Zucchini allergy???

We went to the allergist’s office to remove the big adhesive patches from Fiala’s back, which held 30 potential allergens on little disks.  The official reading won’t be until tomorrow.  Preliminary results show that she is irritated by about 12 things… and allergic to garlic… and VERY allergic to zucchini.  Zucchini.  😕  And, yes, we eat a lot of zucchini.  It’s one of our family’s favorite fresh veggies, because, oddly enough, it’s one of the few veggies that everyone likes.  I grill it, put it in stews, stick it in the Crockpot, put it in stir-fries, put it in muffins… pretty much any way you can think of, we eat it, usually at least twice a week, often more frequently.

There are various little red patches over Fiala’s back, some with raised rash, but the place where the zucchini was is an out-and-out inflamed blister.

I’ve done a little research, and have come up with this:

  • zucchini allergy is very rare (the few studies on zucchini allergy have had a grand total of four participants)
  • only 0.7g is enough to trigger symptoms (that’s minuscule!)
  • half of those allergic to zucchini test positive to celery (that’s the only cross-reactive I’ve been able to find so far, however, people with an allergy to salicylates can have a bad reaction to zucchini…  I’ll ask her doc about the whole salicylates thing.)
  • symptoms include itchy rash, hives, diarrhea, nausea, oral allergy syndrome…  I’ve never seen OAS in Fiala, and she’s only gotten a few hives, and I don’t know about nausea… but we’ve had diarrhea and “itchy rash” for months on end.

We go back in tomorrow to see if the various irritated patches either calm down or persist.  But, the nurse said that the two things that tested positive — garlic and zucchini — will stay for certain as a positive reaction.

I’m sure you’ll be reading much too much about Fiala’s allergies in the days to come…

About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on August 19, 2009, in Allergies, Babies, Medical Stuff, The Kids. Bookmark the permalink. 43 Comments.

  1. interesting that they tested for it when that rare…

    • Well, they supplied six things — corn, egg, wheat, peanut, oat, soy — and then everything else, I supplied. I chose items that we eat a lot, including zucchini. Otherwise, you’re right — they probably wouldn’t have tested for it.

  2. glutenfree4goofs

    Wow, that stinks. 😦 It seems like just when you are getting the hang of something someone throws in a monkey wrench! I’ve had that recently with Judah. Now he can’t have soy and citrus which seem to be in everything we have defaulted to! Why couldn’t it be beets? Ha ha!

    I wonder sometimes with Judah if his allergies were induced by having too much of something too soon. He is my EATER! When he was little we couldn’t keep him from snatching stuff off of plates, the table, the floor! He would crawl over and sit on the bottom shelf of the frig, rummaging, before he could walk anytime we would open it.

    Of course I tried to be cautious and introduce things one at a time and not allow him to live in the refrigerator but especially once the baby came it was easier to feed the boy! Now I wonder if that is why he has developed so many allergies. Maybe it is the same with the zucchini?

    • You know… More and more, Jess, I’m thinking that my poor kids are just a result of immune-problem genes. My husband had severe asthma as a child, and now has alopecia areata (an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks the follicles, and your hair falls out in chunks). I had skin and eye allergy problems as a kid, I had intersticial cystitis (an autoimmune bladder problem), and now have celiac disease…. Put us together, and we have produced a passel of kids, three of which have — not too surprisingly — allergy and/or immune problems.

      Wes & Audrey — not eaters. Fiala — mega eater. I don’t see that either has affected them positively or negatively…

      However, I also think that our diets here in America are FAR FAR FAR too varied to be safe/healthy. We stick so much junk in our systems, and even when we eat totally healthy, there’s just such a huge variety of things that we consume, that it’s little surprise to me that it’s overwhelming for underdeveloped immune systems, like that of small children. Research has shown that people are healthiest when they eat the foods — both plants and animals — that are native to the area of their genetic ancestry. In other words, the healthiest people tend to have been in the same place for multiple generations, and eat a simple, local diet. THAT’s food for thought, IMO. I’m thrilled that America is a melting pot of cultures and peoples… but it’s wreaking havoc on our health.

      • glutenfree4goofs

        I agree about our diets. It just seems so strange sometimes.

        One day when I was overwhelmed and feeling like the only one on the face of the planet having to deal with this stuff my BFF reminded me that many many parents either don’t care or don’t know if something is bothering their child. At least I’m aware and trying to get to the bottom of it. Just cause “everyone else can eat whatever they want” (I claimed) doesn’t mean they SHOULD! There are longterm unseen benefits of getting to the bottom of all this. 😦 🙂

        My family has no history of any of autoimmune problems that I know, yet three of my four kids so far have celiac and one has the multiple other allergies. 😦 Ah well.

