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Honey allergy is one of the most rarely diagnosed allergies. Honey allergy triggers are not … honey itself! Moreover, the symptoms of an allergy to honey are so common that we rarely associate them with allergic reactions. So what are the exact causes of honey allergy and how can you recognize it?

Allergy to honey : is it possible to be allergic to a product that is generally considered he althy and has an extremely beneficial effect on the functioning of the human body? It turns out you can. However, research into this type of allergy has shown that the culprit is not the honey itself, but some of the ingredients that bees use to make honey.

And here it is worth remembering that honey is a sweet product produced mainly by honeybees (Apis mellifera), but also by some insects, e.g. wasps. We must remember this because wasps also use the nectar of plants that are poisonous to humans to produce their honey. Therefore, wasp honey is often the cause of severe food poisoning.

So how is honey produced by honeybees, for what reasons some of us cannot eat it and what are the typical allergic reactions in case of an allergy to honey?

Honey allergy: how is honey made?

Bee honey is made from the nectar of flowers - it is the so-called nectar honey, or the juice of living parts of plants - this is the so-called honeydew honey. The third type is mixed honeys: nectar-honeydew or honeydew-nectar honeys, which, as the names indicate, have a greater or lesser content of one or the other component.

In the process of creating honey, the most important thing is … use. This is the name of the plant that is believed to be the best source of nectar, or honeydew. When the bee-scout finds it, it returns to the hive and informs the collecting bees in the appropriate direction in which direction to go to find it, as well as what type it is and how much it is.

Collecting bees collect nectar or honeydew - called a spot - to a special tank, the so-called the honey crop and after returning to the hive, they give it to the worker bees. By releasing nectar or a drop of goose, they also release their own bee enzymes that are valuable to us.

Then the dot is stored in the cells of the comb, where it matures, and when it is ready the beescovered with the so-called I finished. It protects the honey from moisture, spoilage and various kinds of contamination.

During maturation, the spot is constantly moved from place to place, and thus enriched with bee enzymes. This is why mature honey contains, instead of sucrose, simple sugars: glucose and fructose, as well as more organic acids and a bacteriostatic substance - inhibin.

It is thanks to inhibin that honey has bactericidal properties and is considered one of the best products that strengthen the immune system of our body. Inhibin inhibits the multiplication and development of pathogenic microorganisms.

Do you know: how to recognize real honey?

Honey allergy: root causes

What is good for bees, for people, unfortunately, may be the subject of allergy. Allergy to honey is caused by the presence of various types of allergens in it, i.e. molecules that cause an abnormal reaction of the immune system of our body.

These honey allergens include:

  • pollen of flowers - this is the most common cause of allergy to honey
  • grass pollen - e.g. timothy, perennial ryegrass
  • pollen from trees - e.g. hazel or birch
  • pollen of other plants - e.g. sunflower, including herbs, e.g. dandelion, goldenrod
  • spores of mold and yeast fungi

Moreover, during the transfer of the dot and its maturation, honey as the final product may also contain bee protein and pieces of bee abdomen, which also have allergenic properties. This allergen is especially dangerous for people allergic to insect venom. As a result of its intake, they may develop cross-sensitization.

Definitely the least frequent allergy to honey is caused by mite - arachnid, which may be contaminated with honey.

Honey allergy: secondary causes

Since honey is a valued ingredient in many products, it is they that can contribute to allergic reactions. Most often it is about:

  • drugs
  • dietary supplements
  • cosmetics
  • detergents
  • fruit - e.g. apples, nuts

Honey allergy: symptoms

There are so many possible symptoms of honey allergy that they are divided into 5 groups:

1.dermatological :

  • itchy skin
  • local urticaria
  • whole body urticaria
  • angioedema
  • swelling of the lips and eyelids

2.gastric :

  • stomach pains
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting

3.respiratory :

  • shortness of breath
  • cough
  • bronchospasm
  • nose swelling and discharge
  • swollen throat

4.other symptoms :

  • headache
  • irritation
  • weakness

5.immediate reactions : anaphylactic shock and death - in extreme, few cases

Studies involving people allergic to honey have shown that by far the most common symptoms are dermatological and digestive system reactions, including: swelling of the lips and eyelids, local urticaria, abdominal pain and severe diarrhea.

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