Latex and Food Allergies: What's the Link?

Sometimes if you have a latex allergy, you can have a reaction 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 proteins are found in foods.

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

Some fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains can cause cross reactions with latex.

Some of the fruits that can cause cross-reactions include:

  • Bananas
  • Figs
  • Kiwi
  • Peaches
  • Papaya
  • Nectarines
  • Melon
  • Cherries
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple

These vegetables may also cause cross-reactions:

  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocados
  • Potatoes

Chestnuts and almonds can cause cross-reactions, as can peppermint and mustard.

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, 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 Nayana Ambardekar, MD on April 14, 2018

Sources

SOURCES:

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

New York State Department of Public Health: "Latex Allergy."

Division of Medical Devices: “Latex-Fruit Syndrome and Class 2 Food Allergy.”

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