Does Valentine’s Day make you sick?
Those of us who don’t expect to receive cards and flowers tomorrow, would probably rather fast-forward to February 15th than endure a day of being surrounded by loved-up romantics.
However, it seems that it’s not only singletons who want to forget the 14th. People with food allergies may also want to give cupid a wide berth.
“Having an allergic reaction immediately after kissing someone who has eaten the food or taken the medication that you are allergic to isn’t highly unusual,” says allergist Sami Bahna, MD. “However some patients react after their partner has brushed his or her teeth or several hours after eating. It turns out that their partners’ saliva is excreting the allergen hours after the food or medicine has been absorbed by their body.”
Symptoms of kissing allergies include swelling of the lips or throat, rash, hives, itching and wheezing.
When things turn more intimate, allergies can be even more disruptive. Allergists have seen cases of people experiencing allergies to chemicals in spermicides, lubricants, latex or even a partner’s semen. Some people even develop hives or wheezing from the natural chemicals released by their own body during sexual interaction.
So what are lovebirds to do?
If you suffer from food or medication allergies, before puckering up you should ask your partner to brush his or her teeth, rinse his or her mouth and avoid the offending food for 16 to 24 hours before smooching. For people allergic to their partner’s semen, we suggest the use of condoms or better still, that you visit your allergist to discuss immunotherapy or allergy shots.
Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day tomorrow or not, SRxA’s Word on Health wishes you a happy and healthy February 14th.