Can You Be Allergic To Onions

    Can You Be Allergic To Onions

    Martin Alvarez

    Martin Alvarez
    Nutritionist/Dietitian Professional Guide

    Updated on 12/3/2022

    In a wide variety of prepared hot and cold cuisines, it is common practice to utilize onions, both raw and cooked, as a flavoring component. You can use onions in either raw or cooked form. Both hot and cold foods can benefit from the use of onions. Can you be allergic to onions or have a food sensitivity to them? Avoiding meals that include onions may be difficult. However, if you follow these steps, you should be able to prevent any problems. Onions are a versatile vegetable that you may use in various dishes.

    Some people are allergic to raw onions, so eating them, touching them, or smelling them might trigger an allergic reaction. For some people, you can start symptoms just by smelling raw onions. Others are influenced in the same way by raw onions as they are by onions that have been cooked.

    Allergic To Onions

    Garlic, shallots, and chives are some other plants that belong to the same genus as onions, called allium. Onions are not the only members of this group. People who are allergic to onions or have a sensitivity to them almost always have an allergy or sensitivity to other types of alliums. Even while ornamental alliums are not used for food, it is nevertheless possible for certain people to have an allergic reaction to them if they come into contact with the plants in any way.

    Please keep reading to learn more about onion allergies, including their symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and potential treatments, as well as other relevant information. In addition, we will provide you with a list of additional components that, if you like, you are free to use in place of the onions in the recipe.

    What Distinguishes A Sensitivity From An Allergy?

    It is unusual for a person to be allergic to onions in their unprocessed state. If you suffer from onion sensitivity, your immune system will recognize onions and most likely other alliums as substances that could risk your health. That will take place regardless of whether you have the allergy or not.

    The next thing that will take place is that your body will start to take preventative measures, such as the release of substances like histamine, as the following thing that will take place. If these substances are swallowed, they have the potential to cause symptoms that range from unpleasant to potentially life-threatening. Some of these symptoms may even be fatal.

    Allergic To Onions

    The condition of being allergic to onions, also known as having an intolerance to them, is becoming increasingly widespread. Food intolerances commonly referred to as "non-allergic food hypersensitivity." are not the result of a reaction brought on by the immune system. They result from an inability to absorb and digest particular foods fully.

    On the other hand, the reactions brought on by food intolerances are often not as severe as those brought on by food allergies. Even though onions won't cause your immune system to react as it would if you were allergic to them, you may experience the same symptoms as an onion allergy if you are intolerant to onions. And that is because an intolerance to onions is a food intolerance rather than an allergy.

    Because of this distinct feature, these conditions are notoriously difficult to differentiate.

    What Would Signs Indicate An Allergy To Onions?

    If you have an allergy to onions, you may experience one or more of the symptoms listed above. Depending on the degree of your allergy, these symptoms may manifest themselves inside or externally. There is a chance that the intensity of these symptoms will range from relatively mild to severe, and that is one of the possibilities. In addition, the beginning of symptoms could be significantly different for each patient.

    Allergic To Onions

    Eating onions, touching them, or even just smelling them can bring on instant symptoms for some people. For others, even smelling onions might bring on their symptoms. Onions share this characteristic as well. There is a possibility that some people won't experience any symptoms for several hours, or possibly even for a more extended period. That could apply to both short-term and long-term scenarios.

    A person allergic to onions may have various symptoms, including the following, depending on the severity of their allergy:

    • Welts or rashes, which can appear in any location on the body, are some symptoms.
    • Symptoms in the oral cavity that are analogous to tingling or itching
    • Some symptoms include swelling of the face, tongue, throat, lips, and cheek.
    • nasal congestion
    • A condition that causes one to struggle to breathe is a problematic one.
    • Feeling ill in one's stomach might lead to suffering nausea and vomiting due to one's condition.
    • diarrhea
    • stomach discomfort
    • cramping
    • gas
    • A sensation that is analogous to that of having lightheadedness or dizziness
    • Anaphylaxis is a condition that can occur, although it does not happen very often.

    Allergic To Onions

    In most cases, the absence of mild symptoms indicates that the onion has been eliminated from the system. Home remedies for disorders such as these are frequently highly effective, and the patient may even be able to administer the treatment themselves.

    If you suffer severe reactions, such as nausea or stomach discomfort that does not go away, dizziness, or difficulty breathing, you should seek medical assistance as soon as possible. If you have these symptoms, it is also conceivable that your immune system is overreacting to the medication you are taking.

