What You Need to Know About an Avocado Allergy

Avocado allergies are rare, and currently, the prevalence of avocado allergies is unknown. However, if you have an avocado allergy, you may also have a birch pollen allergy and/or a latex allergy.

Avocados are a great source of fiber, and, despite their high-fat content, they help improve LDL cholesterol. Its oil can be used for cooking, but it's also an ingredient in many cosmetics, including facial and body moisturizers, soaps, and shampoos. 

This article will discuss avocado allergies, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and food alternatives.

Man slicing avocado with a knife on a cutting board close up

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Oral vs Latex-Related Allergy

There are several types of avocado allergies. Two common ones are oral allergy, which affects the mouth and throat, and latex-fruit allergy (or latex-fruit syndrome), which occurs when there is cross-reactivity with latex. Developing a latex-fruit allergy to avocado may also happen with other foods like chestnuts, bananas, kiwi, and papaya. These foods have similar proteins as those found in rubber tree sap, which is also found in latex.

Symptoms

Avocado oral allergy symptoms include itchy lips, mouth, and throat. Other symptoms include hives, rash, and vomiting.

Symptoms of a latex-fruit allergy include lip swelling, sneezing, itchy eyes, upset stomach, hives, and possible anaphylaxis.

Complications

The most severe complication you may experience with an avocado latex-related allergy is an anaphylactic reaction that requires immediate medical attention. Epinephrine will be used to treat the symptoms.

Your risk is greater if you or your family members have a history of allergies, asthma, or anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis Symptoms

Anaphylaxis can be fatal if it isn’t treated immediately. Symptoms include: 

  • Feeling lightheaded or faint
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Wheezing
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Clammy skin
  • Confusion and anxiety

Diagnosis

Currently, there is not a specific test to diagnose an avocado allergy. However, to confirm you may have one, your healthcare provider may recommend a food challenge in a clinical setting. During the challenge, you will be given small amounts of avocado to see if a reaction occurs.

A latex allergy is typically diagnosed by a blood test as no skin testing reagent for latex allergy has been approved by the FDA in the United States. Whereas pollen allergy testing can be performed by skin or blood testing.

Treatment

For mild symptoms, your healthcare provider may recommend over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines. For skin reactions from accidental exposure to avocado oil in cosmetics and shampoos, cortisone creams may alleviate rashes, hives, and itching.

If these OTC products don’t provide relief, your healthcare provider may prescribe stronger medication. If you have a severe reaction after eating avocados, such as anaphylaxis, you will need immediate medical attention and an injection of epinephrine to treat the symptoms.

What to Avoid

Like many other food allergies, diligence is necessary. Always read the ingredients of pre-made foods like prepared meals, salads, dips, salad dressings, and sauces. Because of its creamy consistency and bland flavor, many dessert recipes like muffins, puddings, and smoothies may include avocado as a primary ingredient to replace milk or butter. Always ask the food preparer whether avocado was used as a dairy replacement.

Food Alternatives

If you have an avocado allergy but want similar options in mild flavor, texture, and high fiber, consider the following alternatives (some of these also contain healthy fats): 

  • Mashed banana 
  • Plantains
  • Nut butters
  • Hummus
  • Tofu spreads 
  • Breadfruit

Recipes for each of these food items are easily found online and in Keto, Paleo, and Whole30 cookbooks.

When to See a Healthcare Provider

Contact your healthcare provider to discuss your symptoms if you begin to experience swelling of the lips, itchy lips, mouth, or throat after eating an avocado. Your healthcare provider will refer you to an allergist to determine if you have an avocado allergy and other related allergies, including latex-fruit and birch pollen allergies.

Summary

Avocado allergies are not common, but if you have one, you may also have a birch pollen allergy and/or a latex allergy. Symptoms include itchy mouth, lips, throat, lip swelling, sneezing, nausea, and a possible anaphylactic reaction. To determine whether you have an allergy to avocados, your healthcare provider will refer you to an allergist who may recommend a food challenge or a skin or blood test. Treatment includes removing avocado from your diet, as well over-the-counter or prescription medication.

A Word From Verywell

It can be disheartening to experience unpleasant symptoms from any food, especially one that is so adaptable in many recipes. But, your health is more important than your palate preferences. Don't despair—there are other food options that are just as tasty as avocados that you can enjoy.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What’s the difference between an avocado allergy or intolerance?

    An avocado allergy causes your immune system to react, leading to symptoms that can be mild to severe. An avocado intolerance is less severe and may lead to digestive problems.

  • Do avocados cause bloating and indigestion?

    Because of their high fiber content, avocados may cause bloating and indigestion. However, each person's digestive system reacts differently. If you suspect avocados are the cause of bloating and indigestion, reduce the portion and see how your body reacts.

  • Is there a cure for an avocado allergy?

    There is no cure for an avocado allergy. To eliminate allergic symptoms, avoid eating avocados or any prepared foods that may contain them. Also, check ingredient labels for shampoos and lotions that may list avocado oil as an ingredient.

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4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Latex allergy.

  2. New York Allergy and Sinus Centers. Avocado allergy.

  3. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Anaphylaxis.

  4. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Food allergy.