I have an allergic reaction. Also have the same reaction to certain apples like green ones and red ones, but other apples are ok.

    Randall, January 11, 2007 at 12:40 am
  10. I have been unable to eat raw carrots (cooked are fine) and also bananas since puberty, but was able to eat both before then. Anyone else have this combination or know what the common allergen might be?
    Thanks for the great article – I have never known that anyone else was allergic to raw carrots before seeing this!

    Doug, February 25, 2007 at 10:08 pm
  11. In reply to Lisa…it’s so nice (or, maybe not so nice) to see that there are others out there who have similar allergies to mine! I have always had allergies, but have only developed severe food allergies since I turned 32. It began with cantalope but has branched out to also include nearly all raw vegetables, including lettuce. My throat swells, my blood pressure goes up and my asophagus goes into a spasm, making it very painful to swallow anything, including liquids. The pain radiates from my chest through to my back, feeling like stabbing pains. My doctor prescribed me a once-a-day allergy medication that seems to help with the chest pains.

    Carrie, February 27, 2007 at 2:29 am
  12. I have a question.
    I am allergic to baking soda, but it doesn’t affect me if it is cooked in something. If it is on the table, in toothpaste, deodorant, or in carpet fresh I have an awful reaction. I don’t quite understand it.
    I have no problem with sodium, at least not that I am aware of. The chemical name is sodium bicarbonate, so sodium and carbon. what is the difference between it cooked and uncooked?
    thanks Ammy

    Ammy, March 30, 2007 at 7:04 pm
  13. I developed food allergies in my 40’s…to carrots,celery and most fresh fruit and vegetables. I now also have allergies to all nuts. These allergies are very frustrating as most people think it is so very strange to a have allergies to the fruits and vegetables, so it comforting to know that there are others out there with these allergies.

    mca, April 12, 2007 at 6:42 am
  14. I had my second food allergy reaction, (the first was at age 31 to 4 almonds) last night to raw carrots. The doctors in the ER still think it’s crazy and are convinced it had to be something else (and I ate nothing else prior for several hours). In an effort to research the possibility of carrots being the source, I stumbled upon this site. Just a week before I enjoyed cooked carrots with no problem; and the same happened when I developed my tree nut allergy: one week no problem, the next ER. Just like my first reaction, I know the next few weeks will see me tip-toeing through the food aisles, wondering what is next.

    Caboozy, April 22, 2007 at 7:37 am
  15. Agh! We need more people to have this allergy to get the word out! (ha,ha) I love salads, but darn the restaurants who list every salad ingredient except carrots and darn the servers who don’t know whether they do or not have carrots and double darn the kitchen crew that messes up and thinks they can just pick the carrots out!!!

    My lips itch, ears burn, throat swells and stomach turns. I hate it! And celery too! Can’t enjoy the veggie trays, either…

    Renee, April 26, 2007 at 2:40 pm
  16. i’m glad to find this site. i’m 31 and have recently started to develop food allergies. it’s so disconcerting. i thought i knew my body and it’s weird idiosyncrasies. i’ve always had odd reactions to shrimp so i avoided them, and i’ve always had hay fever, but oh well. at least i knew these things. but now, one day out of the blue i eat and apple and my lips get tingly. then sometime later, a plum, and i feel short of breath. and recently, raw carrots have given me a reaction. what’s next? is there any way to stop the decline to a spelt and rice diet?

    miss, May 2, 2007 at 8:43 pm
  17. I have discovered that I too, have an allergy to baking soda. When I use the toothpaste with baking soda my mouth feels as if I have a chemical burn and it lasts for several days. Rinsing with cold water does give some relief but that seems to confirm that I may be getting something similar to a chemical burn from baking soda. I tried using baking soda by itself on my teeth and the reaction was much worse than with the toothpaste so I am sure my adverse reaction
    was to the baking soda. Its very hard to find others who have experienced this problem.

    Mike, June 29, 2007 at 2:35 pm
  18. I have also an allergic reaction to alot of vegetables, especially spinach & celery! I get the exact same symptoms as when i cut the grass, my mouth and throat swell up, give it an hour and it’s all fine, is there a particluar group of allergies i can put these into?

    Many thnaks

    kev, August 24, 2007 at 6:43 am
  19. Wow … why does my MD think I’m out of mind when I tell her about my “latest” allergic reaction to food! As a teen I was allergic to raw carrots and celery … now know problem, as a young adult I developed an allergy to apples, pears, peaches and plums … though I can eat apple pie and in my forties though I had been eating shrimp and crab almost weekly … I suddenly had a reaction to a dish containing shrimp!!! Most recently I had a reaction to a stouffers french bread pizza!
    I carry benadryl, an epipen and prednisone everywhere I go do wish I was brave enough to try some shrimp or crab!!!

    Lisa, September 12, 2007 at 11:02 am
  20. Over the years, after I became an adult, I noticed I developed a reaction first to raw apples, then raw carrots, and occasionally raw potatoes (a childhood favorite) and once or twice to raw celery. The reaction was an itchy throat, eyes and ears, and sometimes a runny nose. The cooked versions never bothered me. I also noticed that my outdoor allergies were worse when the birch pollen was flying. I was not surprised to learn from a sidebar in Prevention that they are related.
    But one food reaction baffles me — apple cider. I’m pretty sure it was pasteurized, but I still developed a UTI. (And, oddly, apple cider is one of the natural cures for UTIs.) I am having a difficult time finding any info on this to see if this is an allergy or what. Is it really the apples or could it be another ingredient, and, if so, what are the candidates? Any thoughts?
    (Oh, and amen to Renee about the restaurants that insist on adding carrot shavings to their salads.)

    Jacquie, December 6, 2007 at 8:45 pm
  21. I too always loved carrots.

    Recently when I eat raw carrots I have noticed my throat feels funny, kind of hard (like there might be a little chunk of raw carrot stuck there).

    I am 33 and in excellent health.

    Cooked carrots don’t bother me. Very interesting web site.

    lem, February 9, 2008 at 6:58 pm
  22. I’m happy to know that I’m not the only one who has the strangest reactions to certain foods. Okay, I haven’t noticed if I have any reactions to celery. I know I can eat it cooked as I do put it in my tuna casserole and have no issues there. Carrots and apples: When I eat both (and it does depend on the apple), my throat feels like something is stuck there and it throws out my back as well (pain I would not wish on my worst enemy). When carrots are julienne sliced or shredded a bit in salad, I seem to be okay there. I have the same reaction to those two as I do to shell fish. In addition to the reaction to carrots, while I can eat it cooked, even when I’m cutting them up, my eyes gets incredibly itchy and red and swollen. My husband and I noticed that last night so he has to cut them now. I took an allergy test when I was about 13 but truly don’t recall if amongst my allergies were those things. But like I said in the beginning, it’s good to know that I’m not the only one. All this time, I thought I had a problem with my esophogus!!

    Gilly, February 21, 2008 at 7:47 pm
  23. MCA, I would love to speak to you, you have basically the same type of allergies like me.
    And nobody seems to understand my frustrations. Maybe you can tell me what you use to help ease the discomforts. I am also allergic to carrots and all nuts.Struggle with this on a daily basis.

