Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Questions about allergies to COCONUT OILS

All the information that medical scientists and chemists have regarding allergies is a bunch of theories. I've talked at length with my allergist about some of these things, because I always just want to know WHY my crazy allergy to coconut happened sometime after I was age 28 (I'm 33 now). I've also done a lot of reading. I want to know why I react to some foods so violently sometimes and not at all to other foods that supposedly contain allergins.

One of these mysteries is why I am so terribly allergic to foods that contain coconut OILS. Allergists' theorize that you can't be allergic to oils because it is the proteins in foods that cause the allergic reaction to occur. They've done tons of tests on people who are allergic to peanuts who can safely eat peanut oil, so they say it's extremely rare to be allergic to an oil. It's a little bit confusing.
Well, I have studied coconut just a little bit, and although I'm not a chemist, I think I'm a relatively smart person and have come up with my own theories.

Coconut oil does contain coconut proteins that cause allergic reactions. I'm living proof. And this is probably why: coconut is a cold-press oil. It is processed so minimally, that depending on which manufacturer (they are mostly third-world countries FYI) made it, the purification process probably consisted of letting the coconut particles settle at the bottom of the container and pouring the oil off the top. BINGO- there is no way to chemically or mechanically remove the proteins from coconut oil that wouldn't be too costly for these producers! The difference for other oils, like peanut oil, is that they are heat-pressed and highly processed in a way that removes proteins more thoroughly.

Any insight from other allergic folks is welcome in comments. . .

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hiya! Just wanted to drop a note to let you know that peanut oil is not safe. Reactions have occurred from ingestion. I know people like to say otherwise, but it's just best to avoid peanut products all the way around if one has an allergy. We have various food allergies in my family, including tree nuts (coconut is included here), peanuts, and sesame.

MidnightCafe said...

Your theory makes total sense! Thanks for keeping this blog. I've reacted twice to coconut in the last 2 weeks, and I'm frustrated trying to find info on the internet. I appreciate the helpful info you have here!

jordan shoes said...

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Brooklet said...

Heya, I'm 27 and recently I had my suspected first allergic reaction to coconut. I love coconut :( It was a fresh whole coconut and 5 minutes after having some my throat was extremely sore and a bit itchy.

I used to not be allergic to any foods, but as a kid i developed allergies to hazelnuts, then pecans, then walnuts.
Nothing superbad, just itchy swollen mouth and throat with lots of bumps, makes it a bit hard to breathe and very hard to enjoy a meal!

Recently I also had an allergic reaction to Amaretto, which signals that I may develop an almond allergy soon :( There goes my favourite chocolates! (Raffaello, which have both almonds and coconut)

Anyway, being a biomedical scientist I heartily approve of your logical theory and definitely think it's got merit.

Furthermore, I think what you're doing with this blog is a great idea, and I will be sure to keep it bookmarked in case my allergies ramp up to the pre-anaphylactic stage of yours!

Keep up the good work :D

Xzigalia said...

Does this mean I might still be able to drink Malibu?

Xzigalia said...

And you can definitely be allergic to coconut oil. That or I just magically woke up one day covered in hives wherever I'd put on my coconut oil moisturizer (which ironically I was using as an alternative to "commercial" products, which I knew I was allergic to but didn't know why...)

Kat said...

I've done a lot of research on oils in general because my daughter also is severely allergic to seeds. If you think coconut is hard, try seeds! Seed oils are in EVERYthing! But you're right about the cold pressed vs. heat pressed oils. My allergist also said that big name companies should be ok, since they pasteurize the oils, and that should effectively destroy the protein, but I don't risk it.

Anonymous said...

I have the same extreme allergy to coconut, including the oil, that I developed around age 27, along with several other food allergies. At the same time I was also diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. I am 33 now and recently developed a similar allergy to carrots, including when the juice is used as a coloring in food.

Anonymous said...

