Lemon Allergy Symptoms

by N. Akhtar
(Singapore)

Are you allergic to lemons?

Are you allergic to lemons?

Question: How can I know if I am allergic to lemons?

Nancy’s Answer: Lemon allergies are uncommon, but like any citrus allergy, a lemon allergy can cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. If you know you have an allergic reaction to any type of citrus fruit, there is a good chance you might have a reaction to lemons. A lemon allergy can develop at any point during one’s life and can also subside at any time.

Our immune system uses antibodies to fight off foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. A lemon allergy is caused by the release of IgE antibodies in the body. For some reason, the body identifies the lemon proteins as harmful invaders, thus causing a chain of chemical reactions and production of histamine.

Lemon Allergy Symptoms

According to the MayoClinic.com, lemon allergies have some of the same causes and symptoms as most food allergies. The following are some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction to lemons or lemon juice:


  • Skin rashes, hives, eczema or intense itching are the most common lemon allergy symptoms

  • Canker sores appear in the mouth or at the corner of the lips

  • Gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, or vomiting

  • Asthma-type reactions, such as shortness of breath, wheezing, along with nasal congestion

  • A severe allergic reaction can cause anaphylactic shock, which includes rapid heart rate, a sudden drop in blood pressure, and an inability to breathe


Diagnosing Lemon Allergy

A simple way to determine if you might be allergic to lemons it to touch a small amount of lemon peel or lemon pulp to your skin and see if you have any type of reaction, such as a rash or itching. This is obviously not a foolproof method, but if you are allergic, there is a good chance you will have some type of reaction.

If in doubt, an allergist can help determine if you do, in fact, have a lemon allergy and what might the cause. Common diagnostic tests may include a skin prick test or blood test.

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