    Smoochy, March 10, 2008 at 1:41 pm
  24. Wow, I didn’t even know poelpe had such adverse reaCtions to some vegetables. OK so we all know someoe who has a ‘nut’ allergy, and i’m not be-littleing the anaphalactic shock (please excuse the spelling) reactions that some have, but peanuts and sesame are par for the course now.
    In the UK nearly EVERYTHING comes with a nut warning – even the most stupid thing – Bag of peanuts – may contains nuts ! (I would hope so !)
    But why didn’t everyone have these problems 50 years ago ? Was it due to the food that peolpe ate was more restricted (as in the kiwis – see above) ?? I think this comes back to the nuture vs nature thing – people who are brought up on a particular food have a natural relisiance to it. and those who don’t; don’t. It makes sense that some people are more resistant to chemicals that are of the region they come from (i.e. evolution) and then there will be some who are not (particularly when considering ‘fruit’ from a far off land). It is more a genetic make-up thing… a simple example is alcohol, some people (native – europeans) have a better tolerance to alcohol than other people (native- north americans). This has been shown in studies of cultural diversity and geneology. With the proliferation of ‘foreign’ foods and culteral diversity (the gene pool) it is no wonder that some foods are being a ‘problem’ for some people as thier genetic make-up cannot digest the food properly; and in cases causes very adverse reactions.

    NB. I used to work in a restaurant where we had a allergen manual and could advise as to ALL the ingredients in food, for those with allergies.

    I, myself, may well have an intollerance to lactose as I seem to have a VERY bad stomach after digesting milk produce ! But it one of those things I live with; perhaps that is why I have never liked the taste of milk or cream – my body telling me NO !

    Mike, March 10, 2008 at 7:37 pm
  25. Also…..

    I would just like to take moment to poke a stick at all the people who go into restaurant who do not know the difference between an allergy and a dislike.

    You are the people who say they are allergic to X (cooked or uncooked) and then say they can have the desert containing X because ‘it’s ok this time’.

    These people make it harder for the poeple with REAL alergies (not dislikes) to be taken seriously as it is a REAL issue for those with in tollerances.

    Sorry had to have my ‘soap box’ moment

    Mike, March 10, 2008 at 7:48 pm
  26. i am 11 years old and i have had a few reactions. the first 1 i couldn’t stop coughing and my throat swelled up the second my eye hurt.

    george, March 16, 2008 at 12:03 pm
  27. My 15yr. old is severely allergic to carrots,celery, and potatoes.He does not take it as seriously as me. He carries an epi pen,but i worry every time he leaves the house. I read every ingrd. in all food products bought. I tell all his friends parents,but Iknow it’s not taken as seriously or watched as closely as i do. Anyone out there with suggestions with the same allergies?

    kandice, March 16, 2008 at 4:42 pm
  28. It is nice to know that I am not the only one. Thank you so much for this information. I ate carrots as a kid and when I became an adult, just like you say, I became allergic to raw carrots. In fact, I had not eaten raw carrots in a really long time and I recently thought I would take a couple bites. I had a terrible allergic reaction. I even have avoided cooked carrots because it scares me that much to eat carrots raw or cooked. I even have to wear gloves when I peel and cut carrots.

    Soooooooo, your information helped me even more because I recently tried to eat raw celery and had an allergic reaction to celery as well and I could not figure out why. I have the same reaction to apples and some other fruits. But I do not get a reaction every time I eat these fruits.

    The reaction I usually get is intense itching down deep in my ears, scratchy/itchy throat. Sometimes I sneeze and have like a hayfever reaction.

    Anyway, thank you.

    brenda, March 28, 2008 at 10:13 pm
  29. Yep I have it too

    Allergy to raw but not to cooked celery and carrots..

    Saple, March 31, 2008 at 7:46 pm
  30. I too have a baking soda allergy among many other allergies also. Even baked items with it cause a reaction. My mom gave it to me in the mouth as an infant to rid my mouth of thrush. Today i experience alot of acidity or acidosis of my stomach/body. I have trouble even with calcium carbonate to settle the acid. It’s related to sodium bicarbonate so I have trouble fixing my acid body. Anyone else have similar circumstances?

    lori, May 9, 2008 at 11:03 pm
  31. Like other posts have suggested…wow, I thought I was just crazy. It used to be that if I had even a small bit of raw carrot my stomach would shutdown and eventually just return everything back up a few hours later. Cooked carrots (even heated up just a bit) give me no problems. I’m now 38 but have noticed over the past couple of years I’m able to tolerate a couple of small bits if it gets accidently mixed up in some other food.

    I have some intolerance to eggs… can’t eat them if they have been hard boiled. Any other format seems to be okay (we’ll I’ve never tried them raw).

    Robert, May 10, 2008 at 12:31 pm
  32. As a mother of 3 kids, all heading into puberty, I have noticed all 3 developing allergic reactions to carrots, celery, apples, and more recently strawberries. Symptons include itchy throat and puffy lips. Their pediatrician had never heard of such a thing, as he didn’t think any of these foods were related and advised we see an allergist.

    Clara, May 13, 2008 at 11:53 am
  33. hey yea i have the whole cant eat vggies or fruits unless its cooked thing happy to see i am not suffering alone! so im sure as most of you do when i have a salad i usually enjoy some lettuce and croutons and dressing, anything else is quite dangerous..but lately it seems even dressings are doing it to me! why do i feel like i just ate a carrot after italian dressing? are they putting differnt stuff in dressings now a days or is my allergy just getting worse? anyone have the same problem?

    LISA, May 13, 2008 at 2:53 pm
  34. It’s a relief [or a not] to see that I thought I was going crazy when I would tell people that I cannot eat raw carrots, celery, mackintosh and granny smith apples because of the heinous reaction they give me. I thought it was just a childhood symptom, but at 23 now, it may seem permanent.

    I figured since I can eat cooked carrots [love them like that!] I would give it a whirl and have a small midnight snack of carrots and sour cream. It was a good snack [or so I thought] and then 15 minutes after the snack and laying down, my throat started to close up. I started to cough and then my back and chest would turn red and itch. And then this horrible gut wrenching pain in my throat, chest and back would take over. I convulsed a few times and thought I was going to throw up.

    After about almost 20 minutes of pain and torture, the effects wore off. It seems to have gotten worse over the years. It felt like I was going to die. I love my celery and peanut butter stalks and apples, but the side effects are just something I would not like to experience ever again.

    Frank, May 29, 2008 at 2:11 am
  35. A month ago, I had dinner which include a packet of raw baby carrots and celery sticks. Felt like I was have a heart attack because of excrutiating chest pains. Had no idea of the cause. But this morning, I happened to order some fresh carrot juice with my lunch, and before I could even consume half of my 12 ounce cup, I was feeling “funny”. My reaction was not as severe. Chest pain was not as painful, but I did experience some other symptons such as gas which can be released by lots of burping. Now, I’ve lost my voice. I’ve never had any allergic reaction to any foods before.

