Food Allergy Support

Specific Food Allergies => Seed Allergy => Topic started by: Jillian on May 10, 2013, 06:47:13 AM

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Title: Vegetable oil and Sunflower oil
Post by: Jillian on May 10, 2013, 06:47:13 AM
I recently developed an allergy to sunflower seeds and sunflower oil (confirmed by skin test).  I have been trying to avoid sunflower oil for a few weeks, checking ingredients on everything.  I keep having reactions, though.  After eating grape nuts and raisin bran, cereals that don't use sunflower oil or vegetable oil, I get a few hives.  Someone from work brought in donuts from Dunkin Donuts and before eating one I checked online: palm oil, soy oil and cottonseed oil.  But it also gave me hives.  Subway turkey sandwich, supposedly sunflower oil free, hives again.  I had a more serious reaction to tortellini made with breadcrumbs.  Restaurants tell me they don't use sunflower oil, but I react anyway.

I am wondering:  could I also be dealing with another allergy?  Or is cross contamination common with sunflower oil?  If the label lists the ingredients in the vegetable oil, can I trust it?  How do others with sunflower allergy handle vegetable oil, restaurants and processed foods?  Are breakfast cereals a problem for you? 

I am trying to figure out how my life needs to change and it is making me sad.   I love my local restaurants and can't imagine giving them up, but everything seems to give me hives.  No more breakfast cereal ??? 
Title: Re: Vegetable oil and Sunflower oil
Post by: LinksEtc on May 10, 2013, 08:16:37 PM
Hi Jillian,

Sunflower is a really tough one to avoid because it is in so many foods and does not have to be clearly labeled on food products.  For instance, it might "hide" under vague terms such as "natural flavor".  There are people on this board with that allergy so hopefully they'll have some good suggestions.

Since you are having so many reactions, I'd recommend taking a more conservative approach for a while until you get a better handle on things ... Cook most of your own meals using very basic ingredients.  It might help to keep a food diary of what you eat and when/how you react.  Try not to get upset ... This is just a place to start figuring things out.

Talk to your allergist about your concerns about possibly reacting to something else also.  Make sure to always carry a "Food Allergy Action Plan" and epinephrine.

Hope that helps a little  :grouphug:
Title: Re: Vegetable oil and Sunflower oil
Post by: SilverLining on May 10, 2013, 08:41:04 PM
it can also be in things like make-up.
Title: Re: Vegetable oil and Sunflower oil
Post by: SilverLining on May 10, 2013, 08:42:30 PM
also be sure to read this thread.

Sunflower by any other name.: Different names for sunflower in ingredients list
Title: Re: Vegetable oil and Sunflower oil
Post by: Ra3chel on October 01, 2013, 08:21:36 PM
it can also be in things like make-up.


Also a lot of soaps and lotions--if someone's washing their hands with one and then preparing your food...

It can also be hidden in stuff like "natural flavoring," since it's a non-top-8 allergen.

I can't speak for the rest, but ANYTHING at Subway is going to be cross-contaminated. I'm really, really careful about foods from commercial bakeries in general (which is to say--I avoid almost all).
Title: Re: Vegetable oil and Sunflower oil
Post by: jfrash on November 23, 2013, 11:23:50 PM
Are you allergic to ragweed?  I have a severe allergy to ragweed and now also to sunflower seeds and oil  . Sunflowers are in the same family as ragweed along with chicory which is listed in some foods as inulin like Kashi cereal.  Also, be careful with bananas, melon, kiwi and avocado as ther may be a cross reactivity with those.  Hope this helps.
Title: Re: Vegetable oil and Sunflower oil
Post by: SizzyG on May 07, 2016, 09:22:35 AM
I seem to be having major stomach and racing heart issues with foods as the doctor put me on a vegan diet.  I use rice milk and started having trouble with it and about half of the health food things. I am very allergic to ragweed and sunflowers. One of the reasons I moved to another state which helped but now they use sunflower oil and seeds in almost everything. It is in rice milk, rice dream ice cream, almond milk , breads now, restraunt foods. I can't eat out at all anymore.  My daughter carries an epi pen with her because now her food allergies from it are awful. My mother was hospitalized with reactions to it many times.   It is very dangerous to people with hay fever ragweed allergies I wish the FDA would just ban it.  Couldn't figure out why even fruit and veggies I used to eat I can't now. They cross bred them! Frustrated beyond belief!
Title: Re: Vegetable oil and Sunflower oil
Post by: Lauren on May 17, 2016, 09:54:42 PM