I also have (coconut reactions)
anaphalyxis coconut shrimp thai food health bars I believe that
it could be the preservitive that
is used to keep the coconut white,
even in coconut milk. I havent tried yet but if I ate a fresh
coconut off the tree maybe I would
not be allergic...I also have allergies to sulfa, Pen, aspirin,
motrin and other foods.

Becky said...

A good way to know is to actually go to an allergist and have him test you for coconut allergy, either with a blood test or skin test. Then you would know it's actually the coconut you're allergic to.

Collette said...

My allergy began with just my lips swelling a little when I ate anything with Coconut and palm ( the oils also). My worst episode happened when I was 28. I am now 33 and I have to watch everything I eat or even use on my skin. I was unaware until a trip to the emergency room 8 days after accidently taking a small bite of a nobake cookie that had coconut in it. I did not even digest the coconut, I spit it out immediatley. Coconut to me has a horrid dirt consitancy to me when in my mouth. While in the ER they asked me why I my muscles were so sore and if I had eaten anything out of the ordinary. The only thing had been the cookie more than a week earlier. The Doc told me that in some cases after you have used the benadryl that the toxin from the coconut will take 7-10 days to go through your whole system and that mine was shutting down because of it. I was put on steroids to help my body fight it off. I can tell you that it is the worst thing ever when you have no control of what is happening in your own body. Please take care and be aware that the first few days are not the only effect that it can have on you.

Anonymous said...

Whatever allergy you have, it always best to stay away from it in every form. I developed a coconut allergy starting 3 years ago. I ate coconut my whole life up til that point. I cannot touch it, let alone consume it. Beware of Chocolate produts, most have coconut oil or coconut for taste and/or filler.

Kim Brooks said...

Very helpful insite, to this allergic reaction. I have just suffered my 4th coconut reaction in seven months at my place of employment.
I wasn't always allergic to coconut, ate it as a kid, I noticed right before I misscarried three years ago, (the cause of my misscarriage btw), from a banana slurpee, since then, I cannot even be around the smell of it; without going into a reaction.

gaildy said...

Hello there~~ I have been consuming large quantities of coconut oil for about a year or more, since I learned that it was a great way to fend off Alz.
I love it on my toast and put it in my coffee, use it on my lips as a balm. REcently my lower lip have begun to swell on the inside and has small blisters that won't go anyway. I have used many kinds of balm, including bees wax, lanolin, vitamin E and lysine, to no avail. Today it occurred to me that it might be an allergic reaction to coconut oil and found this blog. i will stop using it as of now and get back with you to let you know my results. I hope with all my heart it is not this, but is might be. : (
thanks so much,
gail

gaildy said...

Hello there~~ I have been consuming large quantities of coconut oil for about a year or more, since I learned that it was a great way to fend off Alz.
I love it on my toast and put it in my coffee, use it on my lips as a balm. REcently my lower lip have begun to swell on the inside and has small blisters that won't go anyway. I have used many kinds of balm, including bees wax, lanolin, vitamin E and lysine, to no avail. Today it occurred to me that it might be an allergic reaction to coconut oil and found this blog. i will stop using it as of now and get back with you to let you know my results. I hope with all my heart it is not this, but is might be. : (
thanks so much,
gail

Livelifefully926 said...

Hi, I am currently suffering from hives I believe to have stemmed from coconut oil. I had been consuming coconut water and oil in small doses for several months. This past week I have ingested more coconut then usual....as I had discovered a coconut smoothie recipe I was enjoying. After drinking one of these smoothies Sunday night, I woke up feeling very fatigued and out of it on Monday. I suffered from these feelings all week with increasing headaches, nausea and lethargy. On Thursday morning I again had another coconut smoothie, Friday I woke up with hives and lots of itching. Not thinking it was coconut since it wasn't something new, I had proceeded to use coconut oil to cook some delicious spinach farro burgers. A few hours later I drank a sip of coconut water, immediately my top lip started to burn and I noticed the hives returning. I think in small doses my body was fine with coconut....but I had definitely overdone it this week. The hives are definitely worse this second time around. Sad to say I will no longer be enjoying the delicious tastes or benefits of coconut. By the way this allergy seem to come out of no where at the age of 28. Strange to see many others had this same reaction at age 28. Hmmm

Becky said...