    Betty, July 13, 2008 at 1:37 am
  36. I am severely allergic to raw baking soda! I can generally tolerate things that have been cooked with baking soda, but toothpaste and/or raw and it’s over. I discovered this in high school when I started using baking soda toothpaste and my lips became severely chapped and my gums would not stop bleeding. Dumb me, 10 years later, I forogt about this and bought more baking soda toothpaste. After 3 months of swollen, red, severely chapped lips and skin around the lips, I finally realized why I was having this reaction. Also, my gums have been bleeding a lot more and have been sore. I feel like an idiot for not realizing it sooner, but yes! There is such a thing as a baking soda allergy!

    Amie, August 11, 2008 at 10:35 am
  37. i have the same problem as the commenter doug (above) i believe i’m allergic to both carrots and bananas and have the same reaction to both. anyone know if they share something in common?

    Lauren, August 11, 2008 at 9:26 pm
  38. I just wanted to add a new twist to this thread. Like others above, I thought I was allergic to raw but not cooked carrots, had the “throat felt funny” symptoms after crunching snack carrots. Today, despite my previous experiences, I ate raw skinned baby carrots when I got the munchies while waiting for a pot roast to cook. And I noticed that the funny feeling in my throat had an interesting side-effect. But I need to explain… In the past five years, I developed a slight disfunction in my voice — my voice began sounding tight and mildly gutteral. A throat-relaxing exercise (yoga’s lion pose) didn’t help. But recently, after eating raw carrots and getting the funny feeling in my throat, I realized that my vocal chords relaxed, and my voice was relaxed and lower-pitched, i.e., normal again. My voice is still normal six hours after eating the carrots.

    Maybe, in my case, that “funny feeling” in my throat was really what normal should be. Raw carrots may be a cure for “tight voice.” I’m going to try this “carrot fix” again if my voice tightens up again. Hope this information contributes to an understanding of how raw carrots affect the throat.

    Roger Rabbit (just kidding), August 21, 2008 at 11:10 pm
  39. Wow. I’m allergic to raw carrots, celery, and anything with a pit except Mangos. And some apples effect me too. Why haven’t I googled this stuff before now? What a relief!

    kimberly, November 5, 2008 at 10:05 am
  40. Glad to hear that I’m not alone in this. I’m 33, with no kown allergies. Only recently, I’ve noticed that when I eat raw apples or carrots, my throat and inner ears get itchy. Nothing more severe than this, but it seemed to be a strange reaction. I can eat both apples and carrots cooked without any side-effect. It wasn’t until I searched the net that I found this site and discovered I wasn’t the only one having this strange reaction.

    Nancy, November 15, 2008 at 8:22 pm
  41. My 3 year old is allergic to raw and cooked carrots sometimes. Recently, I decided to try cooked organic carrots and he was fine. He’s also allergic to rice, except this organic brown jasmine rice from the high mountain of Thailand. My husband was a food scientist, and he thinks that our son is not allergic to rice but is allergic to some chemicals they use during processing rice.

    celia, December 15, 2008 at 5:06 am
  42. Thanks so much for the article and responses. I’m 41 and have just recently developed allergies to raw carrots, celery, and many raw fruits such as apples, peaches, & pears.
    I have always loved raw fruits & veggies & have recently been trying to eat them in an attempt to be more healthy since I’m getting older…
    However…I am unable to do so.
    I first get the burning in my throat & around my mouth & lips, then my throat starts to close up and I cannot breathe well, then I begin to itch around my ears, hands and chest & break out into hives.
    I have found that if I catch the reaction soon enough, I can take Benadryl quick dissolve strips to deter the reaction.
    I recently had this happen with some oatmeal containing SOY PROTEIN, to which I have also developed an allergy.
    As for the fruits & veggies, I can eat them cooked & they have not bothered me so far, but I miss the raw snacks.
    I feel that when they are cooked, you lose some of the healthy aspect of the foods.
    Does anyone know if these allergies change from year to year depending on the pollen?

    Anyway, the info in the article was helpful and it’s great to know I’m not alone or weird!

    Sandra, December 28, 2008 at 11:15 pm
  43. As stated above, I also have allergic reactions to certain nuts such as almonds…
    Wish there was some solution other than just avoiding these foods.

    Sandra, December 28, 2008 at 11:27 pm
  44. Last May, first time in my life (68) after eating a few fresh, washed and peeled raw carrots one night I developed anaphylactic shock and ended up in the local emergency ward. I looked like the creature from the lagoon with terrible swellings around nose eyes and cheecks. The staff physician stuck an epipen into my thigh and after 1.5 hours under medical supervision I felt safe again to go home. It took a good 24 hours to get over the shock back to completely normal.

    My theory goes a little further. I’d eaten raw carrots throughout my life and never was troubled by it noticeably. However, the medications I’ve been prescribed in recent years (such as 80mg Lipitor daily and other spurious meds since discarded) could very well be the long term damage or side effects responsible for breakdown or malfunction of my previously well functioning immune system. I now have a pack of epipens on hand just in case. I’m not off carrots per say … only raw carrot or juice that I stay away from since my experience was so traumatic.

    I know this maybe another story altogether put who knows? Laying off the heavy doses of meds I think has helped me in other ways, such as that it has halted previous frequently unexplained minor skin rashes and erruptions that I no longer suffer from now free of these meds (Statins and Tamsulosin). I have replaced the meds with natural substances that work free of side effects.

    Ed, December 31, 2008 at 4:58 pm
  45. My experience started as a kid, I was constantly complaining to my parents about not wanting to eat the cantelope. It made my throat itch. Later on I started complaining about Honeydew. (of which I rather loved) A couple months later I discovered that raw carrots were giving me the same problem. Those affected my throat only. All the melons make my mouth itch first, and then affect my throat. After that was Watermelon. And that was what tipped off my parents and I about my food allergy issues.(I had loved my melons) Last June I learned-the hard way-that Kiwi were on my forbidden list. I had a bite of Kiwi about the size of my thumb nail, and my throat was so swollen it made me black out. It made my tongue tingly-which I thought was due to the actual flavor- and then right after swallowing it, my throat erupted into flames, my breathing was immediately irregular, I felt flushed, dizzy, and then my throat started swelling very rapidly. Scared everyone in the kitchen. (and me!) A few weeks later, my coworker offered me some of her Sugar Snap Peas, and those made my throat swell, voice disappear, and my face turned the color of a neon tomato. (so my Boss said) I’ve been extremely careful since then-aka, paranoid. My goal is to see an allergist sometime soon, before another random bite finishes me off!

    That Girl, January 10, 2009 at 12:37 am
  46. My 12yr old son has complained of certain fruits and veggies (throughout his life) that would make his throat very itchy. I’d get so mad at him because I thought he was trying to avoid eating healthy food. There were times I could see his lips swell up, so then I knew something WAS going on. In the past, it has been cantelope, bananas, summer squash but tonight…it was the carrots!! He has eaten raw carrots many times before. These carrots were in the refrig. for a month hmmmm? I will buy some fresh ones and organic carrots soon and report back.
    He is back to eating bananas…go figure.

    ckelty, January 18, 2009 at 12:37 am
  47. When I was 8 I remember being forced to eat a carrot raw. My throat hurt and itched so I avoided them until I was 30 (I’m very stubborn). Most people just think I’m crazy but I break out in hives every time I eat raw carrots. I also have problems with celery (my lips go numb) and I think with Bananas (the smell makes me gag so I’m not going to try to eat one). Not a lot to eat for a vegetarian like me…

    Todd, January 21, 2009 at 11:01 am
  48. I have a mild reaction to bananas and a medium reaction to raw carrot (vomiting after eating) which I find weird as I never had them before. At first I thought it was due to my terrible diet in which I only have fruits+vegetables when they are with a meal (usually dinner) or if they are contained within a packaged food. I seldom eat fruits/vegetables as a snack and I probably haven’t had 2 fruit 5 veg in a year.