    You may continue to have symptoms of an onion allergy even after your previous interaction with the allergen has ended, but this will only be the case under certain conditions. There is a chance that this will continue for a few days. In light of the circumstances presented here, you will probably require the assistance of a trained medical expert.

    Anaphylactic Reaction

    Even though anaphylaxis is a scarce type of allergic reaction, it is possible that individuals who are highly allergic to onion could have it if they ate it. That is more likely to occur if the onion is raw or only lightly cooked.

    The medical condition known as anaphylaxis constitutes a true emergency and requires immediate attention from skilled specialists. Trained professionals need to be contacted immediately. Here are some examples of the symptoms that it could induce, in no particular order:

    Allergic To Onions

    • dizziness
    • confusion trembling bewilderment
    • A difficult time was taking full breaths at the prescribed times.
    • edoema can affect both the mouth cavity and surrounding neck and jaw areas.
    • A state in which one is no longer conscious, which can be temporary or permanent.

    Foods That May Cause An Allergy To Onions

    If you have a sensitivity to onions, it is possible that you also have sensitivities to other foods, plants, or substances that contain proteins that are comparable to the ones onions have. That is because onions contain a class of proteins known as alliinases. If you have a sensitivity to onions, it is possible that you also have sensitivities to other foods, plants, or substances that contain proteins that are comparable to the ones onions have. This pattern of behavior is described by the term "cross-reactivity," which scientists developed to describe the phenomenon.

    Garlic, chives, scallions, and shallots are a few examples of the many edible alliums in this food category. Shallots are one more illustration of this. In addition, it might contain mugwort, a type of herb frequently utilized in the cooking of Asian countries and is also often consumed as a beverage in the form of tea.

    Allergic To Onions

    Maintaining abstinence from alliums consumed may be difficult, but it is certainly not impossible. Always read the labels and pay particular attention to the ones found on items that have been prepared, processed, or packaged. Alliums are usually referred to as seasonings on food packaging rather than by their more common name. That is because alliums are classified as seasonings. That is because spices have greater longevity than alliums do.

    Before eating any food, contact the establishment that produced it if you have any questions about its safety. You shouldn't consume the product if its labeling isn't apparent. The following are some examples of foods that are to be avoided at any costs:

    • Salad bar or deli counter salads, including egg salad, tuna salad, and chef salad
    • deli meats
    • salsas, such as pico de gallo frozen entry
    • frozen or prepared pizza crust
    • crackers
    • Dishes such as soups and sauces that have already been made.
    • flavor packets
    • A stock made from bones, poultry, or pork; an acceptable alternative is a tasty vegetable stock.
    • Cheeses that have been flavored or seasoned in various distinctively different ways.

    Allergic To Onions

    Amaryllidaceae, more popular as the amaryllis family, is the botanical family to which allium belongs. This family of plants is also known as the amaryllis family. People allergic to onions might also be allergic to or sensitive to flowering amaryllis plants, including magnificent alliums and a wide variety of lily plants. The allium genus includes onions among its many other members.

    There is a good chance of developing from the amaryllis bulbs after they have grown. This category includes hundreds of different kinds of flowering plants literally, and each of those flowering plant types has its separate species. There is a possibility that you suffer from allergies related to plants, more specifically, allergies related to the kinds of plants that are listed here:

    • Purple Sensation
    • Globemaster allium
    • Gladiator allium
    • The allium is shaped like a corkscrew.
    • Onions are found growing in the environment in which they evolved to do so
    • Chives that were discovered to be growing in their native habitat.
    • That would be a rock onion if you were wondering.
    • The lily that represents the triumph of the resurrection (Easter)
    • Madonna lily
    • Tiger lily
    • Orange lily
    • Daffodils
    • Tulips
    • Agapanthus
    • Iris
    • Alstroemeria

    How To Handle An Allergy To Onions

    Allergic To Onions

    The severity of your allergic reaction will be critical in deciding which treatment approach will be the most successful for you. People who are allergic to onions have access to a wide variety of different treatments, including the following, which may help them:

