Top 5 Most Unusual Food Allergies

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You or somebody you know is probably allergic to one of the big eight food allergens: milk, peanuts, soy, tree nuts, wheat, shellfish, eggs and fish. These eight account for 90 percent of food allergies, according to the Food Allergies and Anaphylaxis Network. But some special folks have rarer allergies. Food allergies can cause wheezing, hives, drops in blood pressure, breathing troubles and, in extreme cases, death.

5 Chocolate

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Chocolate lovers, you might want to stop reading now. While a very few people may be allergic to chocolate, most people who claim this problem are actually allergic to the cockroach parts contained therein. An average chocolate bar contains about eight bug parts. As long as the bug count doesn’t exceed 60 parts per 100 grams, the FDA says that chocolate is A-OK. Roach bits can affect people with asthma, and cause migraines, cramps, hives and itching. Good news for those who suffer: you can be treated with injections containing roach parts. If you want to give up eating bugs completely, prepare for a long fast.

4 Water

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It doesn’t get much worse than being allergic to water. Aquagenic urticaria is a blow to your social life and makes you awfully thirsty. Sufferers break out in itchy red or white lumps wherever water touches their skin. More common in women, this condition can affect part or all of your body. Doctors treat this very rare allergy with a combination of oral and topical medications.

3 Apples

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It’s not really the apple that people are allergic to, but the birch pollen on the surface of a raw, improperly washed apple. The most unusual of the unusual is allergy sufferer Grace Morley. While she can handle apples or birch separately, if she chomps into an apple in the vicinity of a birch tree, she goes into shock and might die almost immediately. She’d better be masterful at tree identification or switch to pears.

2 Gelatin

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Some people are allergic to this product made from the bones, skins and tendons of animals, and not just because that sounds gross. A gelatin allergy can bring on a runny nose and red bumps on your skin. While giving up eating gummy bears and marshmallows might sound like reasonable sacrifices, vaccinations present a bigger problem. The mumps, measles, influenza and rubella vaccinations all contain gelatin.

1 Annatto

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You might never have heard of annatto, but you’ve almost surely eaten it. This pulp found inside the seed pod of the achiote tree is used to color common foods, such as cheddar cheese, yogurt and hot dogs. Annatto is a 100 percent natural food dye, but it can still cause headaches, irritability, sleep disturbance in adults and even headbanging in young children.

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