    People saying puberty bought on reactions could be correct as I only developed the bad reactions a few years ago and now I am 17.

    I found this article as I just ate a banana and had an itchy mouth. Very informative and a good read.

    Liam, April 20, 2009 at 2:09 pm
  49. Also forgot to add that I have hay fever.

    Liam, April 20, 2009 at 2:11 pm
  50. My husband can eat raw carrots, but gets sick to his stomach when I put them in stews. He has been this way all his life. Is this an allergy?

    Gail Epp, May 3, 2009 at 2:00 pm
  51. I am also allergic to the humble carrot, both cooked and raw… none of my friends or family believed me. I ate a whole carrot and was rushed to hospital as i couldn’t breath – the pain in my chest and throat was unbearable. I then realised it was that, and its the same both cooked or raw. Very informative artical, thanks.

    David, May 7, 2009 at 4:35 pm
  52. I have had the same experience as That Girl. Someone who grew up on a farm where cantaloupes were raised told me it might be pesticide residues that were causing the problem. I never could eat celery until I bought organic, and now I buy all veggies organic.

    Anne L, May 18, 2009 at 5:53 pm
  53. I have the itching mouth with numerous foods (avocados, melons, walnuts), but raw carrots give me large raised bumps on my lips. However, if I eat carrot salad, where the carrots are raw but covered with sour cream or yogurt, I don’t get the mouth reaction.

    My question is: Are the raw carrots I consume in carrot salad causing problems in my gut that I can’t feel? Am I getting an allergic or inflammatory response that I can’t sense, but that is still doing me harm?

    I also get a rash on my face when I have toasted/roasted nuts or toasted grains (like in fake coffee, or teas with roasted barley). What’s up with that?

    Jenny Robertson, May 28, 2009 at 1:08 am
  54. tODAY i HAD FOOD ALLERGY TESTING WITH MY DOC. I tested significantly positive for carrots and brazil nuts, and to a lesser extent to lettuce, and rye. I tested negative to apple, banana, cantaloupe. I have never had an immediate or noticeable allergic reaction from eating ANY food that I know of, but my doctor says each person has different allergies. To be on the safe side I am avoiding raw celery also since it has the same proteins as carrot. I have always had various allergies that mostly cause problems in the ears and respiratory system and in my adult years have developed eczema and ear infections from the eczema.

    SHAWNAMABREY, June 11, 2009 at 3:56 pm
  55. Since we moved to France my daughter developed an allergy to raw tomatoes, lettuce, raw peas etc and a little itchiness in her mouth and ears from carrots and now apples. She takes antihistamine Zyrtec in drop form though tablets work just as well.
    She swells up big time when we have to rake up the mowed grass. She also suffers from excema.
    It is nonsense to suggest a super clean environment is responsible for food allergies, my kids were always crawling around in the dirt and now they are all very allergic to having a shower. We did move from London to live in the middle of the woods though !

    Eilis, June 12, 2009 at 12:22 pm
  56. For those asking whether salad dressings contain carrots. Some may. I started checking the ingredients after having a reaction when I knew I hadn’t consumed any carrots. Sure enough, the brand of lite ranch dressing I had consumed contained carrots. After checking other brands of lite ranch I discovered almost all of them have carrots. Then other bottled dressings started including them also. I don’t dare have any dressing but vinegar and oil that I put on myself at restaurants. Check labels!
    It seems since the drive to eliminate artificial food coloring from foods a lot of foods have pureed carrots or beets which I am also allergic to added for enhanced color. Sometimes the puree is used to thicken or enhance the mouth feel of some items I think.

    If you have noticed a sensitivity to a food please be careful. My reactions were mild at first, now at age 60 I finally had to go to an allergist because I was so congested I couldn’t talk most of the time, not to mention the pain in the chest and lack of breath an GI track symptoms from some foods. The allergists tests showed so many sensitivities and/or allegies I won’t even begin to name them, His comment was that my children who are exhibiting mild reactions at this time should pay attention and get preventative help early to prevent getting as bad as I am.

    Vicki, July 13, 2009 at 9:21 pm
  57. Raw carrots and bananas affect me like Doug (#10) and Lauren (#37) above. I had tons of bananas as a kid. I started noticing this as a teenager. Cooked carrots are OK. Shredded carrots are OK too I think. I wonder if the drying of the vegetable helps in the same way the cooking does?

    Other significant known problems are avacado (and guacamole) and mountain cedar tree pollen which kills me every year.

    I have minor issues with cantaloupe and honeydew but they are still palatable and I am willing to eat them since the sweetness offsets the penalty of a small stomachache later. I need to investigate the chemical/pesticide aspect. I’m going to investigate the some organics and see if they cause the same issues. But I’m not holding my breath. I think it is the food.

    I am big time anti-drug. I won’t even take a headache pill. The ONE exception I make is Nasonex from mid-December thru January. That has literally given me my life back for those six weeks every year. Mountain cedar levels in Austin TX are crazy!

    If you want to discuss further email carrots@ee2x.com

    Ron (Age 34), July 29, 2009 at 2:13 pm
  58. Hey there,
    I too found out the hard way that I was allergic to raw carrots. I would get a swollen lip and itchy mouth after I ate one.
    Then it was Tomato, then Banana, then Kiwi, then potato, then celery… the list is VERY long.
    I feel like a freak… it’s all very odd!

    At the onset of my food allergies I already knew I was allergic to Latex. However I did not know that many, and I DO mean MANY… fruits and veggies have very similar proteins as Latex.
    In short if you allergic to Latex, more often than not, if you eat these foods your body will mistake them for Latex proteins.

    You can Google “Latex food allergy” and you will discover that many people with these food allergy are also allergic to Latex. Latex is everywhere!

    All these foods everyone has listed above are pretty much the same foods I cannot have and are also on the list of foods to avoid if you have a Latex allergy.

    Google “Latex food allergy”… you may be very shocked at what you see.

    Latex Allergy Girl - Misty, August 3, 2009 at 6:49 pm
  59. I am surprised how many people are allergic to carrots. I am allergic to milk and carrots. I have noticed over the last two years that I have the same reaction to pineapple juice, oranges (sometimes orange juice), and taro root. I get a cool sensation in my throat as soon as I start chewing. I then develop a weird tickle in my throat that causes me to cough for several minutes. The cool sensation goes down to my stomach, and I can feel it traveling down my body. My eyes then begin itching. Sometimes my nose starts running, not like when you are sick, but more like a dripping faucet. All these symptoms last usually a few minutes then go away. If they last I grap a benedryl. Although benedryl has started giving me headaches.