Hi Livelifefully,
I think you gave us a perfect example of how an allergy develops! It's crazy how our bodies can become sensitized to something we've never had problems with before.

Anonymous said...

Found your site doing a google search for "coconut oil severe reaction."

A few days ago, I had some kind of infection on my forehead. I'd read about coconut oil's anti bacterial properties so I went ahead and bought some from the store and started applying it all over my face. Fast forward 3 days and I've broken out in severe sores all over my face and am on presdinone.

Becky said...

Anon,
YIKES! Get better soon. Infection plus prednisone. Hope you are also hitting the vitamin C- I find it is one of the only things that can help when I am dealing with allergies and infection at the same time.

Cindi Kirby said...

Ive been using coconut oil in my coffee, and then started atkins and wanted to double up my fat intake and so had two cups, even three with coconut oil in it. Woke up with a big swollen 'something' - nodule? behind my ear on lower skull and very itchy scalp. I couldnt understand what it was. Eventually stopped the coconut and the swelling came down in one day, but my scalp is still itchy, but its slowly getting better. I did read that the swelling behind the ear could be due to some rash/infection of the scalp and put the two together. It felt very much like an antihistamine reaction. I guess some people have called it hives. But Im not sure if you can get hives on your scalp. All very confusing and I dont have the time or inclination to visit the doc. But after reading your posts, perhaps I should go and get an allergy test done, because now Im afraid to touch the coconut oil. :(. The scalp is itchy just at the temples, above my ears, in the hair. It does look a bit like a rash, with nothing on the top of the head. Very weird.

Cindi Kirby said...

Overdosing on coconut!!!! (4 tablespoons a day in my coffee overdid it!) - itchy scalp (above temples) and swollen nodule behind the ears. Definitely an allergic reaction. Swelling came down after stopping coconut. But still have itchy scalp. Perhaps I should get an allergy test to confirm. Its the only new thing in my diet. Bit nervous to try it again.
Thanks, will take some extra Vit C.

Lisa said...

I'm allergic to tree nuts, including coconut. Almond Oil has almost killed me more than once. But I have also always wondered about coconut. Sometimes I don't react, sometimes I do. Thanks so much for this blog. I really had no idea that there were so many coconut derivatives in soaps, shampoos, etc. I have been trying to solve my dermatitis problems for too long! I think I now have my answer! Now to start eliminating and hope it works!

Amy said...

I think there is still so much to learn about allergies and so much we still don't understand. Eight years ago daughter had a nasty reaction to soy lecithin on her skin. I had made a homemade lotion from olive oil and soy lecithin. Finally, we solved the mystery of her food and contact allergy! But everything I read that was available then said it wasn't possible to react to soy lecithin and that soy allergy was highly unlikely! It was so frustrating.

Darlene Denis said...

I have been using coconut oil for about 10 months. I use it as a toothpaste and as a skin moisturizer. I have never had an allergic reaction to it before, but the other night I rubbed some into my hands after doing the dishes and rubbed the excess up my fore arms....and within seconds I was itching, just from my wrist up my fore arms, like when I get hives. Nothing, not even washing it off would stop the itching, not even benadryl gel, until I took a benadryl pill. I have also noticed that after brushing my teeth with coconut oil, my nose gets stuffy and I can not breath, but I have to allergic reaction in my mouth at all. Just sharing my own experience. Thanks for posting this on your blog, it has been helpful in my research.

ishtar said...

I also had a massive reaction to coconut oil in the last week. Nausea and total digestive meltdown. Very scary

Guy B said...

