Food allergies: Is maple syrup a possible trigger?

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Maple syrup is capable of triggering an allergic reaction in some individuals. An allergic reaction to maple syrup is considered uncommon but if this condition is suspected, it is vital to set an appointment with a doctor so that appropriate testing can be performed and start the right treatment.

What are the signs and symptoms of a reaction to maple syrup?

An allergic reaction that occurs after ingestion of maple syrup triggers symptoms that are strikingly similar to other common food allergies. The following are the signs and symptoms that can occur:

  • Hives or skin rashes
  • Swelling or tingling sensation in the mouth or throat
  • Wheezing
  • Digestive discomfort
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing

The individual might experience one or all of these symptoms and the severity usually depends on the sensitivity and the amount of syrup that was ingested. When it comes to a severe allergic reaction, it can lead to a weakened pulse rate, airway constriction, swollen throat and loss of consciousness.


Maple syrup allergy
The individual might experience one or all of these symptoms and the severity usually depends on the sensitivity and the amount of syrup that was ingested.

The individual should keep a food diary to note down the foods that he/she has eaten and any reactions that manifest right away. This is one way to determine the potential trigger foods and allow the doctor to determine the possible source of the symptoms.

If the doctor suspects that the individual is allergic to the syrup, a simple blood test is performed to check for the presence of allergy-related antibodies. When it comes to a skin-prick test, it is also used to test for a food allergy and involves the introduction of small amounts of the maple syrup to the skin to check for a reaction. The doctor will also request the individual to avoid maple syrup for several weeks and then reintroduce it to check for the manifestation of the symptoms.


If the individual is allergic to the syrup, it should be eliminated from the diet to prevent any symptoms. It is vital to carefully read the labels but there are several foods that contain maple syrup relatively lower than other common food allergens.

Avoid any food that might contain maple syrup or even maple sugar such as flavored oatmeal, cereal, desserts, baked goods and bread. If the favorite of the individual is off-limits, he/she can prepare one at home using an alternative sweetener. In case of a severe allergic reaction to maple syrup, the individual should bring along an injectable epinephrine in case of accidental ingestion.

Important considerations to bear in mind

If the individual is allergic to maple syrup, the sap or pollen from the maple tree can also trigger the symptoms which include stuffy nose, contact rashes, watery eyes and sneezing.

These symptoms might require alternative methods of treatment that includes antihistamines or topical ointments. Nevertheless, being highly sensitive or allergic to the maple pollen does not always mean that the individual is allergic to maple syrup.


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