    • Antihistamines. Both oral and nasal spray formulations of antihistamines are commercially accessible without a prescription from a medical professional and can be bought over the counter. Antihistamines can be sprayed on the nose or taken orally. These medications limit histamine's activity, which reduces the severity of minor allergic reactions, including hives, itching, and nasal congestion. In some cases, you can even remove these symptoms entirely.
    • Aloe vera. Even while aloe vera does not stop the body from manufacturing histamine, there is some evidence to suggest that it may be able to relieve the terrible itching that is associated with hives. Hives are red, raised bumps on the skin that look like little, red mosquito bites. It is possible to buy it for personal use from conventional and online pharmacies today.
    • Hydrocortisone is applied to the skin in a topical form. When a small amount of this over-the-counter drug is applied topically to the area causing the itching and inflammation, it is possible to reduce the symptoms of both conditions.
    • Epinephrine (EpiPen, EPIsnap, Adyphren). This treatment is offered as an auto-injector, which may be acquired from various pharmacies and sold under a wide range of brand names. Anaphylaxis is one of the severe allergic reactions you can treat with this medicine, and you can also treat other severe allergic reactions with it.

    Allergic To Onions

    • An inhaler loaded with albuterol sulfate (ProAir, Proventil, Ventolin). Bronchodilators are a class of drugs you can only obtain through a valid prescription from a qualified medical practitioner. You will dilate the bronchial tubes. As a result, they are making it possible for a greater volume of air to travel through them.

    The Best Way To Avoid An Adverse Reaction

    If you have an allergy to onions, avoiding eating onions is the most efficient strategy to keep allergy symptoms from manifesting themselves. If you have an onion allergy, however, eating onions is safe, and it is in everyone's best interest to steer clear of onions. Because cooking onions reduces the quantities of specific chemicals that can trigger allergic reactions in certain persons, it may be good to restrict one's consumption of onions to only those that have been cooked rather than raw onions.

    Both edible and ornamental alliums can bring on the symptoms you are experiencing. Therefore you must keep away from both kinds of alliums. It is also imperative that you stay away from plants that are used for medicinal purposes. It is possible that regularly taking allergy medication, such as an antihistamine, could be beneficial, particularly during the periods of the year when the concentration of mugwort pollen is at its peak. That is especially the case.

    Allergic To Onions

    Suppose you inadvertently consume onion or come into contact with it. In that case, you should seek medical help as soon as possible, take an antihistamine or some other allergy treatment, and then seek medical attention again.

    What Else Can You Use In Place Of Onions?

    When it comes to the cooking of food, various varieties of alliums are typically the most excellent alternatives to onions. However, it is conceivable that you will also need to refrain from using these ingredients. If that's the case, you might as well extend your eyes and give these other possibilities a shot instead of relying solely on the one you previously considered.

    • Asafetida. It is believed that Iran and Afghanistan were the first countries to cultivate this tasty root vegetable effectively. Its one-of-a-kind flavor originates from the large fennel plants that were explicitly grown to develop it. This dish is often referred to as, but it is also thought to contain a low amount of FODMAPs. Either in the form of powder, which is how it is sold at stores dedicated to selling food, formation of a liquid, which is how it is sold when purchased online. The flavor of asafetida has been likened to onions and garlic simultaneously, and some describe it as having an intense quality. It's been noted that this flavor is comparable. As a result of being cooked, the taste has taken on a more subdued and subdued tone. In addition, it possesses a substantial quantity of the work's components. It would be best if you began with a minimal amount, such as a pinch, then gradually increased it until you attained the level of flavor that you desired. That can be performed by beginning with a minimal amount, such as a pinch, then gradually increasing it to the desired level.

    Allergic To Onions

    • Fennel. This bulb, which has a flavor that is evocative of licorice, takes on a quality that is both savory and opulent when it is cooked. The taste is reminiscent of licorice. It has the consistency of the butter, a flavor that is buttery with a hint of onion and can be defined as buttery with a touch of onion. In addition, the flavor contains a hint of onion. You can use it in cooked dishes in the same way that you would use scallions and in quantities equivalent to what you would use for scallions. You can also use it in the same proportions that you would use for scallions. In addition, you can utilize it in the same manner as you would chives. There are periods when you can buy fresh fennel in grocery shops, and the internet is a great place to purchase dried fennel seeds and powder. In addition, fennel is sometimes utilized in culinary applications.
    • Radish. You can try substituting radishes for raw onion in dishes to be served cold by keeping the amounts of the two ingredients the same. Radishes and raw onion both contribute to a natural onion flavor. The flavor of radishes is often described as being pepperier than that of other vegetables. Radishes have a taste that is more bitter than it is sweet, and their crunch is juicy and satisfying all at the same time. Radishes are root vegetables.
    • Celery. Its flavor may not be equal to onions, but the pleasant crunch it gives when used as a substitute in tuna, egg, or chicken salad makes up for the difference in flavor between the two products. When preparing these items, you should chop an equal amount of celery as you would onion. Doing so will ensure that the final product is delicious, and that will guarantee that there is a healthy equilibrium between the various flavors. You can use the cooked celery in many recipes, such as stews and soups.

