Honey is recognized as a natural sweetener produced by honey bees with nectar from flowering plants. Although it is mainly comprised of sugar, it also includes vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants.
Despite its natural health benefits, some might develop an allergic reaction to honey. While it is produced, it is possible that is contaminated with bee pollen or pollen from other trees and plants such as:
If an individual is allergic to pollen, it is likely that he/she might also be allergic to some forms of honey. In most cases, pollen is an allergen rather than the honey itself.
What are the signs?
The indications of the allergy strikingly resemble the symptoms of pollen allergy such as:
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Itchy throat
- Skin bumps
The signs might vary based on the seriousness of the allergy. Ingesting or direct exposure of the skin can instigate an allergic reaction.
In severe cases, these symptoms might manifest:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Erratic heart rate
Management of honey allergy
The symptoms of honey allergy can be managed with an over-the-counter antihistamine. In case the symptoms worsen or do not seem to improve after an hour, seek medical attention.
What is the outlook?
Honey allergy might also be an indication of an underlying allergy to pollen or another related substance.
If uncertain, it is best to avoid it. Consulting a doctor is also recommended so that further testing can be carried out.