Many health conscious individuals have been using canola oil as a healthy alternative to the commonly used types of oil in the market today. Canola oil is considered as a healthy alternative to vegetable oil due to its low impact on cholesterol, but if an individual is allergic to it, he/she starts to experience undesirable symptoms. Once you notice that the individual experiences an adverse reaction after consuming food products made with canola, a doctor should be consulted for proper assessment of the condition.
What are the potential causes?
It is important to note that food allergy is triggered by a malfunction of the immune system. The immune system identifies the proteins in canola oil as a threat to the body and initiates an attack. The immune system generates immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies that fight off the proteins.
The IgE antibodies instigate the mast cells to produce histamine which is a natural chemical in the body responsible for protecting the body against infection. During an allergic reaction to canola oil, the levels of histamine are high which results to swelling and inflammation that leads to the manifestation of the common symptoms.
Signs and symptoms
The symptoms typically develop within a few minutes or a few hours before they manifest. The signs and symptoms might include asthma, digestive issues, skin reactions and respiratory issues.
The digestive symptoms that allergic individuals experience include stomach pain, cramping, vomiting, gas, nausea and bloating.
The asthma symptoms include chest tightness, wheezing, difficulty breathing and shortness of breath. The inflammation in the respiratory tract can cause sneezing, nasal congestion, watery eyes and runny nose. These symptoms can cause postnasal drip, sinus headaches and facial tenderness. In addition, the skin can become inflamed and irritated, resulting to eczema, hives and itchiness.
Identifying and avoidance of foods that contain canola oil is highly effective in managing canola oil allergy. The individual should carefully read all the labels of products closely before ingestion. When eating outside, it is vital to disclose to the server about the allergy.
Certain medications such as decongestants, antihistamines and hydrocortisone can help manage the minor allergy symptoms. An allergist should be consulted for further testing in order to confirm an actual allergy.
Considerations to bear in mind
Just like with any food allergy, the individual might experience anaphylactic shock which is an abrupt and severe allergic reaction. During anaphylaxis, the body goes into a state of shock due to the large amounts of histamine all over the body.
The typical symptoms of anaphylaxis include low pulse rate, hives, difficulty swallowing, nasal congestion, anxiety, chest pain, nausea, vomiting and loss of consciousness. Remember that anaphylaxis can lead to death if not treatment promptly and correctly. Once the initial symptoms are present, call for emergency assistance or bring the individual to the hospital right away.