Finally figured out that I must be allergic to Coconut Oil. I had been fighting hives/rash around my waist for the past year. It had been off and on, and always developed at night, usually going away during the day. One day it occurred to me that with it being sporadic, and not constant, that it was probably a contact or dietary item that I didn't use everyday. Since I did use the same soaps and shampoo everyday, I eliminated them. Same with most foods. But, I realized that when I go on my "diet kicks", I seemed to have the hives come back. My favorite diet soda was Mello Yellow Zero. I checked each ingredient for possible allergy issues. Coconut Oil was the top of the list. I quit drinking them, and guess what. No more hives! It has been 4 months without an issue. Then, just this week, I fixed a mug of Swiss Miss Original Hot Chocolate. That night, the hives returned, but not as severe as before. When I got up the next morning I immediately went and checked the ingredients of the Hot Chocolate - you guessed it - coconut oil was the 4th highest ingredient! I know it's not a scientific experiment, but it proved to me that I am allergic to coconut oil! That was 4 days ago. No more hives since that night.

Guy B said...

Finally figured out that I must be allergic to Coconut Oil. I had been fighting hives/rash around my waist for the past year. It had been off and on, and always developed at night, usually going away during the day. One day it occurred to me that with it being sporadic, and not constant, that it was probably a contact or dietary item that I didn't use everyday. Since I did use the same soaps and shampoo everyday, I eliminated them. Same with most foods. But, I realized that when I go on my "diet kicks", I seemed to have the hives come back. My favorite diet soda was Mello Yellow Zero. I checked each ingredient for possible allergy issues. Coconut Oil was the top of the list. I quit drinking them, and guess what. No more hives! It has been 4 months without an issue. Then, just this week, I fixed a mug of Swiss Miss Original Hot Chocolate. That night, the hives returned, but not as severe as before. When I got up the next morning I immediately went and checked the ingredients of the Hot Chocolate - you guessed it - coconut oil was the 4th highest ingredient! I know it's not a scientific experiment, but it proved to me that I am allergic to coconut oil! That was 4 days ago. No more hives since that night. BTW, I ate numerous pieces of coconut pie over Thanksgiving (I know, not helping my diet) and didn't have any reaction at all.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this article and site. I discovered a coconut allergy and most information online says it's rare and/or impossible, especially with the oils. I'm living proof it's possible! Products with coconut oil cause me to break out in rashes that burn (like a sunburn). Eating coconut oil or milk makes me feel like I'm coming down with the flu. Again, thanks for this resource.

Brenda said...

Thank you soooo much for all the info given here. I'm 71 years old and have been having digestive issues for years. I've also been using coconut oil for years - on my face and for cooking food. Over the last few months I noticed a strange reaction to it, even though my body had probably been reacting to it for years. I wear dentures and chew a lot of gum (to help with a sticky mouth issue I have). This morning it happened again. I licked my finger after removing just a tiny piece of coconut oil left in the spoon and ... bingo! ... the gum I was chewing changed to a mushy mess and immediately stuck to my dentures. It was impossible to remove this without using a knife and, even then, some small particles of gum remained stuck.

I've heard of many elderly people who can't chew gum because it sticks to their dentures, and I've always understood it to be that it is because their bodies are stressed, causing a change in their saliva. My feeling is that the coconut oil was putting my body immediately into stress mode and this was my body's way of telling me not to eat it.

Btw, I also have those little lumps inside my lower lip that were mentioned by someone earlier, and I suffer a lot from extreme fatigue which, come to think of it, never happened in the pre-coconut oil days.

So, I'm having to dump two large jars of the stuff (which, incidentally, was cold-pressed and organic and expensive here in the UK). ��

Going back to the very sticky mouth that I suffer from, I must have seen at least ten oral 'specialists' on the matter but none of them could tell me what was causing the problem. I'm willing to bet that it's been a reaction to the coconut oil all along! If this goes away from not using the oil, then I'll report back.

Again, my thanks to everyone for all the useful comments and particularly to the owner of this blog.

Grace Raker said...