    I have asked my new doctor if this is normal. He says it probably is a reaction to what I am eating but it just sounds like seasonal allergies. I have year long allergies and I know the difference. This is not allergy like when dust or pet dander irritates me. It is an actual reaction that occurs with in minutes of eating specific foods.

    My last allergy test was at least 8 years ago. Out of the 350+ items from trees to food to animals they tested me for. I was allergic to the following items the worst. (pet dander, dog saliva, dust, pollen, mildew, mold on trees, dust, saw dust, evergreen trees, soft needle pine trees, cotton wood trees, cotton, cats, dogs, horse hair, carrots, and milk (allergic not lactose intolerant).I have developed new allergies since this test. I was beginning to think it is all in my head until I came across this posting.

    Thank all of you for your postings. It has helped me understand my allergies a little more by reading your stories.

    Natalie, August 28, 2009 at 12:28 pm
  60. Thanks for posting. My daughter of 8 month is allergic to carrots (cooked) She was exclusively breastfed unitl 6 months and then I introduced organic home cooked prueed carrots the next day her body was covered in hives the size of baseball which would migrate every 2 hours but lasted nearly a week. on the intoduction of Apples she vommitted for 3 hours. She also seems to be allergic to banana and Melon loves it but itchs her neck and under her chin and rubs her mouth. Doc told me that it would be very unusual if she were allergic waiting on blood test results. Already allergic to wheat, egg and Peanut. Beginning to run out of things I can feed her just hope she is not allergic to any more fruit and veg. Anyone with similar experience

    Brid, August 31, 2009 at 10:35 am
  61. I was so happy to find this website. I thought I was crazy. I just went back on weight watchers and was snacking on carrot and celery sticks. All of a sudden I had this incredibly bad allergic reaction. My eys are still swollen almost shut nearly 24 hours later! At least now I know why and that I am not the only one. Thanks

    Linda Ritacco, September 5, 2009 at 7:40 am
  62. I have had a serious food allergy to carrots and apples since I was in high school. I use to be able to eat the them, when I was younger, but now there is no way. I have noticed since it is QUITE difficult to get soup/salads without carrots that if I accidently eat a cooked carrot, I have no serious reaction. I always thought that I had this super strange allergy.

    Ashley, November 16, 2009 at 11:21 pm
  63. To the people who have problems with raw vegtables and grass cuttings see this link http://www.calgaryallergy.ca/Articles/English/Oral_Food_Allergy.htm.

    Adam, November 25, 2009 at 10:41 pm
  64. It’s reassuring to know that I am not alone in my allergies – to carrots (raw – itchy throat, ears; carrot juice – a trip to the ER) cantalope, bananas, and CORN!. As a midwestern girl, when husking corn in the summer for a cookout – I would get hives all over my arms. Tried to detassle as a teen – that was over in about 10 minutes. I took a bite of raw corn-on-the cob once – as bad a Rx as carrot juice! As with everyone else, cooking makes the allergy go away.
    Also – remember terrible allergies in the fall living in the midwest – it didn’t end when frost came (like I was told it would). Finally figured out it was all of the minute airborne particles from corn harvesting. No problems when I live in an area where no corn is grown. I am also allergic to any topical creams with Vit C ingredients – hurts, itches, burns.

    Over the last 5 years have had Rx to any undergarments with a “no-slip” lining, ex: latex. I get terrible blisters and scars. I saw mention of the relationship to Latex – could that be it? If I have surgery scheduled soon, should I tell them?

    One last thing – hadn’t been stung by a wasp since childhood – til last year; had swelling from my hand past my elbow. My doc said I was allergic – to carry an epipen. A month later – I was stung again, this time in my foot. In 2 minutes I was hives head-to-toe. Used my epipen and headed to ER per my doc’s instructions. they started an IV, started to give me IV benedryl – IMMEDIATE RIGOR in my hand and arm! They tried ped doses, but the same. I am allergic to benedryl now! Don’t know if only IV kind.

    Lastly – donated platelets for a family friend at our local blood center via aphoresis (they remove your blood, separate out the components, add anti-coag and give the red cells back.) This happens over and over for 90 minutes. The second time – I had terrible Rx to citrate anti-coag. I guess it is common – some suggest it is merely a Calcium deficiency that the citrate binds, but I don’t believe it. Took almost a week to recover. Research done post donation found it is more common than I thought. Idiots at the blood center didn’t know anything.

    Any ideas if all of these allergies are related? I am 53 Fe, and in otherwise good health. Oh, and both my brother and sister have the same issues with cantelope, bananas and carrots (raw.)

    Bobbie, January 1, 2010 at 11:12 pm
  65. My sister is allergic to regular carrots, however she can eat the organically grown varieties just fine. I would appreciate any responces in regards to this.

    Thank you

    Javier

    Javier, January 3, 2010 at 8:17 pm
  66. I am 62 years old and just spent the last three week spitting up mucus (green mucus for the first week) and I even lost my voice for a couple of days. I went to one doctor after the first week and she gave me some antibiotics which cleared up the green mucus infection in my throat. She diagnosed my problem as severe larengitis and allergies. Then the problem continued with the mucus dripping in the back of my throat like a faucet all day for another week. I finally got an appointment with my doctor and he gave me some cortisone tablets which I took for a week. Still there was very little change in the dripping of the mucus except it wasn’t green. It was clear. I still couldn’t speak full range because of the mucus which had stayed accumulated around my vocal cords. When I finished taking all of the crtisone tablets I remembered that about 15 years ago I had an allergy test which revealed that I was allergic to pollen, raw vegetables (roots) from the ground primarily. I thought that I was getting an allergic reaction to something because every few years for many years I used to get sinus infections. I started using a Netti Pot for a daily saline nasal rinse. The sinus infections stopped. When I did have that dripping of mucus it always cleared up after a few days or week at the most. Not this time. What was different this time was that I have been snacking on a hand full of raw baby carrots and raw celery sticks with my lunch every day for the last 10 months or so. I stopped eating the raw carrots and raw celery and byt the end of the same day the mucus stopped flowing down the back of my throat. My voice is clearing up , not quite clear yet but getting better every day. Hopefully, this experience will help someone else who has that allergic reaction with the mucus dripping down the throat. – John

    John Kostovich, January 30, 2010 at 8:29 am
  67. Try researching botanical food families. Sometimes people with a food/plant allergy can be sensitive to foods/plants in the same botanical group. For example here is the parsley family: Angelica, Anise, Carrots, Celery, Celeriac, Caraway, Celery Seed, Coriander, Cumin, Dill, Fennel, Parsley, Parsnips, Sweet Cicily, Water Celery

    Joan, February 1, 2010 at 10:03 pm
  68. This page is facinating to me, because I am allergic to many fresh fruits, veggies and nuts. They don’t bother me when they are cooked, but taste so much better (and are healthier) when raw. As a child, I remember eating carrots and have no memory of food allergies except apples. My allergies have increased tremendously, starting around age 14 (which is when I had my knee reconstructed). Now I am wondering if auto-immune disorder(s) have something to do with my ailments. It’s like my body goes into “fight” mode every time I eat fresh foods. Oddly enough, even chewing gum makes my throat itch like crazy!! But I know I chewed gum as a child and had no reaction. I am 50 now, and contrary to what the doctors said about my allergies, they have gotten worse; not better. A couple of years ago, I ate a delicious egg roll thingy at a restaurant, and I had a bad reaction to it; that’s when I discovered I am allergic to avacados. Also, I have eaten watermelon, honey dew melon and cantaloupe all my life and developed allergies to those things two years ago. Strawberries and bananas cause a little bit of itching too, although not as bad as apples and peaches. This is really super weird, and makes NO sense to me at all…Big, regular carrots make my throat itch so bad, eating them is out of the question. However, I can eat the little tiny baby (maybe organic?) carrots with no problem. People think I am crazy! I’m glad I found this forum.

