A youth panel shares their stories, tips and insight on dating with food allergies:
8 top allergens account for 90 percent of food allergies. Specific IgE levels (sIgE) that predict the likelihood of passing an oral food challenge are shown in the figure. (click to enlarge the image). Read more in Food Challenges for Diagnosis of Food Allergy.
Person-to-person contact and avoidance of food allergens
Food allergen exposure through saliva may occur through:
- sharing straws, glasses, or utensils
Kissing is the most common route of exposure: 5-12% of food allergy patients report reactions after kissing.
Source: The hazards of kissing when you are food allergic. A survey on the occurrence of kiss-induced allergic reactions among 1139 patients with self-reported food hypersensitivity. Eriksson NE; Moller C; Werner S; Magnusson J; Bengtsson U. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2003;13(3):149-54.
How long does food protein stay in saliva? "When is it safe to kiss after a meal?"
Time course of peanut protein (Ara h 1) in saliva after a meal of peanut butter:
- 87% had undetectable levels after 1 hour
- 100% had undetectable levels several hours later following a subsequent peanut-free lunch
Immediate brushing, prolonged rinsing, chewing gum did not produce a statisally significant difference.
Best option: wait several hours, then eat a peanut-free meal
Source: Peanut allergen exposure through saliva: assessment and interventions to reduce exposure. Maloney JM; Chapman MD; Sicherer SH. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006 Sep;118(3):719-24.
Other bodily fluids
First case of a sexually transmitted allergic reaction:
A 20-year-old female with documented Brazil nut allergy developed urticaria and dyspnea after unprotected intercourse with her boyfriend who had earlier consumed Brazil nuts. Skin prick testing with the boyfriend's semen after Brazil nut consumption confirmed significant reactivity. A sample before nut consumption was negative.
Source: Dangerous Liaison: Sexually Transmitted Allergic Reaction to Brazil Nuts. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2007; Vol. 17(3): 189-191.