Hello, just found this site and thanks for very helpful answers. I am 69 and started making smoothies with coconut milk or coconut water and have been Getty huge brilliant red patches on cheeks, nose, forehead and chin.. Very hot, itchy and swollen. I grew up in Jamaica and have eaten coconut in every form and never had this reaction. Also abdominal pain with nausea. Could this be allergic responses? I am also allergic to CASEIN in all dairy, not the lactose and have severe seasonal allergies.

TNTD2013 said...

I'm happy to find others that are also allergic to coconut. I'm also allergic to avocado, everything in the ocean, many different medications, sulfa-based meds all sulfites and more. I really have a hard time eating out at places, and I'm always checking labels. I always have my EpiPen on hand as well as Benadryl and my inhaler. You just never know. I also have a hard time around others that are wearing coconut and avocado-based products. My allergies seem to get worse as I get older. I didn't have these allergies until I was 20, and now I'm 40.

Christian Elkjær said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
joecoles said...

9 Reasons to Use Coconut Oil Daily

(3 of these are shocking)

Plus, Four “Common Yet Dangerous” Oils You Should Never Eat... If You Want to Heal, Beautify and Restore Your Body!

Before World War II, the tasty coconut had been used to help alleviate:

Coughs
Constipation
Malnutrition
Skin infections
Toothaches
Earaches
Flus
And more!


The Proven Benefits of Coconut Oil Include:

Coconut Oil Contains the Healthiest Substance on Earth!
Coconut Oil Fuels Your Metabolism!
Coconut Oil Boosts Your Thyroid!
Coconut Oil Protects and Beautifies Your Skin!
Coconut Oil Can Save Your Brain!
Coconut Oil Fights Cancer!
Coconut Oil is the Ultimate Detox!
Coconut Oil is Amazing for Heart Health!
Coconut Oil Makes Yeast Yield to Its Health-Promoting Powers!


For more info please click on the following link: 9 Reasons to Use Coconut Oil Daily?

Thanks again.

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kami adalah produsen crude coconut oil berkualitas tinggi yang berfokus untuk memberikan kembali kepada masyarakat dan lingkungan.

Anonymous said...

I have developed a coconut allergy I have discovered over the past seven months. I have tried to carefully watch out for coconut in any form as an ingredient. Fast forward to this past weekend, I ate popcorn at a movie theater. On the way home, I began itching on my skin, tongue, eyes, and in my ears. When I spoke with the theater today to confirm their use of coconut oil, I was informed it is not information found online, either.

LisaS said...

A coconut macaroon did me in. Never eve liked the taste of coconut and a friend convinced me to "just taste it."I am so glad to have found this site and this community. I don't care what they say about not being allergic to the oil. If I inhale coconut oil, I start having a reaction. Eating it put me in the ER. It took nearly two days for the symptoms to get so bad that I needed to go to the hospital. If I accidentally ingest it now, it's usually my lips that start itching. I also experience nausea and feeling like it's bothering my nervous and digestive system.

The biggest challenge is getting people who are going to be around me to stop using it! Hair products, body lotions . . . the oils . . and now, I feel paranoid. Just smelling it causes me to feel stressed! It's like I start bracing myself for a potential reaction. The fact that I have a scent sensitivity doesn't help.

Anyway, I think I need to get an allergy test done. Thanks again for this blog.

Tracy said...

Well I learned the hard way that the second ingredient in Cool whip is coconut oil. 2 bites on Easter Sunday and my mouth felt and still feels like I was chewing razor blades with battery acid on them. Eating coconuts have always made my mouth itch if I accidentally ate something with it in it. But about 2 weeks ago my grandson wanted to feed me some cool whip (he is 2) after eating the cool whip my tongue hurt for about 3 days. Not real bad just uncomfortable, like I had eaten some really salty chips. But Sunday that 2nd bite was like pour gas on an open flame and it is now Thursday my tongue still has blisters on it. I've been using magic mouthwash (prescription) for 3 days with very little relief!! So I'm here to tell you you can be allergic to coconut oil!!!!!!!!