    Trish Ferrer, February 14, 2010 at 6:02 pm
  69. INTERESTING WEBSITE: http://theconsciouslife.com/top-10-inflammatory-foods-to-avoid.htm

    I am reading about foods that cause inflamation in the body. I am guilty of enjoying ALL the foods listed: milk products, eggs, alcohol, gluten, red meat, etc. and it’s just possible that if I eliminate them from my diet, my allergies and/or arthritis symptoms might improve. I am so addicted to these foods! I’m not sure HOW to break these addictions, but if I am able to do so (for like a 6-wk period) and if I DO see improvements, I will be sure to report the results here.

    Trish Ferrer, February 14, 2010 at 6:09 pm
  70. This article makes our symptoms official. http://health.msn.com/health-topics/allergies/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100164460

    Cami Haley, February 23, 2010 at 8:59 pm
  71. I developed pollen allergies couple of years ago and from last year onwards, I feel itching of lips and throat when I eat raw carrots, apples, and almonds with skin on it. It seems to be getting worse. Organic carrots and apples without skin don’t cause itching.

    Anitha, March 23, 2010 at 5:43 pm
  72. Help! Nowhere on here (or elsewhere on the web) have I found anyone saying that watermelon makes their gums raw/bleed. I posted elsewhere looking for others. I just discovered this. For the past several years I have been eating a ton of watermelon during the summer- often a 1/2 watermelon or more in a day. This past week I’ve discovered that after eating it, my gums are raw to the point of bleeding. At first I attributed it to pineapple, then new toothpaste. But my mouth was fine earlier today, and I just realized while eating the watermelon my mouth (tongue, gums, roof of mouth) was starting to burn/feel raw, and I tasted blood. Is this crazy or what? I also realized (after reading whar oral allery syndrome is) why I have had an odd burning sensation in my throat the past few years when I ate cantaloupe and (my favorite) orange-flesh honeydew. I cannot deal with more problems. Tell me it ain’t so!!
    Has anyone else experienced the raw/bloody mouth issue? It’s similar to when I eat pineapple, but with pineapple it makes sense, due to the acid. Watermelon?

    Watermelon problems?, May 29, 2010 at 2:27 am
  73. Wow was this article helpful. I am 30 years old and have been suffering from allergies to carrots and celery since I was 5 years old. All my life I have been complaining but dr’s just kept telling my mother that I was lying because I didn’t want to eat my vegetables. It is wonderful to finally be able to say that I am not alone and to discover what exactly it is that I am allergic to!

    Heather, August 31, 2010 at 2:20 pm
  74. I just watched a documentary this weekend “The Future of Food” by director Deborah Koons. It had a section in there about how the new ‘Genetically Engineered’ food crops were causing all kinds of new food allergies. It made me stop and think!

    Genetically Engineered Foods, October 15, 2010 at 12:10 pm
  75. Most times (But yet not every time) I eat raw carrots my lips burn like crazy. I do not get itchy or feel like my throat is closing uP, I don’t get any gastro symptoms. Do you think this is still an allergic reaction? Do I really need to stop eating them? I am not sure how long I have had this. I know I ate them as a kid with no problem but it has defintely been going on long enough that I didn’t even really take notice of it anymore.

    Beth, November 1, 2010 at 10:09 am
  76. About 3 years ago as instant as over night I became allergic to RAW fruit, nuts and vegetables eg carrots, potatoes, any stone fruit such as apricot, peach, plums and apples even to the extent of the smell of some herb and flower. Cook to there is no reaction. I amanage this to the extreem of wearing gloves while preparing meals and make sure I dont touch my face while doing these tasks. I have no problems with strawberry, grapes if coated in a yoghurt, raw tomatoes and oranges are no problem either. I take Razine only when needed. All I have to watch is while gardening I dont get scratched by rose thorns, grasses insect bites I wear gloves and long sleeves. Oh I grow my own vegetables as well now but this did not change.

    Interesting about a week before the sever reaction started I woke up one morning with this real terrible itching in my ear, thought I had somthing in side there and even went to the Dr..but nothing was found. Have only had to have one trip to the medical centre in the early stages to get treatment.

    I do have an underlining condition of Hypo-thyroidism(sp)and on daily medication but have been for the last 15 years. Am concerned that medication I take for this is causing some reactions because if the ingredients used in the manufacturing of them. As about half an hour after taking my daily meds I notice itching round the eyes, am going to try a different brand.

    NZAnna, November 11, 2010 at 4:16 pm
  77. I have experienced a severe problem with carrots as well. It started when I was about 35 years of age. The irritation only appears on my face; however, it swells up, becomes incredibly red and then purple, becomes itchy and it burns. Then my skin feels as though it becomes dry and crispy and so very itchy that I can hardly contain myself from picking or scratching it off. The problem lasts for several months and up to two years. It is really challenging to socialize when my skin looks so terrible.

    I have tried antibiotics and medicated creams; however the results do not last. I am very much into health foods and attempt to eat raw and organic foods to the degree possible. My latest break-out began in early November and is just easing off now. I am hoping to be done with it within another week or two. At least this time I have not resorted to antibiotics as I know they cause severe problems with my liver.

    I have not experienced any life-threatening effects as some others have, for which I am truly grateful.

    I have been taking mega doses of enzymes and probiotics as well as product called Herb Cocktail. These have been working wonders for me. I have also done some work releasing emotional baggage that may have been in the way as well.

    I wish you are great success in managing and ridding yourselves of this problem.

    Arlene Rannelli.

    Arlene Rannelli, March 2, 2011 at 12:59 pm
  78. I’ve eaten raw and cooked carrots all my life (my mom always had a covered bowl of cut carrots in the fridge, and she’d simply put the bowl out on the table between meals). About eight-nine years ago, I began to get noticeably breathless while eating my lunch (which always used to include ‘baby carrots’). It took me a while to experiment, but eventually I discovered whenever I ate the baby carrots, I got breathless (with or without lunch). Now I’m curious as to whether this is due to the carrots themselves, or some preservative/fertilizer/pesticide included in the baby carrots.

    Russ, March 22, 2011 at 3:23 pm
  79. I have completely cured my allergies (food and pollens and hayfever) by following Dr Batmanghelidj’s recommendations in his books about water and salt. You might be interested to read his book “Eradicate Asthma Now – With Water: An ABC Guide to Curing Asthma, Allergies and Lupus”, available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk All his books are excellent. I hope this will help you as it’s helped me and many thousands of others.