        I never had a single grain of wheat bother me until I had delivered my second son. Go figure, all of a sudden it just KO’d me. I know that’s how celiac often shows up but it seemed so out of place at the time.

        • I think similarly to your friend. People who say, “Well, where were all these celiacs 20, 30, 40, 100 years ago? Aren’t you just making this up?” Well, maybe the prevalence is greater than it was years ago. But, maybe not. You read in all sorts of literature about “sickly” children who just eventually die. Maybe some of those kids were celiacs! I want to give my children the best chance at health, and not have them go through what I did as a child and as an adult in my 20s — constant piercing abdominal pain, unexplained eczema, other assorted problems that my parents just chalked up to being my lot in life.

          You said your family doesn’t have a history of autoimmune problems, but doesn’t your mom have CD?

          Also, although I had symptoms from infancy, a LOT of people become symptomatic upon some sort of traumatic or life-changing event. It’s one of the things that is totally not understood about CD. It’s an autosomal dominant genetic problem — meaning that if you have the gene, you SHOULD have CD. But many people have the gene but are asymptomatic until _________ happens to them.

  3. Yeah, i was diagnosed with an APPLE allergy. And a green bean allergy. Which were the veggie of choice around here. They go so well with fish, chicken, italian…just about everything. I kept eating them like an idiot, and it wasn’t until we were actually growing them in the garden, and the plants gave me hives while i tried to pick the beans, that i finally accepted i couldn’t eat them any more.

    And we have apple trees. Every September finds me peeling, coring, and freezing tons of applesauce. The irony does not escape me.

    Poor Fiala. Maybe green beans could become the veggie of choice? Or yellow squash? Is she allergic to all summer squash?

    • Wow — the green bean bush gave you hives??????? Yeah, I think I’d have to admit to a little problem at that point, too!!!

      I have wondered about yellow squash and other summer squashes, too. I’ve added a question about that to the list with which I will barrage the allergist on Monday.

      Green beans are definitely going to get a bigger place in our family!! Funny — I just got a 5 lb bag of frozen organic green beans at Costco on Saturday…. Now, we’re prepared!!

      • Yeah, i would send my oldest out to harvest the green beans. I thought that i was okay as long as they were cooked, but when i finally eliminated the foods i’d tested allergic to (mild reactions, mind you) I felt so much better overall.

        • Some allergens do disappear or lighten up if the product is cooked — it depends on how heat-stable the protein is. Not that I’m suggesting you risk it… but maybe, if you’re undergoing allergy testing, you could compare raw green bean (and apple) with cooked.

    • glutenfree4goofs

      My 2yo can’t ahve apple either. 😦

      • It stinks, doesn’t it? I grew up visiting the world’s best apple orchard, where you could pick your own and also buy the most amazing caramel apples and apple fritters….it makes me sad that i can’t have a caramel apple anymore. Or apple cake. I mean, you can substitute pears in many recipes, but a caramel pear just doesn’t sound right, does it?

      • Yeah, our allergist said that apple allergy is a lot more common than people are aware!

  4. Wow, zucchini! We are getting ready to start retesting the Princess for some of her allergies as some kids begin to outgrow them around 5ish so following that wisdom, we are praying that a few things may fall of her list. Due to her eczema, we only due blood tests for allergies as we found that the skin tests showed her allergic to many things due to her sensitive skin issues but the blood tests showed how her body reacted with the Ige’s. Hoping you continue to find answers.

    • I’ve been thinking about you & Princess a lot, Kiva — knowing that she’s on systemic immunosuppressants, I’ve been wondering if that would make her susceptible to more allergic reactions, or less?? Do you have to really stay ON TOP of any eczema so that it doesn’t become scabs/sores? It seems to me that she would be really susceptible to impetigo and other skin infections with all her immunosuppressants. 😦

      We have done some RAST tests as follow-ups to skin prick tests. Skin pricks showed her allergic to 7-8 items, and the follow-up RAST/blood test showed her allergic to just egg and milk. Subsequent patch testing showed her allergic (slow reaction) to more items in addition to egg and milk… more on that later.

