• Sesame Allergy

    What is Sesame Allergy?

    A recent study showed that sesame allergy was the fourth most common food allergy in the world children, behind egg, milk and peanut. Sesame allergy seems to affect all ages, which implies that this food allergy is not commonly outgrown.

     

    Which food and products that contain sesame seeds?

    • Bread, breadcrumbs, sticks, cereals, and crackers.
    • Dips and spreads, for example, hummus.
    • Flavored rice, noodles, shish kebabs, stews and stir fries
    • Sesame oil, sesame salt
    • Tahina
    • Vegetarian burgers

     

    What about sesame oil?

    Sesame Oil is used unrefined in food products and as a result it contains allergens and is hazardous to those allergic to sesame seed. Sesame oil is also used in pharmaceutical products and cosmetics. Some allergy-tested cosmetics contain sesame. Although refined sesame oil is used in these products, hypersensitive reactions have been reported.

     

     

    What are the symptoms of sesame allergy?

    For most, the reaction of consuming sesame, or applying a form of it on the skin as with cosmetics can result in hives, swelling, asthma, rash, hay fever, and nasal congestion. Because there is a close connection with peanuts, most people do not realize that they also may develop an allergy to peanuts as well in the future. Rye and kiwi along with various treenut allergens can also be a future issue for allergy sufferers. Other nuts, which also may be of concern, include walnut, hazelnut, and macadamia nuts also.

     

    What should you do when you have sesame allergy?

    Accidental exposure to sesame allergens is increasing and it is vital for those at risk to carry the prescribed rescue treatment, which usually includes (epinephrine) for self-injection, e.g. EpiPens.

    Sesame oil in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics has induced contact dermatitis. Surprisingly, some “Allergy Tested” cosmetics contain sesame, which may be listed as SesamumIndicum, so be vigilant about reading labels.

     

    Does Sesame Allergy Place a Person at Risk for Other Food Allergies?

    Because sesame allergens are similar in biochemical structure to peanut allergens, people with sesame allergy are at risk for having allergic reactions as a result of eating peanuts, and vice-versa. There also appears to be cross-reactivity between sesame allergens and rye, kiwi, poppy seed, and various treenuts (such as hazelnut, black walnut, cashew, macadamia and pistachio).

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