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Latex and Food Allergies: What's the Link?

Sometimes if you have a latex allergy, you can start itching and get hives even if you haven't touched latex. That’s because when you're allergic to latex, you may also be allergic to certain foods -- and vice versa.

It’s called a cross-reaction, and it only happens to some people. If you're sensitive to latex, your body reacts to certain proteins. Some of these same proteins are found in foods. Then you get allergic symptoms like you would with latex.

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Like latex reactions, cross-reactions are different from person to person. You may react to all foods that cause cross-reactions or only to one.

Foods That Can Cause Cross-Reactions

  • Bananas, figs, kiwi, peaches, grapes, papaya, nectarines, melon, cherries, strawberries, plums, and pineapple
  • Celery, tomatoes, avocados, and potatoes
  • Chestnuts and hazelnuts
  • Wheat and rye

Most people don’t have cross-reactions. But if you’re allergic to latex, you may want to be careful around these foods. And if you have allergies to any of these foods, you should tell your doctor and dentist. They can make sure you’re not exposed to latex at their offices or in the hospital. 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Luqman Seidu, MD on October 13, 2012

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