Allergy, Cacao

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    blood sample




    Age group

    Above 10 years

    The cacao bean is the fruit of the cacao tree, a small evergreen plant that is indigenous to the tropics of America. These beans are roasted, crushed, and dried to create chocolate powder. In addition, confections and chocolates are produced with cocoa butter. These products may have cocoa allergens if they haven't been sufficiently filtered.

    Chocolates, candies, and baked goods are some of the food items that expose people to cacao. Cacao powder is often added to beverages, desserts, and even medicines to improve their flavour. Food allergies to cocoa, sometimes referred to by its scientific name, Theobroma cacao, seem to be uncommon.

    Cacao allergy is brought on by an overactive immune reaction to cacao and its derivatives. Since the body does not consider the allergens safe, it triggers a protective mechanism to fight them off.

    Mast cells release significant amounts of histamine due to a series of processes that occur when Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies circulate through the bloodstream. Histamine irritates soft tissues, which leads to the typical signs of allergies. The intensity of a cacao allergy will vary from person to person.

    A Cacao Allergy test provides numerical results for IgE antibody levels that can be used to estimate how severe a person's reaction will be. It is advisable to check the ingredients of the foods that you are consuming if you suspect or know you have cacao allergy.

    After intake, allergy signs can appear between a few minutes and several hours later. Typical food allergy symptoms include:

    • Headaches
    • Blisters and other skin reactions
    • Itching in the rectal area
    • Coughing  and sneezing  
    • Heartburn
    • Breathlessness

    In severe situations, exposure may result in Anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal reaction marked by confusion, a sharp drop in blood pressure, shortness of breath, chest discomfort, palpitations, nausea, diarrhoea, and unconsciousness.

    The specialised Cacao Allergy test offered by Apollo 24|7 measures Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies produced against cocoa. IgE concentrations greater than 0.7 kU/L are considered a sign of allergic reactions.

    Testing for cacao allergies might also reveal whether you are allergic to or sensitive to the substance. Food allergies and intolerance, commonly referred to as food sensitivity, are widely misinterpreted. Although the two disorders have similar symptoms, their effects can differ.

    The first thing a doctor will do after being consulted for a cacao allergy is to perform a physical examination. They will ask for specifics regarding previous reactions, such as when they occurred after eating, what foods you had and in what amounts, etc. The doctor may then advise a Cacao Allergy test to determine your body's sensitivities to particular allergies.

    For a Cacao Allergy test, no specific preparation is needed. It is recommended that you wear a shirt with long sleeves that can be conveniently rolled up to the elbow or a sleeveless, half-sleeved, or elbow-length shirt so that the physician can collect a specimen without difficulty.

    Results could arrive in 8 to 12 days, and if specific IgE antibody levels are elevated, it may indicate the presence of a cacao allergy. The presence of IgE does not directly correspond with the intensity of an allergic reaction, and a person who has outgrown an allergic response may continue to have positive IgE many years later. 

    faqFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Frequently asked questions

    A serious chocolate or cacao allergy is uncommon. Most cacao allergies are brought on by sensitivity to chocolate or an allergic reaction to one of its ingredients. Severe allergic reactions should be addressed immediately since they may be life-threatening.
    If you are allergic to cacao, eating it or even simply touching it might cause rashes, shortness of breath, stomach pains, inflammation of the lips, throat, or tongue, and vomiting.
    Although cacao has a modest histamine content on its own, it might function as a histamine liberator. In other words, it causes the body's natural histamine to be released. Tyramine and Phenylethylamine, two additional biogenic amines found in chocolate, slow the breakdown of histamine.
    You don't need to make additional preparations for a cacao allergy test. Sometimes your doctor will suggest fasting before the test. It's imperative to let your doctor know if you take Antihistamines. They could advise you to stop using this medicine before your allergy test.
    The Cacao Allergy test results will reveal the concentration and quantity of Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies in the blood sample. Your immune system reacts to the allergens if these antibodies are highly abundant. Even if the test confirms an allergy, it may not provide information on the severity of the symptoms.
    A Cacao Allergy test doesn't hurt. In this form of skin test, lancets or syringes that merely puncture the skin's surface are employed. There won't be any bleeding or more than a little discomfort.

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    The information mentioned above is meant for educational purposes only and should not be taken as a substitute to your Physician’s advice. It is highly recommended that the customer consults with a qualified healthcare professional to interpret test results