Raw Peppers (Bell) Intolerance

  • posted by Walki
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    Hi, just caught the end of Michael Mosely on Radio 2 on intolerances. I have had an intolerance for years now and wondered if anyone has the same intolerance as I haven’t come across it before. I can’t eat raw Peppers (red, orange, green or yellow), if I do I get really bad colicky stomach pains that comes in waves and lasts anytime between 4 – 8 hours. I can, however, eat them if they are cooked are regularly eat them cooked in dishes. The same thing happens if I eat Chinese food but I haven’t pinpointed what it is in Chinese food that upsets me, I thought maybe it was the Monosodium Glutamate but I don’t get the same reaction to other people who are intolerant to MSG (eg headaches) and I can eat potato crisps etc freely with MSG with no effect.

    I am particularly interested in the Peppers intolerance though, I regularly eat potatoes and tomatoes so it can’t be a nightshade intolerance. Any ideas??

  • posted by KatyTree
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    I am intolerant or allergic to bell pepper too, its really frustrating as it isnt one of the 14 official allergens, so i have to search ingredients lists and everytime i eat out or eat packaged food. I get shivery and am violently sick within 20 minutes of eating anything with pepper in. If its dried pepper flakes, i feel ‘car sick’ for the rest of the day. I get really cross when i find that pepper is in random food, for example tomato soup and not listed on the menu. I have no problems eating potatoes, aubergines and tomatoes.

  • posted by Walki
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    Hi KatyTree,

    Sorry to hear of your intolerance, I don’t get sick, just awful stomach ache, I can’t do anything when I have it I just curl up in a ball and it lasts for hours or until I can eventually get to sleep at night. I guess I am luckier in you, in that I can eat peppers when they are cooked e.g. in commercial soups and foods, and foods that I prepare and cook. I have had a very milder version of the stomach ache when eating spinach in salads as well – again, cooked is fine. Cant seem to find a connection with any of these foods. Needless to say I avoid all of these things like the plague 😁.

  • posted by Firefox7275
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    The best person to diagnose is a health professional – family doctor/ registered dietician/ allergist – who has access to your medical history and detailed food and symptom diary. Self diagnosing food allergies or food intolerances based on comparison with someone else’s self diagnosis has a good chance of being wrong.

    Reacting to a food raw but not cooked suggests a sensitivity to a component removed, destroyed or altered during processing. That might be the protein in the flesh of the pepper, or in another part of the plant, or a microbe (fungus/ bacteria) or insect or pollen commonly found on the plant.

    With true allergies ‘cross reactivity’ can occur due to the same, or structurally similar, protein being encountered elsewhere. Examples include the enzyme in papaya and a protein in dust mite poop, or wheat gluten and the protein in oats.

    For bell peppers some might also react to chilli peppers or paprika since these are closely related. Chilli-infused oil and paprika-based flavours/ colours are widely used in South and East Asian cuisines.

    Once an allergy or intolerance has been formally diagnosed, the dietician or allergist will advise which other foods or substances to avoid.

    HTH!

  • posted by Walki
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    Thanks for your input Firefox7275. I went to my doc’s many years ago when I first encountered this intolerance but he wasn’t interested, he gave me some anti-spasmodic tabs that didn’t work when I got the stomach cramps. Over the years, however, I have learnt not to eat raw peppers and Chinese foods so I haven’t had any symptoms for a while now. I don’t have the same reaction to chillis, paprika and anything else you mentioned.

