When you think of pickles, probably this idea will make your mouth water immediately. Unfortunately, not all of you can enjoy this yummy food since some of you may be allergic to pickles like kosher dills and gherkins. Just like other ingested allergies, pickle allergy also occurs when an offending allergen is eaten.
In fact, a food allergy, or food hypersensitivity, is more common in children than in adults. Just as its name suggested, this is an abnormal immune response to food. The most common foods involved are cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, fish, and so on. When it comes to pickle allergy, the pickling process and the used preservatives make things a little more complex than it might be. That’s to say, while some of you may be allergic to the food itself, more pickle allergies should be blamed for the pickling agents used.
Apparently, identifying the allergen is your first priority when an allergic response occurs to you. It is also true that when you are allergic to pickles but not cucumbers. In this case, the substance your immune system reacts abnormally to is likely to be food additives added. Among them the top suspect may be potassium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, potassium metabisulfite, sodium bisulfite, or sodium sulfite. This is because they are common preservatives that are added to food in order to prevent decomposition by microbial growth. In fact, they have been used as common preservatives in many foods for a long time.
Sulfites or sulfate agents seem to be harmless in most healthy people. In other words, sulfites, even when consumed in large quantities, won’t put you in danger if you have no allergies and asthma. However, your asthma symptoms will get worse if you accidently eat sulfite-containing foods. Besides of asthma attack, other common symptoms of sulfite allergy also include wheezing, hives, headache, rash, anaphylaxis, and so on.
When it comes to pickled food, you should especially beware of some of them. For example, pickled cocktail onions are known for their very high levels. In some studies they even contain more than 100 ppm of sulfites, which mean very high risk to sulfite allergy. In addition, the other two that deserve your attention are pickled peppers and pickles/relish, which have moderate to high levels of sulfite. That means 50 to 99.9 ppm of sulfites and poses a moderate to high levels of sulfite allergy risk.
In terms of food allergies, the best treatment of course is to totally avoid the allergen. Similarly, pickle allergy is no exception. The related symptoms will usually disappear by avoiding the food that causes the allergy. In this case, your best bet would be to consult your allergist or your physician and to identify the culprit. At the same time, your physician will give you symptomatic treatments to relieve other symptoms. For example, the use of inhaled bronchodilator solutions can help relieve asthma symptoms and treatment with injectable epinephrine improves anaphylaxis.
If your allergic reaction to pickles is mild, you can also try some home remedies according to the allergic symptoms. For example, asthma is one of the most common symptoms of sulfite allergy, and the recommended natural remedies include boswellia, ginger, turmeric, mustard oil, coleus, pine bark extract (pycnogenol), and so on.