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Allergic reactions can be developed to any allergen, organic or non-organic. Vinegar allergy is not very common, but some people still have it. The immune system is sensitized to any substance, usually during the first contact, but it is not uncommon for allergies to occur after multiple contacts. The mechanism of developing allergy to vinegar is similar to all the other allergic reactions. First, the cells of the immune system falsely recognize the antigens of the vinegar as potentially harmful and alarm the B lymphocytes to produce antibodies. The antibodies produced in allergic reactions are always of the (immunoglobulin E) IgE type. Then, the antibodies attack the antigens and create symptoms of either local or systemic reaction, which will be explained in the following paragraphs.

Symptoms Of Vinegar Allergy

Symptoms of any allergy can be classified as local or systemic. Local symptoms are presented in the place of contact with the allergen (in this case vinegar). They usually include itching, tingling, and redness of the skin or mucosa. Systemic reactions are more severe and they can occur if the vinegar is ingested, but in some very sensitive individuals, even after the contact. Systemic reactions include swelling of the soft tissues, especially the mouth, periorbital region, and sometimes tongue and larynx, which is called angioedema. Angioedema can be very dangerous because it can close the airways. Also, this can cause the increased permeability of the small blood vessels in the whole body, with consequent generalized swelling and a significant drop in blood pressure, which is called anaphylactic shock.  

How To Diagnose Vinegar Allergy

Patients usually can realize themselves what is the cause of the allergy, given that the symptoms occur within a few minutes. However, delayed reactions are possible, even after several hours. There are specific allergy tests to confirm the diagnosis of vinegar allergy. The skin prick test is designed to measure the response to the allergen by the size of the skin swelling in the place of allergen injection in the skin. Blood tests can determine the level of IgE antibodies in the blood.

How To Treat A Vinegar Allergy

The treatment of an allergic attack includes antihistamine drugs and corticosteroids. These drugs block the further development of an allergic cascade and lower the reaction of the immune system to the vinegar. In some severe cases with swelling, angioedema, and breathing difficulties, adrenaline shots might be required.

The most important thing of all is to remove the source of the allergy.

You will certainly not put vinegar in your food if you are allergic, but be careful when eating in restaurants, and always ask them not to put the vinegar in your food, and then ask if they did before you start eating, just in case. The waiter or the cook can easily forget it, but you must always remain aware. Although it may seem simple to avoid contact with vinegar, the problem lies in the presence of the same allergens in every source of vinegar. Also, allergic reactions to some molds and yeast can be hidden behind a vinegar allergy, given that vinegar is a good environment for mold development.

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