    Janie, May 24, 2011 at 9:52 am
  80. It is so encouraging to see so many comments from other people who have the same problems as me (though I wouldn’t wish it on anyone). Like several other commenters, I became allergic or intolerant to almost all raw vegetables, tree nuts and many fruits when I was approximately 12 years old. They cause a variety of reactions including itching in the mouth & throat, swollen lips, skin rash and severe stabbing chest pains. Now that I’ve read your article and seen the comments, I believe that these allergies/intolerances are due to similarities with pollens, as I am allergic to most pollens and other environmental factors (as tested by an allergist). Thank you for your informative article.

    Heather, August 26, 2011 at 9:45 pm
  81. It is wonderful to see this article and all of the comments regarding allergic reactions to carrots. I too am severely allergic to carrots, celery, and certain apples. My first serious reaction took place in a public setting where I had to be rushed by ambulance to the hospital as they started an iv. It was the scariest day of my life to not be able to breath. I now keep liquid antihistamine on hand at all times in case I feel a reaction coming on. I was 22 the first time this happened and have been dealing with it for 8 years. People always react a little funny and suspicious when I tell them I’m allergic to carrots, it is strange.

    Trisha, August 31, 2011 at 12:43 am
  82. I’m glad to have read these stories so I know we’re not crazy but my daughter’s food allergy list seems to get longer as she gets older. My daughter is 8 yrs old now. When she was just over one year old, we found out she was allergic to peanuts, treenuts, eggs, beans and seeds. Now at age 8 she has suddenly developed an allergy (itchy throat/mouth) to carrots, apples (but not applesauce since it is cooked) strawberries and avocado. I’m fearing there will be more added to the list. We give her benedryl for the fruit allergies and it has gone away immediately and now we just avoid them. I’m wondering has anyone had any luck with seasonal allergy shots helping to alleviate the allergies to the fruits since they are related to the pollen allergies?

    Janet, September 4, 2011 at 10:00 pm
  83. Thanks for the article! I have had allergic reactions to carrots and celery my whole life. As a baby, my parents were hippy health food nuts and fed me cooked carrot baby food all the time. While you could hold me up with a raw carrot due to the instant allergic reaction I have, with cooked carrots I just get incredible stomach problems. My parents lived in a tiny town in the mountains and the only doctor advised them to just feed me sugar water until I was 2 because he couldn’t figure out where the stomach problems were coming from. Nobody thought a person could possibly be allergic to carrots! My allergy is always a conversation item at the table so I do tend to have fun with it, but 30 years later my parents still think I’m stubbornly trying to get out of eating my vegetables.

    Eva, September 6, 2011 at 1:02 pm
  84. Wow!!! Finally I’m not alone. I was stricken with my carrot allergy while at a park drinking a carrot bannana smoothie which was regular drink for me. My breathing became shallow, throat closed, lips and ears itched. I was 22 then and 20 years later I still cannot eat and sometimes not even touch a raw carrot. However, cooked carrots are no problem. What natural chemical unravels in a carrot when cooked. I also became allergic to canteloup and began to think it was the betacareotein that was the problem. With some apples removing the skin alleviates my reaction to it…Go figure! I had asthma and hay fever as a child..so how does that factor? My 12 year old daughter has hay fever and eczema and can eat very few raw veggies and absolutely no nuts or strawberries!!

    I just began juicing greens but can fnd very few juice recipes without carrots! Does anyone know of any sites or books that offer carrot free raw juice recipes?

    Sonja, September 26, 2011 at 6:49 pm
  85. So glad to hear that I’m not crazy :) Like another poster, I have struggled with cantaloupe, watermelon, and even cucumbers my whole life: instant itchiness of the lips, throat, and inner ear. Bananas* produce itchiness and intense pain from behind my sternum. Just recently, this same feeling- lump in the throat, tightness in the chest, uneasy stomach- popped up when I ate a raw carrot. I get less itchiness but more overall discomfort.

    *Something I figured out about bananas: the allergen that bothers me is in fact located in the bottom tip of the nanner. If I open it like a monkey, and discard that tip, I get no allergies from the banana.

    I would also like to note that while some of these foods do not present immediate allergies, they severely provoke my IBS.

    Likewise, I think for me specifically, I think my allergenic protein is associated with the cell walls of the plants, or the fibrous part. Using a juicer, which removes the fibrous bits, I have zero problems with vegetables. I drink green veggie juice every day now and it has even significantly improved my digestion.

    Gen, November 20, 2011 at 8:07 pm
  86. I am 47 years old and had eaten all my life. About two years ago my mouth would itch a bit after a carrot or two. Last night, however, I ate about a dozen baby carrots and, while watching movies with my children, my eyes itched and watered and i was covered in hives. Thank you for publishing this site.

    Steve, December 3, 2011 at 8:03 am
  87. About 3 months ago, while peeling carrots, my fingers started itching. When I had finished, I washed my hands and the itching went away about 90%. The same thing happened when peeling parsnips! Has anyone else had that problem?
    Now when I eat raw carrots I get the itchy throat, as I do with my tree allergy in the Spring.
    It was very interesting to read this article as I now realize I am not alone! But the parsnips???

    Mandy, January 19, 2012 at 1:28 pm
  88. my 5 years son can eat any carrots of sot. if he eats just one he will brake out with hives all over his body. THe he strats to say he need to scrach like a monkey. poor little guy because he is miss out of the best tasting vegatable

    tara, February 9, 2012 at 2:43 pm
  89. Hey guys, I just wanted to leave my advice. Maybe you’re not actually allergic to the food itself, but the pesticides they are using on the foods. Maybe try to wash the fruits and vegetable’s better before you eat them or just plain switch to organic. It’s crazy the stuff they are putting on our food now a days, we just did an entire project on it and your symptoms are typical to what pesticides and chemicals on the foods cause.

    becca, February 15, 2012 at 1:31 am
  90. After I graduated from college, at 22yo, I seemingly out of nowhere developed raw food allergies — specifically to certain kinds of apples (my throat seemed to have almost completely closed once…I had tremendous difficulty breathing and I couldn’t even swallow a pill in an attempt to alleviate the reaction!)and raw potatoes, which I’ve never eaten but when I cut them for cooking I get terrible rashes, become itchy all over, and get a burning sensation in my eyes. I’m also allergic to soy milk, but not sure if that counts as a raw food allergy.

    I’m not too sure, based on the “case study” of my own life, that that hyper-cleanliness theory could be applied to me. I would never call myself hyper-clean. I never use products with anti-bacterial chemicals, as I’m aware of the dangers of these chemicals (I used to work in environmental health and became very aware of the dangers and toxicity of so-called “cleaning products”). And as a kid I loved jumping in big piles of mud and went to a big germ-ridden schools my entire life. In fact, my immune system seems to do a wonderful job most of the time: I RARELY get sick with common colds and viruses, even when I’m around people who are sick. I actually haven’t had a cold in almost two years.

    I do get horrible seasonal allergies every spring though–I’m allergic to pollen, some kinds of trees and grasses.

    M, March 1, 2012 at 2:30 pm
  91. I am one of these raw carrot allergic people. I’ve done a bunch of research since my recent diagnosis with a handful of allergies including this one. One question I cannot find an answer to: does dehydrating a carrot sufficiently heat it to denature the problematic proteins?

