Garlic Allergy Treatment
The symptoms of garlic allergy are similar to those of food allergies. They include: itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing, cough and wheeze. Most people experience these symptoms when they eat garlic or other foods containing the spice. However, some people do not have any symptoms at all.
Some people experience mild symptoms after eating garlic, while others get severe reactions.
Treatment options for garlic allergy are limited. More severe cases can be treated in the hospital with an injection of epinephrine and steroids. If you are experiencing allergic symptoms after eating garlic, you should see a doctor. Get immediate medical attention for anything more than minor reactions.
Garlic Allergy Suggestions
As garlic is a common ingredient in many dishes, you cannot avoid it altogether. However, there are some suggestions that will help if you have a garlic allergy:
Use lemons or limes instead of garlic when cooking. In recipes that use garlic as a seasoning, try substituting with herbs such as basil, oregano or rosemary.
Smell or taste raw vegetables before adding to a recipe. Some vegetables such as cabbage and chives contain the same allergen that causes garlic allergies.
Scrub garlic firmly under water before use. This helps remove any pesticide that may still be on it.
Always wear gloves when handling garlic. You can also use a plastic container and a wooden cutting board.
Avoid eating out or buy commercial prepared food. Many restaurants use garlic in their cooking.
Garlic Allergy and Children
If you have a child with a garlic allergy, speak to their school about how to handle allergic reactions. Always keep an epinephrine auto-injector (Epi-pen) on hand. It is a device used to inject yourself with necessary medication during an allergic reaction. Your physician can prescribe one for you.
There is no known cure for garlic allergy. However, with careful management, you can still enjoy a fulfilling life.
Garlic Allergy for Newborns
If you are a new parent with a garlic allergy, talk to your doctor before giving birth. You can find tips on the care of a newborn in this article.
Natural Cures and Garlic Allergy
People with garlic allergy can still take natural cures. It is best to avoid anything containing garlic. However, you can take natural cures such as:
Natural Treatments and Garlic Allergy
There are natural treatments for garlic allergy available. As they do not involve taking garlic, they will not worsen your symptoms. These include:
Try an elimination diet. This diet involves removing all common allergens such as wheat and dairy. If this does not cause any symptoms to get worse, you may be able to reintroduce these foods into your diet later on.
Take a probiotic supplement. This can help replenish the good bacteria in your gut.
See a homeopath for an alternative treatment. The homeopath will give you personalized medicines to help relieve your symptoms. These are made from natural ingredients and have no side effects.
Coping With Garlic Allergy
There is currently no cure for a garlic allergy. It can severely limit your diet and lifestyle choices. Take the following tips to handle this condition:
Always be prepared. Make sure you carry your emergency treatment (such as an epinephrine shot) with you at all times. Also, always have your adrenaline pen with you when eating out or at parties.
Always wear protective gloves. Avoid contact with any product that may contain garlic. This includes oils, sprays and even the soil that garlic grows in.
Always check ingredients. If you’re not sure about a product, don’t eat it or drink it. Be aware of product labeling. Not all foods or drinks that contain garlic are labeled as such.
Ask your doctor about allergen-free living. If you wish to not have any contact with garlic or food that may contain it, your doctor may be able to prescribe suitable alternatives.
Always inform others about your condition. Let your family, friends and coworkers know about your condition.
Always be prepared to treat an allergic reaction. Have your medication ready in case of an accidental exposure.
Use a garlic extract if it’s necessary. There are ways to use a small amount of garlic without triggering an allergic reaction. For example, garlic oil is much less allergenic than ordinary garlic.
Use a weak garlic product. You can get products such as odorless garlic tablets.
Speak to your allergist about immunotherapy. This treatment involves receiving very small amounts of garlic via injections. It is usually only recommended for those with a severe allergy to garlic.
You can find out more information about Garlic Allergy from the following sources:
This FAQ has covered some of the basics about Garlic Allergy and its symptoms.
If you have further questions, please contact your doctor.
You might also like to read our article on the causes of Allergies.
Home Treatment for Allergies
How can I decrease my chances of having an allergic reaction?
There are many things you can do to decrease your chances of having an allergic reaction.
Always carry your medication with you.
Learn how to correctly use your medication and when to seek emergency help.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions you have about your medication.
If you know you are going to come into contact with the allergen, try to take your medication in advance.
Always keep your medication with you and always carry your medication in a place that’s easy to reach.
It is also important to have a backup plan if you forget your medication or run out.
Always keep your injectable medication with you at all times.
You can ask your doctor if you can have a prescription for a month’s worth of medication so you don’t have to continually order new supplies.
If you have to come into contact with the allergen and don’t take your medication, stay near the medication and take it as soon as possible.
Wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible. Long pants, long sleeved shirts and closed shoes should be worn when spending time outdoors. When working outdoors, you should also wear protective clothing.
Ask your doctor if there are any local treatments (such as allergy shots) that might help lessen the effects of your condition.
Where can I get more information about Garlic Allergy?
If you have any more questions, please contact your doctor.
This article has covered some of the more frequently asked questions about Garlic Allergy.
Immunotherapy is a treatment where a person is exposed to small amounts of an allergen in order to decrease the allergic reaction. This type of treatment is not presently available for Garlic Allergy, but ongoing research is being performed. You can read more about the present status of Immunotherapy research for Garlic Allergy here.
Sources & references used in this article:
- A case of garlic allergy (R Asero, G Mistrello, D Roncarolo… – Journal of Allergy and …, 1998 – Elsevier)
- Occupational asthma induced by garlic dust (B Añibarro, JL Fontela, F De La Hoz – … of allergy and clinical immunology, 1997 – Elsevier)
- Garlic dermatitis (TA Delaney, AM Donnelly – Australasian journal of dermatology, 1996 – Wiley Online Library)