Whoops!!! All those new alternative milks have sunflower oil in them! It's really a craze that all the "healthy" products now use Sunflower oil!! Even subway meats have sunflower oil in therm! Always read the labels, and when you take that first bite and notice signs of allergy, trust yourself, and stop eating. The kids at Sunway don't know / care what's in their unlabeled breads, meats... Etc.

Always read the label, especially if it's more on the health side of snacking!!
Title: Re: Vegetable oil and Sunflower oil
Post by: SunflowerFree on June 02, 2016, 12:04:42 AM
Hi-  I'm new here and have recently been found to have a severe allergy to sunflower (skin test).  My allergist tells me it is usually the protein (the seed itself) that cause issues vs. oil because there is not much protein in the oil.  I was wondering how others fare with sunflower oil and lecithin in foods and skin care products?  Do you find that you react as strongly to the oil and lecithin as to the seed itself? 
Title: Re: Vegetable oil and Sunflower oil
Post by: PurpleCat on June 02, 2016, 07:32:25 AM
Hi SunflowerFree!

Sunflower seed is one of my DD's allergies.  In her case, she tolerates the oil in foods and products just fine.  We retested this spring as she was hoping she outgrew sunflower.  Unfortunately she has not!

Your sensitivity can also be different to sunflower oils depending on how they are processed.  If with heat, (refined oils) more protein is removed.  Cold pressed or expeller pressed processes do not remove as much of the protein.

If you run a google search there are explanations of these processes where you can get more details.
Title: Re: Vegetable oil and Sunflower oil
Post by: ellieg on August 20, 2016, 04:02:07 PM
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.
Title: Re: Vegetable oil and Sunflower oil
Post by: StridAst on September 27, 2016, 09:38:49 PM
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.
Title: Re: Vegetable oil and Sunflower oil
Post by: matee6717 on May 04, 2017, 10:39:28 AM
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!!!
Title: Re: Vegetable oil and Sunflower oil
Post by: hezzier on May 04, 2017, 04:49:13 PM
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. 
Title: Re: Vegetable oil and Sunflower oil
Post by: StridAst on May 09, 2017, 08:32:57 PM
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. :(
Title: Re: Vegetable oil and Sunflower oil
Post by: jade on August 11, 2017, 01:54:27 PM
I discovered an allergy to Canola oil (Rapeseed) from of the Brassicaceae family. i don't get sick but my allergy makes my skin itch in different areas particularly starting on my ear. I believe sunflower oil also does this but it is so hard to narrow down. nearly everything has canola in it and its more rare to find items with soybean oil which i don't seem to have a reaction to. Part of the brassicaceae family includes broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, turnips and radish....i am hoping i'm not allergic to these other vegetables because i love them but i'm starting to narrow things down. one day i had eaten some radish and it seemed to cause pain in my gallbladder area which is organ that is known to be an indicator for allergies to a food... hope this helps some people
Title: Re: Vegetable oil and Sunflower oil
Post by: Lawrence on August 23, 2017, 07:31:07 AM
Tree pollen is in many 'natural' 'healthy' foods - eg Kiwi and I cannot eat it without severe burning to the mouth and throat. Additives containing Soya / E471, polyoils etc. may be causing gut problems in the population and now I discover sunflower oil is also causing me big problems. Food manufacturers don't seem to care.
Title: Re: Vegetable oil and Sunflower oil
Post by: Karin on November 11, 2017, 07:19:59 AM
In 2014 industries started using sunflower oil in almost everything. My face has been numb since sept 2014. It took me till this year to figure out the cause.  Sunflower oil is in almost all processed food. Im hoping that as more and more people have issues they switch to a new oil but hey cooking our own food is healthier...