Products and foods to avoid if you are allergic to latex
The term “latex” refers to the milky liquid (sap) that circulates in the vascular system of rubber trees. This milky liquid is commonly used to make natural rubber products. It is observed that people who are allergic to latex cannot use any product made from the milky fluid that is obtained from the rubber tree.
Treat with latex allergies
The best option is to remove all latex products from your household. Caution should also be taken so that you will not go into areas that are stuffed with latex products. Likewise, do not consume foods that can trigger an allergic reaction.
Products to avoid
Many of the products we use in our day-to-day lives contain latex; some are pretty obvious, while some are subtle and can be hard to spot. Here is a list of products to avoid.
• Household gloves
• Telephone cords
• Hot water bottles
• Elastic bands
• Bottle nipples
• Baby toys and lollipops
• Rubber soles
Latex is also found in sports and exercise equipment such as exercise balls, resistance bands, treadmills, elliptical trainers or stationary bikes. Latex exposure can also occur after being in contact with sports equipment, such as snowshoe grips, diving masks, windsurfing, and squash balls.
Foods to avoid
The list of foods to avoid in case you are allergic to latex is not small. People who are allergic to latex products may also be allergic to certain foods. Indeed, the proteins contained in these foods resemble, to a large extent, the proteins present in latex rubber. Here is a list of foods to avoid.
Compared to the above list of foods, people who take the 4 fruits mentioned here are at a higher risk of suffering from an allergic reaction to latex.
An unwanted allergic reaction to latex that causes breathing problems is rare, and will require immediate medical attention. In such situations, the doctor administers adrenaline injections, which help reverse a serious allergic reaction. In the case, an allergic reaction occurs on the consumption of some of these foods, there is a greater chance that you may become allergic to latex products at some stage in your life
Origin of the latex allergen: The natural latex comes from the tree Heavea Brasiliensis in the form of a milky liquid that oozes from incisions made on the trunk.
After treatment including the addition of additives, latex is used in gloves (examination or cooking), pacifiers, balloons, tires, medical materials (probes, tubing), condoms, bathing caps, shoe soles.
Latex reactions are increasing and manifestations up to anaphylactic shock are described. Cross-allergies latex-food is more and more often found. It is all too often with urticarial, Quince’s edema or anaphylactic shock that latex allergy is suspected, as minor manifestations have gone unnoticed so you have to think about it.
The prevalence of skin sensitization to latex in the general population is less than 1%. But in atopic patients the prevalence of cutaneous sensitization oscillates between 3 and 10%. In spina bifida carriers, the prevalence of allergic manifestations is 18 to 28%. There is a rapid increase in the prevalence of latex allergy in the general population if measures are not implemented to reduce allergy or even make the latex latex-free, or to replace it with another non-allergenic substance. The increased demand for latex has led some manufacturers to reduce manufacturing steps, producing more allergenic latex.
Manifestations of latex allergy
The mechanisms involved in triggering latex reactions are type IV (delayed) for eczema, type I (immediate) for most other reactions.
Contact Urticarial: appears locally in a few minutes and disappears spontaneously without treatment when contact with the latex stops. This sign is most common in children, it occurs during swelling balloons or during dental care. The urticarial of contact would be constant in case of allergy to the latex: it is thus necessary to look for it by the anamnesis when one suspects the latex.
Eczema: is mainly found in adults. It is usually located on the backs of the hands and fingers.
Rhinitis, Conjunctivitis and Asthma: latex can behave like a pneumallergen. The powders contained in the latex gloves fix the latex antigens and, during handling, are suspended in the air which can cause rhinitis, conjunctivitis and asthma attacks. The latex released by the car tires during braking has just been implicated in the occurrence of respiratory signs in the sensitive subject.
Anaphylactic Shock: during a contact if the skin barrier is broken (preexisting eczema lesions, frequent hand washing), by contact with the mucous membranes during surgical or medical procedures or by intravenous penetration during use in latex-allergic subjects of perfusion tubing or soft bags (infusion fluids, drugs) containing latex.
Diagnosis of latex allergy
Prick-Test: they are possible with the extracts marketed, with extracts of gloves, or through the gloves. In this case it is advisable to wash the gloves and sterilize them in order to avoid any anaphylactic reactions or contact urticarial due to the corn starch that lines them. It is the most effective diagnostic method, but their inequity in this indication is discussed, because cases of anaphylactic shock have been described.
IDR: this technique is abandoned by most authors given the risk of general reactions.
Provocation Tests: sometimes proposed in patients with rhinitis, conjunctivitis, asthma when the latex is suspected, they consist in handling washed gloves (without powder), then unwashed, of different brands because of the variability antigenic. In case of asthma, in addition to these manipulations, the patient is made to breathe in an inhalation chamber containing powder from gloves.
The latex industry is looking for ways to make the latex “hypo-allergenic”. Caution should be exercised in terms of “hypo-allergenic” names: it is shown that these products can give positive tests.
There are surgical gloves or examination without latex commercially available as vinyl, polyurethane, neoprene, and nitrile. Several obstacles hamper their use: their cost is high; they have less flexibility that can hinder the surgeon, for vinyl the barrier against germs is less good, for elastyrene gloves a risk of dissolution by solvents is possible.
In case of latex allergy these gloves are currently the only alternative, it is even recommended to ensure a latex-free environment: all operating room staff should use latex-free gloves to avoid releasing allergens that will be airborne. Transported by the powders contained in the gloves and thus trigger inhalation reactions. It must also be ensured that the remainder of the operating room equipment does not contain latex (catheters, catheters, infusion tubing, infusion fluid bags, and anesthesia equipment). Allergic patients should be warned of risks when performing dental, gynecological, proctologic, or other diagnostic tests where latex can be used.