raw vegetable allergy

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BookerT asks:

Hello Motherload: Is it possible to become allergic to raw vegetables? I cannot eat them at all anymore, as even just a simple several bites will give me hours of the runs. Sorry to be graphic, but if I eat an actual salad, the toilet looks like yellow-tinted vegetable or cabbage soup. Yet, I can eat all the cooked vegetables, vegetable soup, steamed vegetables, etc., I want with no problems. This is very strange, especially considering I was a vegetarian for several years that didn't like to cook. I really love raw vegetables, salad, subs, lettuce on burgers, etc. but I cannot eat any of this anymore. What is going on here?


Dear BookerT,

While food allergies developing later in life are possible, it is more probable that you are experiencing a food intolerance.

There are several different enzymes involved in the digestion of food, each type having different food groups that they work with. For instance, Amylase breaks down starches, Lipase breaks down fat, Proteise is for digesting proteins, Lactase handles dairy products...you get the picture.

Hemicellulase is the enzyme responsible for the breakdown of plant material. Cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest because it changes the molecular structure of the plant, letting the Hemicellulase get at more of the digestible material.

As we get older, our bodies do not produce as many enzymes as they do when we are young, which lessens our ability to properly digest many things. The high fiber content in the uncooked veggies and the lack of enough enzymes to deal with them could be the cause of your intolerance.

There are supplemental enzymes available at health food stores that you can take before meals that will enhance your ability to digest things more completely. Hope this helps.

Thanks for asking Motherload!

Motherload is a Certified Nurse Assistant as well as an IBS sufferer, which

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19 Comments on "raw vegetable allergy"

Thunderbox's picture
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Booker T - it`s clearly a case of too many raw attempts at "Green Onions".

The voice of sanity

SamDamnit's picture
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I eat salad on a regular basis. It is usually my dinner. My morning ritual usually involves lining the toilet with what I call "lettuce lace". It is the veins off the lettuce and mixed greens, that were not digested. They tend to float, so it takes two flushes to wash the lace of the side of the bowl. Mary Mary has no such problem when she poops, and almost all she eats is veggies and nuts.

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Double Flush's picture
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I generally only eat raw vegetables as lettuce or onions on a sandwich, and on rare occasion a Caesar salad, and I haven't had any problems with them. Most of the vegetables I eat are cooked, or at least steamed.

SamDamnit!, I never notice the undigestible parts, even with my usual LiquiShit. Is there something I'm doing wrong?

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"Double the flush, double the fun" --The Amazing Anus

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SamDamnit's picture
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I don't know what causes the lettuce lace for me. Perhaps it is digestable for most people.
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Anonymous Coward's picture
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Thanks for the insight Motherload; it is wonderful to have you here! Samdamnit, I am also relieved that I am not the only person that this happens to. Lettuce lace is a good description and it happens no matter how little of it I eat, like just a few bites. I ate a huge salad for dinner tonight and I know what the consequences will be tomorrow morning.
Now I just hope I don't gain weight and decide to go on a diet; the only one my intestines will ever be able to handle is Atkins although I doubt my heart and arteries will be too happy with that one...

veggieissues's picture
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Please help. My stomach is ok with raw veggies as long as it is not spinach but steamed and cooked veggies make me gassy and seriously bloated. I have gone through Candida treatment and now use probiotics such as Aloe vera.

GottaGoGirl's picture
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Interesting. I would think it's the raw veg that would be gassy.

Try eating some Beano before you eat your veggies.

Anonymous Coward's picture
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If you have a reaction like that to raw fruits and vegetables, it probably means that you have Oral Allergy Syndrome.

Anonymous Coward's picture
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Google "Oral Allergy Syndrome" I have it to. youll get tons of results explaining what youre experiencing!!

MSG's picture
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Certain raw vegetables (carrots, melons) give me an itch in the throat; if I eat enough of them, I have trouble breathing, and my throat can partially close. That is an allergy--nothing to do with enzymes there, because by the time these items pass my throat, they're not digested.

Salad greens I usually tolerate fairly well, though I often see parts of them again (little green strings of spinach, the lacy remains of lettuce, etc.) in my turds. I don't think of that as allergy at all, rather as part of the salad greens being basically indigestible and coming out in recognizable traces in the stool.

baron von crapalot's picture
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Generally, here in the UK, Brasicas (lettuce etc.) are pretty safe, although the barroness has 2 I cant get hold of.

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Doody Queen's picture
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Nothing like a last look into the toilet bowl after a good dump the morning after enjoying sweet corn on the cob, or even a bowl of neuked frozen corn...it always amazes me that the kernels go through and come out whole! And, they have a story to tell...that my digestive system is working efficiently :) It's the little things, folks.

Anonymous Coward's picture
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I had raw onions on a salad last night. I did not notice until later that evening when I threw up and threw up, ending in dry heaves. I almost went to the hospital from the horrible pain all through my chest and abdomin. Today my stomach is cramping horribly. I got some relief from phazyme. I found raw onions caused this many years ago in my mid 30's with the same reaction of throwing up and it taking 3 days for the intense cramping in my stomach to stop. Only raw onions cause this - is it my lack of a certain enzyme causing this? I was told the onion may contain an enzyme that I am now unable to digest properly. Cooking the onions will denatured the culprit. If I need to add raw onion to a recipe or salad I microwave them for 30 seconds - which works. Do you know a remedy after an accidental injection? You spoke of taking enzymes. Will that help?

meowpoo's picture
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doody queen you are syco. artard!
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Bilgepump's picture
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meowpoo, you are an idiot.

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The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough.

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sittingpretty's picture
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meowpoo, doody queen said nothy worthy of calling him/her a retard(artard?). Can't you play nicely?
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...And their flesh like dung. Zeph. 1:17

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Anonymous Coward's picture
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Eaten at the same time:
Acid + Alkali -> gas
e.g. fruit + greens -> gas

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
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Dear AC.....My dog never eats any of the combinations you mention but farts all the time anyway, a simple diagram follows;

Meat + Meat = Fart

For me the diagram is even simpler;

Anything + Anything = Fart

I have even evoked gas by drinking water, when I was in the service I would occasionally get up too late for breakfast before going to work therefore I would be rather empty when I returned home. After a few glasses of water to assuage my thirst I would fart like a racehorse. I think this was just because the plug of water pushed the air out my ass. It usually had no smell.


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Candida Treatment's picture
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The most common raw foods are the unprocessed and uncooked plant foods, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, sprouts, seeds, nuts, grains, beans, dried fruit, and seaweed. But raw food may also include animal foods such as fish, meat, eggs, milk, cheese, and yogurt.