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Specific Food Allergies > Seed Allergy

Vegetable oil and Sunflower oil

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To SunflowerFree:  I'm a bit of a lurker, but I wanted to chime in here.  I've had a severe sunflower allergy since I was a small child, and for a long time avoided sunflower oil as well.  On the same rationale as your allergist, I eventually tried the oil--and have been totally fine, even though I (like PurpleCat's daughter) have not outgrown my allergy to the seed itself.  I would second PurpleCat's recommendation to avoid cold-pressed oils or anything that needs to be refrigerated, but it's in the manufacturer's interest to get as much protein as possible out of shelf-stable oil meant for high-heat frying and commercial use.  Avoiding sunflower oil (and lechitin) is really difficult, and I'd hate for you to do so unnecessarily!  Good luck.

My two cents.  I am allergic to sunflower. The skin test showed the largest reaction by far of anything tested.  (40mm splotch). Since I started getting these allergies two years ago, I gave not eaten sunflower seeds. It's probably 5-10 years since the last time ive eaten anything with sunflower seeds in, so I have no idea what kind of reaction I get from them.  Sunflower oil though and sunflower lecithin however, still cause reactions for me. If they are in anything I eat, within 20 min or less I feel like crap.  It's a little more severe than the mental disruption from a migraine, I can't think, I feel off, like I've got a bad cold, or the flu, just without the migraine or the coughing and fever. Not sure what to call it but brain fog and feeling off.   Safflower oil triggers it too.  Cutting sunflower out of my diet stopped the feeling cold. Previous it was there more days than not. The only time it's happened since was safflower oil in cosmos creations snacks and when I tried some bread that was soy free and didn't notice the sunflower lecithin in the ingredients list.  Checked the label a second time after the reaction started. :(

My point is, it's entirely possible to react to the oils and the lecithin.  But not everyone will.  It sucks but the only real test is a food challenge at your allergist. Don't try one at home. An allergist has the potential to take your blood pressure etc,  remember, not all symptoms if anaphylaxis are obvious.

OK. I was never allergic to any nuts when I was young and around 40 years old, I developed a tree nut allergy. I am sooooo confused at this point, I don't even know how to handle what is coming up with me. I have always been fine eating peanut butter and was told that it was a different allergy than tree nuts. My original allergist told me that as long as I wasn't reacting, keep eating peanuts. My new allergist tells me that 40% of people with a tree nut allergy develop a peanut allergy so I am a ticking time bomb and that I should just completely avoid it. Well, I have now developed a severe reaction to sunflower seeds. Are we saying in these threads that the only way to know if I react to the sunflower oils in foods is to do a food challenge?? I have always eaten foods with sunflower oils in them but am I just developing a new allergy? I know that I have a reaction to the seeds because I specifically ate sunflower seeds and ended up in the emergency room. Does anyone know what the odds are of reacting to the seeds but not the oils??  I am scared to eat anything any more!!!

Hi and Welcome...

I'm going to answer the best I DS is allergic to tree nuts only.  You can be allergic to one and not the other...peanuts are a legume and grow under ground, tree nuts grow on trees.   DS still eats whole peanuts but I only buy the Hampton Farms peanuts in the shell for him.  Cross contamination is a big issue with peanuts and tree nuts since a lot of factories will process both peanuts and tree nuts.  We switched to sunflower butter years ago so he wasn't bringing PB into the elementary school cafeteria.  He has no issues with peanuts...we were never told to avoid peanuts.  We follow what your original allergist says...if not reacting, then still eat the food.

Oils can be tricky...some people react and some people don't.  Could have to do with each person's threshold of how much makes a person react.
 Could have to do with how the oil was made (cold pressed vs high heat) and whether there is any of the protein left in the oil and how much.  I would say most people here would avoid the oil just to be on the safe side. 

Hope this helps a little. 

Sunflower oil is much harder to pin down as most of the snack foods list several possible oils.  You don't really know what's in them.  For me, I noticed when eating corn chips that only listed sunflower oil, that it was the culprit.  I have since identified that whole sunflower oil does indeed effect me, soybean oil does not.  So while I am allergic to sunflower and soy both (among many others)  I react to the sunflower oil, but not the soybean oil.  Incidentally, I also react to safflower oil and cottenseed oil.  So there really isn't a way to tell when you react to the oil and when you won't.

My soy allergy was sensitive enough that "vegetable magnesium stearate" in OTC non drowsy Dramamine set me off.  So I'm not certain that it's easy to tell other than a food challenge.  Sorry.  Also I feel your pain.  Up until 2015 I could eat whatever I wanted.  Now I have many allergies.  41 years old now. :(


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