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What Are the Signs of an Allergic Reaction to Kiwi?

By Meshell Powell
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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An allergic reaction to kiwi may occur in anyone, although it is more common among children than adults. This allergy can take on a variety of forms, ranging from mild to potentially life threatening. Oral allergy syndrome is the most common type reaction and involves symptoms such as burning, itching, and swelling in the mouth. Birch pollen allergies and latex allergies are closely linked to kiwi allergies and may become severe enough to cause breathing problems or even death.

The most common type of allergic reaction to kiwi is referred to as oral allergy syndrome. This type of reaction usually causes the mouth to tingle, itch, or burn after kiwi has been consumed. In some cases, the mouth, lips, or tongue may begin to swell. Unlike more serious allergic reactions, the symptoms usually last only a few seconds or up to a few minutes. If the symptoms persist or if breathing becomes difficult, the sufferer should consulted a medical professional immediately.

In some cases, an allergic reaction may be due to what is called a birch pollen allergy. The proteins that cause allergies to birch pollen are very similar to those in kiwi fruit, so the reactions can be similar. Oral allergy syndrome is the most common type of reaction among those with a birch pollen allergy and is less likely to occur when the fruits are cooked instead of eaten raw. Additional symptoms may include dizziness, rapid pulse, and low blood pressure. People who have a birch pollen allergy may also have reactions to foods such as apples, peaches, or potatoes.

In some situations, an allergic reaction to kiwi may be connected to a latex allergy. These symptoms may include oral symptoms, gastrointestinal disturbances, or breathing difficulty. If facial swelling occurs along with trouble breathing or a loss of consciousness, a serious and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis may be happening. This combination of symptoms should be treated as a medical emergency, as a lack of proper oxygen flow can cause permanent brain damage or death within a matter of minutes. An injectible medication known as epinephrine is usually prescribed for those who have ever had an anaphylactic reaction and can be life-saving if another reaction occurs.

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Discussion Comments
By anon996851 — On Oct 18, 2016

I have eaten kiwi berries twice now. The first time I was ok. The second time I have more of them and within ruffly 10 minutes I have sores pop up in my mouth throat and on the underside of my tongue. I am not allergic to any other fruits or latex. Help

By anon956794 — On Jun 16, 2014

I'm 11 and as soon as I eat kiwi, my mouth starts burning like crazy, but I'm not allergic to strawberries or any other fruit. Should I go to the doctor to see if it's an allergic reaction?

By anon349958 — On Sep 30, 2013

I just ate some kiwi berries for the first time and my tongue started burning and feels raw. I ate regular kiwis as long as I can remember. I will be 65 years old in December and can't believe this happened. I love kiwi and liked the kiwi berries as well. So no more kiwi berries for me. Darn.

By donasmrs — On May 25, 2013
@alisha-- Did she test positive for a latex allergy as well? If she's allergic to birch pollen, kiwi, bananas and avocados, she must be allergic to latex.

Kids usually grow out of these allergies. My son was also allergic to strawberries and kiwi when he was little. He would get a rash all over his body with blisters but he can eat them without problems now. But your daughter seems to be allergic to latex, so I'm not sure if she will grow out of it.

You might want to watch out for other berries and citrus fruits because strawberries, kiwi, raspberries are all similar.

By discographer — On May 24, 2013

My toddler has just been diagnosed with a kiwi allergy. If she has even a bite of kiwi, her face becomes red and starts to swell. It's very scary.

We had allergy tests done for her and found out that she's allergic to a bunch of other things-- bananas, avocados, peaches, strawberries, almost all nuts as well as birch pollen.

By literally45 — On May 24, 2013

I have some irritation in my mouth after I eat kiwi. My mouth just feels different and kind of itchy but I don't have any other symptoms. It's not an allergy right?

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