‘What’s Up Doc’ is a health column in association with The Crawley Observer, which gives you the opportunity to ask questions regarding general health and wellbeing.
Answers are provided weekly from our specialist consultants at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital, Surrey. If it’s a long-standing illness or simply a worry which you would like to get off your mind then we would like to help. This weeks question is answered by Dr Rubaiyat Haque consultant allegist.
This question appeared in The Crawley Observer on 23 January 2013, to readers across Surrey and Sussex. The question and answer is below, as it appeared in the newspaper.
Read Dr Rubaiyat Haque's response:
Hi Spire, I am 24 years old and think I have a food allergy. I am getting an itchy sensation inside the mouth, throat or ears. It’s been on-going for the past 5 months. Please can you help me get to the bottom of this, what could it be? How can it be sorted? Thank you. Hetal, Horsham.
"If the itching is occurring immediately and consistently after eating particular foods, then there is the possibility of this being a very mild food allergy. Many patients with birch pollen hay fever experience these symptoms after eating certain raw fruits (especially apples, cherries, kiwi, pears, peaches, nectarine and melon), nuts (almonds and hazelnuts in particular) and raw vegetables (potatoes, carrots and celery).
This is called the Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS). Interestingly, the symptoms can be abolished by eaten the fruit cooked rather than raw. I would recommend that you are seen by an appropriately qualified allergist for further investigation."