Can You Be Allergic to Coffee?
Coffee is one of the most widely-consumed beverages in the world, and often considered a comforting, staple drink. While it is usually enjoyed by many, some people can have a reaction to it that indicates an allergy. Are you one of them?
What Would Indicate an Allergy?
It’s possible to have a mild to severe reaction to the proteins found in coffee, including:
- Gastrointestinal upset: Symptoms like nausea and vomiting.
- Skin irritation: Hives and itching.
- Upper airway swelling: Coughing and wheezing.
If you experience any of the above symptoms after drinking coffee, you may be allergic.
Types of Allergies
There are two possible types of allergies someone can have in regards to coffee:
- Coffee Allergy: The proteins in coffee cause an immune reaction.
- Caffeine Intolerance: Caffeine causes a reaction in your body, but it’s not the same as an allergy.
Diagnosing and Treating an Allergy
If you think you may have a coffee allergy, visit your family doctor and you may be referred to an allergist for further testing. If you have a true allergy, you will need to stay away from coffee and all products that contain caffeine.
The best way to avoid an allergic reaction is to abstain from consuming coffee. If you do need a pick-me-up, there are lots of caffeine-free beverages that can still provide a boost, like herbal tea and decaf herbal coffee.
For those who experience symptoms after drinking coffee, it’s best to visit a doctor to determine the cause. It could be an allergy or something else. In any case, it is important to listen to your body, take proper precautions, and make lifestyle changes when necessary.