  5. oh this is all very interesting! we went to the chiro/AK two days ago and i got a slapin the face. apparently some of V’s fussiness is b/c he is testing positive for “radium” which means we likely have radon in our basement. oh my gosh! I wanna cry. apparently there is pump we can get to pump out the bad air. but first we have to do a send away test which takes a couple of weeks and then ask the landlord to *gulp* pay for the pump. …

    I seriously almost cried right then and there.

    will it never end? I get so discouraged sometimes. why are my kids constantly battling some horrid thing or another? I feel so terrible about it.. I don’t usually get this upset, but sometimes the stress gets to me. V was up a billion times last night so that makes it worse yk?

    anyhow youre an encouragement. I pray for your little girl!

    • Laura, what kind of testing is your chiro doing? I would be interested in knowing if your basement does show radon contamination!

      You “almost cried”??!!?? I did cry. In the truck, driving home from my cardiologist appt (yet another story…) yesterday, after stopping at Whole Foods and buying a bunch of “safe” bulk grains (yay!) and 3/4 lb of $13/lb roast beef so that I would have something to eat!!!!!!! I threw my back out on Monday (yet ANOTHER story!) and what with Fiala’s appts this week, plus that cardiologist appt, I could not muster the strength to go out grocery shopping, so our cupboards are BARE, and what is left contains garlic!!!

      It does seem like we’re going through an almost identical situation, separated by a continent. 🙂 And not just with one of your kids, but with all of them! You’re an encouragement to me, too!!

      I very, very, very much feel like our children are a profound GIFT from God, and that He called us to parent our five children — to bring them into existence and raise them in His nurture and admonition. But, in weak moments, I feel almost guilty, because at least 4/5 of them seem the victim of really bad genes from my husband and me. So, it’s discouraging to me, many times!!

  6. garlic… yikes… thats definitely a lot harder to avoid in stuff than zucchini..

    • Yes — pretty much everything in our fridge and pantry contains garlic!! However, I called on French’s Spicy Brown Mustard yesterday and the natural flavors in it does NOT contain garlic. Woo hoo! (Said mockingly!) I can have mustard!

  7. (oops.. hit the comments button on the wrong one.. lol)

  8. my tummy does NOT feel good w/ zucchini. each year, around this time, i try it again and sure enough. Although it probably isn’t a true allergy…i do have a reaction. even tried organic. that too… so i guess i’m rare too!

  9. Momof3princesses

    Karen, did you ever find out whether your child could have squash despite her zucchini allergy. My almost 4 year-old is allergic to zucchini (amongst a few other things) and we are growing a few different types of squash this summer, but do not return to the allergist until September. Just curious as to what you were told….if there is any likelihood of an allergy to both.

  10. I, too, am allergic to zucchini (I am 33). I can eat squash and cucubers and celery. Be careful of processed foods — soups, frozen dinners, spaghetti sauce, etc. often have zucchini in them as fillers. Good luck.

  11. Did it turn out to be a zucchini allergy? I am suspecting my baby may have one. Were you able to be tested by your pediatrician?


    • She does have a zucchini allergy, as well as allergies to a HOST of other foods, too many to list, found via patch testing, blood testing, and trial-and-error. She just turned 2 and is still on a very restricted diet. But, she is otherwise healthy, just above the 50th percentile for weight, and meeting (or exceeding) all developmental milestones.

  12. My daughter has a zucchini, squash, potato and sweet potato (anaphylactic). Does your daughter have any of these other allergies as well? Have you found anything else in that food family? We’re trying to narrow down what she is allergic to and finding it hard.:-)

    • Alora, yes, she is still allergic to all of these. I’m sure you know that zucchini and squash are related… As are melons, all of them. Sweet potatoes, yam, and jicama are all in the morning glory family. http://www.calgaryallergy.ca/Articles/English/botanical.htm

      We’re still working on her allergies. Currently, we are working to rid her of a systemic Candida infection — it’s really bad. I’m sincerely hoping that when that is cleared, that we’ll be able to better tell what she’s actually allergic to, and what was causing a reaction based on the Candida problem.

  13. Ive been eating cooked zucchini my whole life and love it, but I cut some up raw for a salad to replace the cucumbers I ran out of and wow, I thought I was literally going to die of shock in my shower after expelling everything from my stomach I was swollen and plain could not move for about an hour. My wife was at work the kids were taking a nap and I was lying there thinking to myself, wow, here I am unable to speak barely able to breath and I’m going to die in the shower from my favorite food of all things. This is the same stuff I grow in my garden and eat almost every day of the summer. I grill it, bbq it, and fry it up and have it in soup and never a reaction, but raw it almost killed me. And after about two hours I was still weak , my ears looked like dumbo and I had hives on every inch of my body. took me three days to feel 100% again. I still eat it cooked, albiet small portions and thoroughly cooked to mush to be safe the first few times, and have had no problems at all. I figure it is like stinging nettle, once all the hairs are cooked off its harmless, at least for me. Funny after living thirty odd years and find out I still dont know everything about myself.