  • posted by PepperVolcano
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    Anyone want to see an instant Human volcano? Bell Peppers and Cubanelle Peppers will get an immediate vomit reaction from me, like fire to gasoline. Everyone I have ever known has tried to tell me that I must have had some kind a bad experience related to Green Pepper. They couldn’t be more right. It’s the Green Pepper itself. From the time I started eating food as a toddler, I respond to them the same way as i do now. Immediate instantaneous Gagging and Vomiting. I was slapped out of a chair by a stepfather for it. Why? Because he loved them and was insulted by my immediate gagging response to a breakfast dish he worked so hard to create. Time ad nauseam to my suffering everyone that I have ever met wants me to eat their newest dish with; you guessed it, Green Peppers. I have actually had a person come to my house to cook their favorite secret dish “Steak & Peppers”, for me and my wife. My wife who by the way, knows damn well, that I don’t ever want to see another green pepper for the rest of my natural life. She had no idea that what the dish was. I even warned him that we were okay as long as he wasn’t cooking with green peppers. He laughed and said, “Don’t Worry About!” As soon as the G.P.’s hit the frying pan, I jumped to my feet, Looked at my wife in total disbelief. Before I embarrassed my wife, I had to immediately leave our apartment before the G.P. Volcano goes full Blown. I couldn’t even be in my own apartment while it was being cooked. So I had to leave before the Vomit Volcano Started. Once the Nausea faded, I headed for Micky-D’s for dinner. Now that doesn’t mean I didn’t try to get over this, because I tried. LORD….! That was a huge mistake. Whatever I did manage to get down, caused me to have gas, cramps and diarrhea. I did that for me just to see if I could get past this. I am Done! Not even for the love of money. Human “Green Pepper” Volcano Out. Mic drop!

  • posted by Analogue Girl
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    since my twenties ive developed stomach migraines when ever i eat cooked or uncooked bell peppers ,chillies ,paprika ,cayenne pepper i cant even eat lollies coloured with paprika extract it makes eating out or buying prepared foods problematic . i am fine with tomatoes and potatoes can eat cooked onion and small amounts of spring onion. two of my four daughters have developed the same intolerance in their twenties to the capsicum family. i cant eat foods now with inulin or dietary fibre my diet is returning to childhood one of meat and three veg . As soon as an ingredient label says spice blend i put it back on the shelf .

  • posted by Happychappy19
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    I can’t eat them at all, cooked, raw or dried! Started in my 20’s too. I end up in agony for about 12 hours, to the point where I can’t do anything but wait for it to pass, as no pain relief or antispasmodic meds work. I get the sweats, have vomited a few times and/or felt sick. I’ll feel as if I need to go to the toilet sometimes but I never can. Safe to say they’re now avoided like the plague! I’m fine with potatoes, tomatos and chillies. Onions I can do but I am starting to think they might be going the same way as I have started to get quite gassy after eating them. It’s a funny old intolerance to have though, people always seem surprised when I say I can’t eat them 😊

  • posted by Zabbo
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    I’m so glad I found this forum. I’m 54 and have been unable to eat peppers since my early twenties. Within 20 minutes I start to get a tingling in my fingers and lips, and discomfort in the stomach. Within a couple of hours I’m violently sick. Usually lasts about 12 hours or so.
    When this first started I thought it was just food poisoning. But it kept happening and I eventually narrowed it down to what I’d eaten the meal before.
    The trouble is, peppers are so annoyingly trendy! They’re in everything. Even sushi from Pret! Every time you go to someone’s house for dinner you can pretty much guarantee something will be laced, garnished, covered, coated or based on chillies or peppers! I feel like I’m walking a tightrope whenever I eat out. They are often not mentioned on restaurant menus so I get my wife to test anything that is served and “looks” like it might have peppers or chillies in it. Luckily she’s happy to oblige!
    I eat just about anything else. But these damn pepper things kill me. I’ve never heard of anyone else being the same as me so I’m well chuffed that there are other people with similar symptoms. I’m not such a freak after all!!😁 ( well, not in this sense anyway!)

  • posted by gutsnglory
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    Sounds like IBS to me! I have the same problem, especially with green bell pepper – and all sorts of other foods like gums, sugar alcohols, inulin/chicory root, olive oil, brown rice, soy, etc. Lookup references to FODMAP.

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