    Allergic To Onions

    • On the FODMAP index, foods and spices with low scores are considered easier to digest than those with higher scores. A few different goods on the market have been produced expressly for clients who have an aversion to onion and garlic, and you may buy them if you like. You can find these products in stores, and you are more than free to look into some of them in this place if that interests you.

    How can I Tell If I Have An Allergy To Onions?

    If you go to the doctor, they will be able to help you determine whether or not you have an allergy to onions, a sensitivity to onions, or some other problem entirely. They will quiz you about your symptoms, diet, use of nutritional supplements, and lifestyle choices before performing a physical examination on you. In addition to that, they will take down your medical history. You should bring a food journal to your appointment if they encourage you. You might find it beneficial to keep note of what you eat and bring it up in conversation, and they may suggest you do so. If they do, you should bring a food journal with you.

    Allergic To Onions

    It is conceivable that your doctor will suggest that you participate in an elimination diet for a period ranging from five to six weeks, after which you will discuss the results of your experience. An elimination diet involves removing from one's diet any potential allergens to find out which foods cause an allergic reaction. That is done to determine which foods cause an allergic reaction when they are reintroduced one at a time to determine which foods cause an allergic reaction.

    Various diagnostic tests may be carried out on an individual to ascertain whether or not they suffer from a food allergy or sensitivity. You must inform your doctor if you are currently taking any medications, especially those for heartburn, antidepressants, or antihistamines, as they can all potentially alter the findings of your tests. You must disclose this information if you are taking medications for heartburn.

    The following are some examples of the various kinds of examinations that may be given to you in the distant future:

    • The evaluation method entails making several tiny punctures in the skin. To complete this test, you will be required to visit the office of your primary care physician. Your primary care physician will want to see you. You will receive injections just below the surface of your skin that contains highly minute amounts of potential allergens. These injections will contain allergens. If you have an allergy, coming into contact with any of these things could cause you to break out in hives or have another form of reaction. 

    Allergic To Onions

    • IgE detection in the blood using a specialized blood test as the diagnostic tool. The findings of this blood test will allow for a determination to be made concerning the amount of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies currently present in your body. A sample of your blood will be analyzed at a laboratory to determine the allergens to which you are sensitive based on the analysis of the blood sample you gave to the laboratory.


    It is unusual for a person to be allergic to onions in their unprocessed state. Some people are allergic to onions, making it one of the most common adverse reactions brought on by eating particular foods. Both of these diseases have symptoms that are very similar to one another, painful or uneasy sensation in the stomach, for example.

    People allergic to onions may also be allergic to garlic and other alliums, such as chives, which is conceivable but not guaranteed. If you have an allergy to onions, you might also be sensitive to other plants that produce flowers, like lilies, because flowers come from plants, and onions are plants.

    Allergic To Onions

    Onions are commonly used as an ingredient in a wide variety of dishes, including those that are cooked, served cold, and prepared in preparation. It may be challenging to abstain from eating onions if you are allergic to them or have a food sensitivity. Onions are a common ingredient in many dishes, and you can find onions in many different meals.

    Some people are more likely to have an allergic reaction if they eat raw onions, contact them, or smell them. Consuming onions in either their natural or cooked forms might hurt specific individuals.

    In addition to onions, other plant family members known as allium include garlic, shallots, and chives. Onions are the most well-known member of this family. Most of the time, individuals who are allergic to onions or have a sensitivity to them also have an allergy or sensitivity to other alliums. It is also possible for certain people to have an allergic reaction to decorative alliums, which are plants that humans cannot consume.

    Can you be allergic to onions and may experience symptoms ranging from manageable to life-threatening, depending on the severity of their sensitivity to the vegetable? If you are aware of the fruits, vegetables, and plants that bring on your allergic reaction, you will be able to keep the condition under control as long as you avoid those foods. Because of this, you will be able to steer clear of the irritants that set off your allergic reaction.