    I would be grateful for any links. I also invite you to read my article in the Washington Post on Dining Out with Food Allergies.

    Thanks!

    Jacqueline church, March 8, 2012 at 5:17 pm
  92. Thank God!!! I thought that I was
    the only one with raw celery/carrot allergies
    Judging from the looks
    I recieve when I make it
    Known..

    Goldie Phillips III, April 8, 2012 at 2:09 am
  93. I’m so glad I found this link. My son has told me in the past that raw carrots make his lips itch. Well I thought he was making it up in order to not have to eat his veggies. Yesterday we had raw carrots at the table w/ our lunch. He ate a few and after he ate them he said his lips were itchy. then he told me they felt weird like one was swollen. I looked at it and sure enough, one of his lips was swollen on one side as if he had a cold sore, only it wasn’t brite red. I said, enough carrots for you. I’m scared what could happen next as it’s not just itchy lips now.

    Heather, July 1, 2012 at 5:40 pm
  94. I am 33 years old and I was diagnosed with allergies to raw fruits and vegetables when I was about 20. I ate a carrot and my throat swelled up. Now I also have allergies to nuts, shellfish, wheat, soy and the list goes on! So I am basically allergic to everything. Doctors are fascinated by my case but no one has a solution. I remember when I was younger my throat and ears would feel itchy when I would eat raw fruits. My parents thought I was making things up. So I guess I went undiagnosed for years of my life. May be if I avoided these things earlier in life I wouldn’t have had all of these allergies now.

    allergic to everything, July 29, 2012 at 11:07 pm
  95. Me too, for many years I had an intolerance to raw carrots but not cooked one. I can even drink vegetable juice which contain carrot. I am also allergic to birch pollen. Ate more raw carrot yesterday and ended-up at the local pharmacy for Benadryl. Not funny!

    Dan, August 29, 2012 at 6:40 am
  96. Thank you for your article! I’m glad to see I’m not alone, but of course, I never was… I find my allergy to carrots and celery strange because when I was younger, I used to eat carrots ALL the time. I loved them~ But now, whenever I eat them, even just a little amount, my throat becomes itchy and contracts and a part of my lip feels numb. Even though it’s sad I can’t eat them raw, at least I can eat them cooked. C:

    Alyssa, September 30, 2012 at 4:09 pm
  97. I am also allergic to uncooked carrots. Also uncooked apples, snow peas, and soy milk give me the same reaction

    Katie, December 1, 2012 at 1:33 pm
  98. I am allergic to celery and raw carrots. I can eat them cooked and when I told people that I think they thought I was making it up. Thank you for proving what I knew to be true for me.

    Tonia, January 26, 2013 at 2:51 pm
  99. I am allergic to carrots, celery, cilantro, hazelnuts, sometimes canned tuna, and I have a latex allergy as well. My son, 20 yrs old is allergic to many foods including meats. The strange thing is that even though we have different allergies, we both have one odd symptom in common. When we, either of us eats something we are allergic to we get what my son describes as a “hot pain” sensation across the upper back. It is a strange sensation that lasts until a antihistamine is used. Does anyone know what this is?

    charlotte, May 23, 2013 at 1:45 pm
  100. I’ve known that I have had an allergy to carrots for many years. I am also allergic to Birch pollen, almonds and some other raw vegetables and fruits. I came across this page because I was searching for more information after my reaction changed. In the past I had some itching in my mouth mainly. It wasn’t significant enough to go out of my way to avoid them though. Recently I have developed fairly severe throbbing chest and throat pain, but no itching. It’s strange for an allergy, but I’m sure that is what it is. It’s bad enough that I think I’ll make a point to avoid them.

    Dave, June 19, 2013 at 12:03 am
  101. My son has had Oral Allergy Syndrome to carrots, celery , apples for a few yrs. He would complain of an “itchy” throat and at times I thought I noticed white papules on his posterior tongue after such fruits or veggies even in small quantities. Pediatrician said to just avoid–not a dangerous allergy and so we did. About a month ago he got an incidental carrot from a salad ( usually we made his salad separate but one snuck in) and within a few minutes he had a voice change and complaint of difficulty swallowing. I immediately gave Benadryl and was getting ready to go to Urgent care when he got better quickly. We were referred to allergist who confirmed he indeed had 4+reaction to celery and carrots and oral allergy syndrome to apples. She prescribed epipen and recommended avoidance…even for cooked. Cooked apples fine. He also has an allergy to several tree pollens, including birch. Just a note of caution if you think it’s just an “oral allergy syndrome” “not the dangerous kind” you may want to have it really evaluated by an allergist with testing to be sure. We were shocked!

    Kim, August 8, 2013 at 9:34 pm
  102. My 9 year old daughter is allergic to raw and cooked carrots, so this makes shopping trips hectic and unless I know she has already ate a product then I have to read every single label and I have to train everyone who cares for her how to administer an epi-pen and I have to watch dates on the epi pen… I would hate to use an epi -pen because she would be very sick

    Jennifer Gregg, December 5, 2013 at 10:37 pm
  103. Soy milk caused me yo rush to the ER…in the waiting room my girlfriend gave me a Zirtec, and i was fine. Throat was swelling and closing fast….. Today, snap peas did it to me. zirtec solved the pronlem. I also get a puns and needles feeling from carrot juice.

    Mike, March 30, 2014 at 9:20 pm
  104. Glad I found this article. I’ve had a carrot allergy for years, and my son has hd oral allergy syndrome to apples (ER didn’t believe me that was why his mouth swelled). Anyone else get a rash to carrots as well? If I eat something with carrots in it by mistake, I get a very itchy rash that lasts up to 6 weeks in small areas of my body.

    Sue, April 12, 2014 at 2:55 pm
  105. Wow. Am I glad I found this. F I developed this when I was about 7 ny mum didn’t believe me so she made me a glass of carrot juice from the juicer…my reaction was not life threatening but it was borderlining. Severe itchiness in throat ears mouth ingeneral and almost complete swelling of the throat. Since then I never ate raw carrot. Cooked no problem. My wife still does not believe me even trying to make me take a bite to prove that it is “all in my head”. That’s when I done the search and came across this. Thankfully :)

    Since that day, over the course of my life I have developed intolerances to other foods. None life threatening but all with same symptoms. Itchiness of mouth, throat, pulsating of gums and itchy ear canal. These include hazelnuts, almonds, wallnuts, cherries, kiwi, strawberries, apple’s, pomegranates. All with different levels of reaction and all quite fine when cooked. Amazingly I am perfectly fine with peanuts, although my son is anaphylactic to them. Ironic. I do have hayfever for the record. It seems to be a common link in all of us.

    adnan, June 28, 2014 at 6:56 am
  106. When ever I peel carrott I get asthma attack. I have to puff the inhaler right away. I thought may be the fertiizer is the issue so I tried with organic carrott same thing happened. When I peel potato it is very mild however with carrott it definitely gives me asthma. Wheezing problem. I have noticed this for a while. I can eat carrott with no problem. Peeling is the problem. Why is that?

    Ro, November 25, 2014 at 1:22 pm
  107. I am very allergic to carrot. Only to raw carrot. I can eat cooked carrot.

    Gina, November 26, 2014 at 2:32 pm
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