Could You Be Allergic to Seasonings? Spice Allergy Called a 'Hidden' Form of Food Allergy

When people think of food allergies, they usually picture peanuts, eggs, seafood, and other common allergens. Other, less common food allergies include those to fruits, vegetables, meats, and other foods. Avoiding these foods can be difficult, but for the most part, those with serious food allergies can avoid their allergen. Yet for those who are allergic to spices, seasonings, and food additives, it can be nearly impossible to avoid triggering a reaction.

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According to About.com, spice allergies are a 'hidden' form of food allergies. They are found in nearly every packaged food or restaurant dish. Plus, reactions to a specific spice are often hard to avoid because, unlike the more common food allergens, they aren't required to be listed in food ingredient lists. Instead, food manufacturers can list 'natural flavorings' or 'spices,' and restaurants are reluctant to share their 'secret recipe.'

While spice allergies are less common than other types of food allergy, they can be just as dangerous. It is also thought that sensitivities to food seasonings and additives are underdiagnosed. Symptoms can include sneezing, a runny nose, watery eyes, skin rashes, swelling around the mouth, gastrointestinal symptoms, difficulty breathing, and even anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. If you have a spice allergy, the only way to avoid a reaction is to avoid the spice in question. This can make eating prepared foods or dining at a restaurant nearly impossible due to the difficulties in avoiding a particular spice.

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