Garlic is a bulb in the lily family. It is well known that garlic is widely used to flavor food, it is also widely sold in powder or oil form. Some people take garlic supplements for its potential benefits, such as lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure, among other benefits.
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True garlic allergies are rare, and a person is more likely to have an intolerance. In this article, we look at the symptoms of garlic allergies and intolerances. You will also find tips to prevent an allergic reaction.
Allergy symptoms vs intolerance symptoms.
An allergy occurs when the body comes into contact with a foreign substance and overreacts, releasing inflammatory immune cells. These reactions can range from mild to severe. If a person has a mild reaction at one point, they may have a severe reaction later.
Symptoms associated with a garlic allergy:
- Difficulty to swallow.
- Stomach cramps.
- Tingling, especially around the mouth.
In its most severe form, a garlic allergy could trigger anaphylaxis. This causes the throat to swell, which can make it difficult to breathe.
A person can also have an intolerance to garlic, which is different from an allergy. An intolerance can cause unpleasant symptoms but does not trigger an immune system response.
Examples of symptoms associated with a garlic intolerance include:
- A runny nose.
These symptoms generally take longer to appear than an allergy. Allergic reactions usually occur shortly after eating or coming into contact with a problem food, while symptoms of an intolerance can take several hours to appear.
Causes of garlic allergies.
Food allergies occur when the body reacts to a typically harmless substance as if it were a foreign invader, such as a cold or flu virus. The body fights the perceived threat with an inflammatory response, leading to symptoms such as sneezing, bloating, and coughing.
Doctors do not know why some people experience allergies to certain foods and others do not.
Having a family history of allergies increases a person’s risk. Various conditions, such as asthma and eczema, can also make a person more prone to allergies.
Children tend to have more food allergies than adults, but symptoms can go away as they develop.
Garlic, onion, and similar vegetables belong to the lily family. Anyone with an allergy or intolerance to garlic can also be sensitive to onions, chives, leeks, or shallots. Consume these vegetables with caution until adverse reactions have been ruled out.