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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Comments for Lemon Allergy Symptoms

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Jun 01, 2013
Allergy to lemons
by: Marybeth

I not only have had deadly allergic reaction to lemons i also add all citrus, tropical fruits and berries to my list in the food category--not to mention I am deadly allergic to all medication in the cillin... family. weird hu...

Jun 12, 2013
Lemon allergy
by: Anonymous

I have severe allergic reaction (within 20 minutes) to anything containing lemon juice, extract, oil etc. and have noticed that whilst grapefruit does not upset me, it tends, I believe, to worsen a psoriasis condition, and i suspect orange juice has an effect too.

For this reason i have to be so careful both in eating at home and particularly when dining out, it actually results in me being reluctant to eat out because whilst one can tell the waiter, the message is either not passed on, or the chef forgets and a pleasant social occasion is ruined, i am in pain often for hours, and this sometimes results in vomiting too, which strangely can alleviate the pain almost immediately.

Aug 02, 2013
Reaction to lemon juice in drinking water
by: Luann

Have been suffering with a itchy rash for 1 year. Have never been allergic to anything in my life. Went to a dermatologist. They took a skin sample and came back as Atopic Dermatitis - which is something I ingested.

After thinking of any changes in my diet, the only thing was adding Lemon Juice to my drinking water. It has been 3 days since stopping the lemon juice and the itch is gone. Who would have thought.

Aug 19, 2013
My severe lemon allergy reaction
by: KarenAnonymous

A few months ago I ate a cupcake with a lemon filling. Two days later my mouth was full of canker sores and very tender gums. It took months to subside.

Then about the time that was nearly better, I ate a blueberry pie that had a tiny bit of lemon in it and two days later my throat started to feel sore. It kept getting worse until I could not talk nor swallow. My throat was nearly closed off but my esophagus was not affected.

I went to emergency and they gave me a steroid, which helped clear it up pretty fast.

I still have a hoarse throat and it hurts to yawn and it has been two weeks.

When doctors looked in my mouth and then again in my throat they could see nothing that looked wrong.

It made me feel stupid, but yet I was suffering a lot. One doctor said I was having a severe allergic reaction to the lemon and to always have Benedryl with me.

I will be extra careful now but wish I knew why the allergic reaction took two days both time and why it takes so long to clear up. I'm puzzled, Karen

Nancy's response:

Wow, so sorry for your suffering, Karen! I have no idea why it would take a few days for symptoms to appear but I am sure it must have to do with how the citrus is metabolized in your body to produce the allergens.

Normally what I recommend to people with any type of allergies is to take a natural dietary supplement that contains Bromelain, Quercetin, and Vitamin C. This supplement is fairly effective for most people with seasonal allergies as well as some food allergies.

However, since Bromelain is a protein-digesting enzyme extracted from the flesh and stem of the pineapple plant, it may not be a good idea for you if there is any chance you are also allergic to pineapple. Otherwise, you may simply have to avoid all citrus.

Note: Protein-digesting enzymes are system enzymes that you take in between meals. They eat "foreign proteins" in the body, such as allergens, bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

Aug 19, 2013
7 year old son may have citrus allergy
by: Anonymous

I have a 7 year old son who seems to get really sick the next day after drinking lemonade or a lime aid, but if you drink anything like Kool Aid, that lemonade flavor, he's okay. He don't get sick.

I just been trying to narrow it down. This is like the third time he has gotten sick after drinking something with citrus...and its usually between 6 to 12 hour period before he starts getting sick.

And he will vomit all day long but never runs a fever... tomorrow I'm going to call his allergy doctor because he does have seasonal allergies and see maybe they could test him for food allergies but I was wanting to know can this be common if he is allergic to citrus.

Response:

It sounds like he does have a citrus allergy, but no way to know for sure without getting tested.

The reason he does not react to lemon flavored Kool Aid and such is because those flavorings are not citrus. They are artificial flavorings.

May 13, 2014
Lemon allergy symptoms
by: Anonymous

One week drank lemon water, cucumber and mint. Broke out with itchy neck and peeling skin face, neck and ears.

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