Everything You Should Know About a Banana Allergy

A banana allergy is an allergic reaction to a protein found in bananas. This type of reaction commonly occurs with allergies to other food, or with an allergy to latex.

Banana is often one of the first solids given to babies and is usually very well tolerated at this age. It is believed an allergy to bananas is rare and that individuals with banana allergy develop it later in life.

Learn more about the incidence of banana allergy, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options, and management strategies.


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Incidence of Banana Allergy

Studies suggest the prevalence of banana allergy is less than 1% of the general population.

In Infants 

Food allergies are more common in children and infants than in adults.

Research suggests that the prevalence of food allergy in children under age 3 is between 5% and 8%.

While an allergy to banana in infants is rare, there have been some reported cases in infants.

Risk Factors

An allergic reaction to food begins in the immune system. But the exact cause of food allergy is unknown.

Researchers have identified some factors that make a person more at risk for developing a food allergy.

Family History

If a person has an immediate family member with an allergic condition like food allergy, eczema, or asthma, they are at a slightly greater risk of themselves developing an allergy to a particular food.

However, individual food allergies can differ among family members.

Other Conditions

Those with other allergic conditions are more likely to develop allergies to food.

For example, people who had eczema (a condition that causes red, itchy skin) as a child have an increased risk of developing a food allergy.

Link to Latex Allergy

People with an allergy to latex or latex food syndrome may also experience an allergy to bananas. This is because the proteins in latex and bananas are similar.

Latex is a naturally occurring product that comes from the rubber tree. Latex is used in products like gloves and balloons.

Roughly 30%–50% of people who have an allergy to latex may also experience allergies to fruits. The most common of these are banana, chestnut, avocado, and kiwi.

Banana Allergy Symptoms

Symptoms of banana allergy can occur within seconds or minutes of banana being consumed.

The symptoms of a banana allergy can vary from person to person and may include:

  • Hives
  • Itchy skin that may include a rash
  • Itching in the mouth and throat
  • Swelling of the lips and tongue
  • Swelling of the skin
  • Difficulties swallowing
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Itchy eyes
  • Sneezing


In some rare cases, an allergy to banana can cause serious symptoms like:

  • Narrowing of the throat
  • Wheezing
  • Breathing problems
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Collapse
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Anaphylaxis

Symptoms of Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening medical emergency and being able to recognize symptoms could save a life.
A person in anaphylaxis may experience a variety of symptoms. These may include:

  • A hoarse voice
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Swollen throat and difficulty swallowing
  • Stomach cramps
  • Red rash that is often itchy
  • Hives or welts
  • Pale skin
  • Redness to the face or body
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • A sense of impending doom

Symptoms typically will appear within five to 30 minutes of coming into contact with an allergen, but in some cases, symptoms may take up to an hour or two to develop.

If you or a person near you is experiencing anaphylaxis, help them use their EpiPen (epinephrine injection) immediately if they have one prescribed and call 911.


Allergies usually are diagnosed by an allergist or immunologist. Diagnosing an allergy requires a careful history. A healthcare provider will begin by taking a complete medical history, as well as conducting a physical exam.

If the medical history is suggestive of an IgE (immunoglobulin E)-mediated food allergy, either a blood or a skin prick test will likely be ordered for the suspected food(s).

During skin prick tests, small amounts of extracted food are punctured under the skin on the arm or back. These pricks are compared to positive and negative controls to assess for allergy and to insure test validity.

For blood tests, patients will have blood drawn and have their results reviewed with them at a later date.

Either a blood or a skin test can be used to diagnose a food allergy.

If the history is not suggestive of a food allergy or if the blood or skin test result is small enough, an allergist-immunologist may recommend a medically supervised challenge to better rule in or out the diagnosis of food allergy.


There is no cure for food allergy, however, management strategies can make living with allergies a bit easier.

Those with a food allergy should do all they can to avoid their allergens. This involves being careful about reading food labels and asking questions about meals when eating out.

It is important to always carry an EpiPen to be prepared in the event of an anaphylactic reaction.

Things to Avoid

Those with an allergy to bananas should avoid consuming bananas and foods that contain them.

Fruit drinks and fruit salads may contain bananas and should be consumed with caution.

People with a banana allergy should always read labels of foods and be aware that bananas may also be used as a flavoring in medications.

It may also be present in shampoo or body lotion.

Food Alternatives

When being tested for a banana allergy, it is likely an allergist will be able to identify other foods that may also cause a reaction in you.

People with an existing food allergy may also be allergic to other foods, so it is important to ask your healthcare provider if this applies to you.

People with an allergy to bananas may also be allergic to:

  • Chestnut
  • Kiwi
  • Avocado
  • Peach
  • Olive
  • Tomato
  • Carrot
  • Bell pepper
  • Plantain

If you are only allergic to bananas, you can eat other foods freely. Just always be sure to check the label in case banana is an unexpected ingredient.

When to See a Healthcare Provider

If you suspect you have an allergy to bananas, get in touch with your healthcare provider. They will be able to arrange for testing.

You should call a healthcare provider immediately if you or your child has eaten food and is experiencing any of the following:

  • Covered in hives
  • Major face swelling
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Sickly looking

Call 911 immediately if you or someone near you is experiencing symptoms of anaphylaxis.


A banana allergy is rare and is believed to occur in less than 1% of the population. Risk factors for a banana allergy include having a family history of allergy or already having allergic conditions.

Symptoms of a banana allergy can vary widely and may include swelling, itching, and, in severe cases, problems with breathing.

An allergist will likely use either a skin or blood allergy test or a medically supervised food challenge to diagnose or exclude a banana allergy. There is no cure for a banana allergy, but avoiding bananas, reading food labels, and carrying an EpiPen are essential management strategies.

A Word From Verywell

Dealing with allergies can be distressing. But an allergy to bananas is very unlikely. If you think you or your child may be experiencing an allergy to bananas, consider making an appointment with a healthcare provider.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How common is a banana allergy?

    An allergy to bananas is believed to be rare. Research suggests less than 1% of the population has an allergy to bananas.

  • Can you suddenly develop a banana allergy or are you born with it?

    Food allergies usually appear for the first time in children and infants. However, an allergy can occur at any time in life, including as an adult.

    Allergies can be hereditary, meaning they can be passed down through genes in a family.

  • What is the most common fruit allergy?

    It is possible to be allergic to any form of fruit, however, some fruits are more likely than others to be allergens. Commonly reported fruit allergens include:

    • Pear
    • Peach
    • Orange
    • Cherry
    • Apple
    • Banana
    • Apricot
    • Melon
  • Is a banana allergy the same as a latex allergy?

    Some people with a latex allergy may also experience a banana allergy and vice versa. This is because there is a similarity between the proteins found in latex and bananas.

11 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.
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  2. UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals. Starting solid foods.

  3. Dayioglu A et al. The clinical spectrum of reactions due to banana allergy. Bagcilar Med Bull 2020;5(2):60-63. doi:10.4274/BMB.galenos.2020.04.013

  4. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Prevalence of food allergies.

  5. NHS. Causes - food allergy.

  6. Kids With Food Allergies. If allergic to one food, do you have to avoid related foods?

  7. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Anaphylaxis.

  8. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Food allergy.

  9. Seattle Children's. Food allergy.

  10. American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Food allergy.

  11. Better Health Channel. Latex allergy.