  14. This is interesting! I never had (of thought I had) a problem until today. My Hubby picked a bunch of zucchini from the garden. I was cutting them up for the freezer. After I got done my hand started swelling and was shining. I washed twice but it continued. I then put on some lemon essential oil to get the shine/slime/whatever off. Didn’t work. Still was swelling. I put on some lavendar essential oil and the swelling went away. Then my hand was hasty like when you get super glue on the fingers (I’m not the only one who has done that, right!?) This odd experience has led me to searching zucchini allergy. I’ve never heard of such a thing. I checked out the above link but can’t seem to find other things to watch if zucchini is a problem. Am I missing something? I don’t see zucchini listed. Thanks for the post! And thanks Rodger for your comment! I eat cooked zucchini all the time. it was helpful to hear of your experience. .

    • Chantelle, I’m glad lavender EO worked for you!! When I cut up lots of any kind of squash, I get that same feeling on my skin — well, not the swelling, but the shining/tight feeling/look. It must be something in the squash. (Obviously.) On the Calgary Allergy page of food families, it lists: “Gourd (Melon): Casaba; Cantaloupe; Cucumber; Honey Dew; Muskmelon; Persian Melon; Pumpkin; Squash; Vegetable Marrow; Watermelon, Zucchini. Pretty much all squash (summer and winter), cucumbers, and melons.”

  15. I know this is am old thread but its so rare to find someone talk about zucchini allergies. No one believes me! I am allergic/intolerant to all melons, zucchini/squash, cucumbers and reacted to under ripe banana once. I have a delayed reaction of major migraines and vomiting after a 8-10 hour delay. But yep I can eat it just fine cooked or pickled.
    I don’t have CD but do have Hashimotos.

  16. I’m highly allergic. Every time I eat it I get so sick with pain that makes me want to die in my stomach.

  17. I found out this month that I’m allergic to the cucurbits plant family (squash, pumpkin, cucumbers and melon) and is what has caused 40 years of nocturnal seizures!

  18. I have an undiagnosed sensitivity to zucchini that includes vomiting and diarrhea. Kale is similar, but milder at causing me distress. I too have been unsuccessful at finding much information. I would be interested in any information you may have as to what compound in zucchini triggers the problem, if you are inclined to share.

    • I don’t know what the source is, but I have found out that it’s not that uncommon. And if you’re allergic that badly to zucchini, you’re likely allergic to everything in the same botanical family that includes all squash (summer and winter), all melons, and cucumbers.

      • Thanks for sharing. Goldie

        From: Only Sometimes Clever To: g_kirkbride@yahoo.com Sent: Sunday, June 5, 2016 4:12 PM Subject: [New comment] Zucchini allergy??? #yiv4424525961 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv4424525961 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv4424525961 a.yiv4424525961primaryactionlink:link, #yiv4424525961 a.yiv4424525961primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv4424525961 a.yiv4424525961primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv4424525961 a.yiv4424525961primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv4424525961 WordPress.com Karen Joy commented: “I don’t know what the source is, but I have found out that it’s not that uncommon. And if you’re allergic that badly to zucchini, you’re likely allergic to everything in the same botanical family that includes all squash (summer and winter), all melons, ” | |

  19. Hi Karen! I am trying to find out if my 9 year old is allergic to zucchini. She is allergic to garlic and many other foods (peanuts, tree nuts, soy, peas, Lenny
    Tiles, chick peas, legumes/beans, garlic and annatto). She reacted recently to peaches. And now I’m wondering about zucchini? Lisa

    • Lisa, how were her other allergies discovered? What are the symptoms? What is making you think she might be allergic to zucchini? (I don’t know if I can help at all; I’m just wondering!)

  20. Hi! Just came across your blog after searching for some zucchini allergy I might possibly contacted.. Ate 1 full zucchini yesterday around 5pm, and noticed some hives at about 2am.. Went to see a doc this morning, was given some medication, and was told to backtrack what I did for the past 72hrs.. Could be the food, the clothes or any other contact with foreign allergens.. 😅

  21. I am highly allergic to zucchini, with hives if i eat anything which has been cooked with them and breathing problems if I eat them.

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