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What Are the Signs of an Allergic Reaction to Bananas?

Alex Tree
Updated: Mar 03, 2024

Hives, mouth and throat problems, and abdominal pain are some signs of an allergic reaction to bananas. One of the most common allergic reactions, not just to bananas, is hives that itch and spread over the body. People allergic to bananas may also experience itchy and swollen mouths and throats, which can be dangerous if severe. They might also experience abdominal pain and vomiting. On the other hand, banana allergies are somewhat rare and probably not the cause of allergic reaction unless the person is also allergic to other fruits or latex.

A common allergic reaction is hives, which show up as blotchy red welts. Hives are usually itchy and uncomfortable, but rarely are they life threatening or a problem that a doctor needs to address. It is usually recommended to avoid hot showers or tight clothing while dealing with hives. Antihistamines may help the hives go away sooner, but they should fade within minutes to hours without medication. Health professionals usually recommend seeking medical help if the hives linger for longer than two weeks.

Another allergic reaction to bananas is an itchy or swollen mouth or throat. This reaction is usually observed shortly after consuming the banana, but it might not be noticeable at first because mild swelling can be hard to detect. If the swelling is severe, it is best to see a health professional as soon as possible. A lot of swelling of the tongue or throat can lead to difficulty breathing, eventually leading to loss of consciousness and death. Emergency medical services should be contacted if the swelling seems to get worse more quickly than expected.

Abdominal pain is another potential allergic reaction to bananas. This reaction is typically mild, but can be severe enough to lead to vomiting. Most people with banana allergies do not experience abdominal pain, because hives and itchy throats are much more common.

Banana allergies are uncommon, and people allergic to bananas are often allergic to other fruits or latex. Nuts, shellfish, and egg allergies are more common and should be considered as the possible allergen if consumed at around the same time as the banana. It is rare for food allergy reactions to show up hours instead of minutes after consumption of the food, but not entirely unheard of. Banana allergies, like all other allergies, are usually developed the first time a banana is eaten, and then the person has a negative reaction the next time.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Alex Tree
By Alex Tree
Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and The Health Board contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.
Discussion Comments
By anon953933 — On May 29, 2014

I am banana intolerant and have been for most of my adult life. Almost instantly after eating a few bites of a banana, I start burping and my stomach feels heavy and crampy. I used to try and just eat half of the banana, but now I don't even bother because it only takes a couple bites before I feel ill. But I can eat banana nut muffins, strawberry banana yogurt, and the like. It's just raw bananas in their natural form that my stomach cannot handle.

I don't think I have a latex allergy as I have never had an issue in any doctor or hospital stays.

By literally45 — On May 26, 2013

I'm allergic to green bananas but not ripe ones. If I have green bananas, my lips and the inside of my mouth becomes itchy.

By burcidi — On May 25, 2013

@ankara-- Stomach cramps and nausea are symptoms of a latex allergy, so it's possible that you are allergic to bananas. But since you had them in a milkshake, you could also be intolerant of lactose or milk protein.

You need to get an allergy or food intolerance test to know or sure. You could also do an elimination diet to see what you are allergic to. Avoid bananas for a few months and then have a small piece to see what happens.

If you ever develop a rash or difficulty breathing though, you need to avoid bananas completely. Those are serious allergic reactions. If you have a latex allergy, you're probably also allergic to kiwis and avocados so you need to be careful about those as well.

By bluedolphin — On May 24, 2013

I don't purchase bananas because I've never been a huge fan of them. But I do eat them occasionally, particularly in desserts.

I had a banana milkshake the other day and had stomach cramps afterward. I was also nauseated for several hours. Does this mean I'm allergic to bananas now?

Alex Tree
Alex Tree
Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and The Health Board contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.
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