If you are allergic to strawberries, your immune system triggers the production of IgE (immunoglobulin E), an antibody and histamine each time that you eat strawberries. The production of the antibodies and histamine cause specific symptoms within the body, and according to the National Institutes of Health, the symptoms usually occur within 2 hours of ingestion. In addition to avoiding strawberries themselves, watch out for products with strawberries in them -- such as condiments, juices, yogurts, ice creams and baked goods -- or foods that have been handled or prepared near strawberries
The first symptoms that occur with a food allergy, such as strawberries, usually occur in the mouth area. You may feel a tingling sensation in, or around, the mouth. The tingling may soon be followed by swelling, which can affect the lips, the mouth, the tongue and the throat, which may feel like it is closing shut. The swelling of the throat is a very serious symptom and you should seek medical attention immediately, as the swelling could cut off the air flow to your lungs.
Strawberry allergy symptoms also are visible on the skin. You may suddenly develop red blotches on the skin, such as hives, which is accompanied by an itch. The redness that develops on the skin may not be in blotches or hives, but can also appear as a generalized rash, or eczema. You may notice swelling in the hands, fingers or facial area. Along with swelling of the facial skin, you may have watery, itchy eyes as well as a runny or congested nose.
A strawberry allergy can affect the gastrointestinal system as well. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting and a general upset stomach, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. These symptoms may be accompanied by diarrhea, abdominal swelling, abdominal cramps and abdominal pain.
Respiratory symptoms are the most disturbing symptoms of a strawberry allergy, and can be the most severe. They can occur within minutes, or hours, of eating a strawberry or strawberry product, and include trouble breathing, possibly accompanied by a wheezing sound, and a tightening of the chest. These symptoms may or may not be accompanied by chest pains, but if the allergic reaction is severe, you may also experience a rapid pulse, sudden drop in blood pressure, dizziness, fainting, shock and a loss of consciousness.
If you experience any of these symptoms when eating strawberries, or any food, seek medical attention immediately.
A certified nutritionist who majored in health, fitness and nutrition, Traci Vandermark has been writing articles in her specialty fields since 1998. Her articles have appeared both online and in print for publications such as Simple Abundance, "Catskill Country Magazine," "Birds and Blooms," "Cappers" and "Country Discoveries."