An ENT Explains Pineapple Tongue Irritation






One chunk of pineapple and my destiny is often sealed: For the following a number of hours, my tongue will really feel like the feel of sandpaper and has a (slightly uncomfortable) tingly sensation. Regardless of the discomfort, what’s comforting to know is that I’m positively not alone—tons of parents have taken to social media to categorical their considerations over an identical expertise.

I’ll be frank: Up to now, I’ve chalked up my pineapple-induced mouth woes to nothing greater than a really delicate allergy of some kind (since my signs clear up on their very own after some time). Nonetheless, Inna A. Husain, MD, the medical director of laryngology at Neighborhood Hospital in Munster, Indiana, says an allergy is probably going not the case.

Whereas pineapple allergy symptoms are attainable, they’re  extraordinarily uncommon. So, why achieve this many individuals expertise discomfort when noshing on this tropical fruit? Dr. Husain explains it’s easy: Enzymes. Forward we uncover the basis explanation for ‘pineapple tongue’ discomfort and one of the best ways to keep away from it.

Why pineapple could cause mouth and tongue irritation

Based on Dr. Husain, pineapples comprise an enzyme known as bromelain, which is probably going the principle wrongdoer behind most pineapple-related mouth and tongue irritation. “Bromelain is a mix of two proteases. For context, a protease is a particular kind of enzyme that breaks down protein. Because of this pineapple is usually a nice meat tenderizer,” Dr. Husain says. Sadly, pineapple could cause an identical response within the mouth. “Bromelain additionally breaks down protein discovered within the lining of your mouth, generally known as mucosa,” she provides, which ends up in the irritation so many people typically expertise.

However that’s only one piece of the puzzle. Along with the bromelain, Dr. Husain factors out that pineapples are additionally naturally acidic, which might additional exacerbate irritation. “Pineapple is acidic, so the thought is that the bromelain breaks down the mucosal barrier, which causes the acid in pineapple to be extra irritating,” she says. Dr. Husain says the mixture of the 2 is what units pineapple aside from different fruits. (For instance, though papayas additionally comprise bromelain, they’re not as acidic, which is why most received’t expertise the identical tingling sensation as they do with pineapple.)

That mentioned, there’s no denying that every one this discuss bromelain-induced burning or itchiness within the mouth and throat can sound exceptionally alarming. Nonetheless, Dr. Husain reassures us that it isn’t an excessive amount of trigger for concern (no less than not most often). “Don’t fear. The quantity of injury that’s occurring is delicate, and the tissue will already begin therapeutic itself after the consumption of the pineapple. Because of this more often than not, the feeling is transient,” she says.

“Don’t fear. The quantity of injury that’s occurring is delicate, and the tissue will already begin therapeutic itself after the consumption of the pineapple. Because of this more often than not, the feeling is transient.”

Nevertheless it’s price noting that though (we reiterate) pineapple allergy symptoms are uncommon, they nonetheless are attainable. A pineapple allergy may end up in extra extreme signs like extreme irritation within the mouth, rashes, swelling, or—in extreme instances—anaphylaxis, a life-threatening situation that wants pressing medical consideration. For those who consider you’re experiencing a pineapple allergy, it’s finest to seek the advice of with a medical skilled on tips on how to deal with it.

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Find out how to stop pineapple tongue irritation

Though there’s no avoiding bromelain in pineapples, Dr. Husain factors out that the best focus of the enzyme is discovered within the stem of the pineapple. As such, steering away from consuming the stems may assist mitigate the response. Nevertheless it isn’t foolproof, nor the best or efficient technique to keep away from pineapple-induced irritation.

Dr. Husain recommends rubbing salt on pineapple or soaking it in salt water (and rinsing earlier than consumption). Cooking pineapple may also cut back the irritation brought on by enzymes. Lastly, she says pairing the acidic fruit with dairy-based merchandise, like cream or yogurt, can assist neutralize the acid. Pineapples are formally again on the menu!

Anybody up for a dairy-free pineapple ginger Dole Whip dessert:

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