Cabbage allergy is caused by some allergic substances or allergens found in cabbage.
Cabbage allergy is visible in some people while in some others; it’s not visible the reason being that body composition is different for some people the presence of cabbage in the body will trigger immune responses that will cause the release of histamine thereby eliciting allergic symptoms on the body.
Hence cabbage allergy is a condition whereby certain allergens present in cabbage trigger immune response by antibodies present in the body thereby eliciting allergic reactions on the body.
Allergic reactions can present as skin rashes, reddening of the skin, patches on the skin, itching, and sneezing.
In this article we are going to discuss cabbage allergy and symptoms, can you be allergic to that same cabbage you enjoy so much?
What is Cabbage?
Cabbage is a cruciferous green vegetable with the botanical name Brassica oleracea that belongs to the family Brassica together with other vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli which are called Cole crops.
Cabbage has different colors ranging from white, green to purple.
Chinese people believe that the secret of eternal usefulness is eating cabbage frequently.
Similarly, Cabbage as a vegetable also contains very important vitamins and minerals which are essential for the maintenance of health. It is made up of vitamins, calories, proteins, and minerals like manganese, potassium, magnesium, etc.
It is also eaten throughout the whole world as a cooked or raw part of many types of salad.
Cabbages have been adopted by many countries of the world as part of their daily mostly in meals like coleslaw, kimchi, etc.
Cabbage is also known for important health benefits in the body when eaten.
Some of these Cabbage health benefits include;
- It contains antioxidants that protect the body against damages caused by free radicals in the body. A very important radical found in cabbage is vitamin C which protects the body against certain illnesses like cancer.
- Because they contain antioxidants, they are also known to protect the body against inflammation. Research has shown that eating cruciferous vegetables like cabbages reduces the presence of inflammation markers in the blood.
- Cabbage is packed with fiber hence it is very essential during digestion of food in the stomach.
- Cabbage mostly red cabbages contain anthocyanins which reduce the risk of heart diseases and improves a healthy heart condition.
Types of cabbage
All over the world, there are many varieties of cabbage that people eat and add to their daily meals.
These varieties of cabbages have different colors and are easily accessible in local markets or supermarkets.
The following are the different types of cabbage;
- Green cabbages
- Savoy also known as curly cabbage because of its rough and ridged leaves.
- Red cabbage which looks somewhat like green vegetable except that is red in color.
- Napa cabbage which is sometimes referred to as Chinese cabbage.
- Bok choy cabbage, this type of cabbage looks like swiss chard except for its pale green stalk and leaves.
- Brussels sprout which are tiny cabbages that are normally sold loose without the stalk.
Just like every other vegetable cabbage can sometimes present allergy although quite rare but allergic reactions have been noticed in some patients within a few hours of ingesting cabbages.
Within those few hours of ingestion, the body begins to produce the IgE antibodies which react against the proteins found in cabbage.
Once these proteins are targeted, immune responses are being elicited by these antibodies thereby producing histamine which is involved in the inflammatory responses and also has a major role in causing itching, a major allergic symptom.
The symptoms of cabbage allergy are often mild or moderate but sometimes a serious reaction like anaphylaxis may occur.
Causes of Cabbage Allergy
As discussed, earlier cabbage like other vegetables causes allergy for some people while it doesn’t elicit allergic responses in other people.
The allergic responses by cabbage are often mild but moderate although in some rare cases a serious allergic reaction like anaphylaxis may occur.
Cabbage allergy is caused by some proteins contained in cabbage; these proteins are known as allergens because they cause allergy.
The major protein contained in cabbage that acts as an allergen is known as chitinase which is also an enzyme gotten mostly from the stem and root of cabbage.
Chitinase triggers an allergic reaction in some people who ingests cabbage, another important cabbage allergen is “Bra O 3
Once these proteins are detected in the body, the immune system immediately tags them as alien substances or foreign bodies and immediately begins to produce the IgE antibodies which activate and bind themselves to mast cells hence producing histamine which elicits the allergic reactions such as itching, itching, breathing difficulty, etc.
Cabbage Allergy Symptoms
The cabbage allergic reactions produce symptoms which makes it possible to know when a person is reacting to cabbages after eating them.
Cabbage allergy symptoms begin to manifest within a few minutes or hours of eating cabbage.
The release of histamine into the bloodstream leads to the appearance of the cabbage allergic symptoms.
The symptoms of cabbage allergy as discussed earlier is often mild except that in some rare situations a serious condition like anaphylaxis may present.
The symptoms of cabbage allergy therefore include;
- Itching of the mouth and tongue and other parts of the body like lips and face.
- Redness of the skin
- Inflammation of the skin which can lead to skin rashes and lesions.
- When histamine is released in the gastrointestinal tract it can lead to nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.
- Airways constriction
- Breathing difficulty
- Anaphylaxis occurs in rare conditions which can lead palpitations in the heart, nausea, and unconsciousness.
Cabbage Allergy Test
As discussed, earlier allergy is a kind of reaction that is immunologic.
It is important to conduct a test in order to determine the causes of allergy when a person experiences an allergy.
It is difficult to detect allergy just by the food one eats that is why it is important to conduct a test in order to find out the major causes of allergy by conducting cabbage allergy testing.
The IgE test helps to know if one is allergic to cabbage or not.
How to Prepare for Allergy Testing
When going for a cabbage allergy test, no special preparation is needed.
However, it is important that you wear a loosely fitted outfit that will enable you to feel comfortable.
It is also important to know that you shouldn’t consume food rich in the allergens you are going to test for before going to the hospital and of course, no fasting is required.
Cabbage allergy test Procedure
The specimen required for the cabbage allergy test is a serum of volume I ml collected in a tube with a red top.
The procedure for the cabbage allergy test involves a collection of serum or blood from the patient’s body using the skin prick method.
During the skin prick test, the area for the collection of specimens is cleaned with cotton soaked in alcohol.
Then a new need is inserted in the vein to draw out the blood after which the area of sample collection is cleaned and wrapped with gauze.
The blood is then tested to determine the type of allergen present in the blood.
A blood test called immunoCAP will be further taken to determine the level of IgE antibodies present in the body.
Importance of Cabbage Allergy Test
Cabbage allergy is important for the following reasons;
- It helps to alleviate a patient’s difficulty in choosing foods to eat as they already know what to eat and what not to eat following the result from the allergy test.
- It also helps patients to know the most prominent allergens causing their allergies
- It contributes to a better evaluation to know if particular immunotherapy will be an alternative.
- It helps patients to know the specific medical strategies to adapt to,
What to do After Testing Positive to Cabbage allergy
The reason why a patient goes to the hospital to have a test conducted for cabbage allergy is to know the next thing to do if they test negative to cabbage allergy.
We understand that cabbage is very delicious and has formed a major part of your diet and meals but it is also very important to understand that your health is more important than satisfying your taste buds.
So do you still ask, what to do after testing positive to the allergens in cabbage?
Well, let me tell you! If you test positive to cabbage allergy the best thing to do is stay thousands of miles away from any meal that contains cabbage by doing so you will be able to prevent allergic reactions that may arise from ingesting cabbage.
Your doctor may also prescribe antihistamines for you. Antihistamines help to counter the immunologic responses elicited by histamine like itching, swelling, tingling, etc.
They can help calm the effects of the cabbage allergic reactions but they do not cure it, they only act to some extent minimize the amount of histamine produced by the IgE antibodies.
In essence, your best approach to preventing cabbage allergic reactions is staying away from cabbage, that way you will be to avoid allergic reactions.
We hope you have learned very well cabbage allergies, causes, symptoms, and the cabbage allergy test and procedures.
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