Jalapenos belong to the nightshade family, and are a type of hot pepper used commonly in traditional South American cuisine. It is also famous worldwide for adding spice to a dish. The small green peppers are more readily available than the mild red variety in most grocery stores.
Jalapenos are spicy because of the capsaicin found in it. This is a crystalline structure that can irritate the skin and mucous membranes to affect a feeling of heat. This is one of the most common allergic reactions to jalapenos. This is why it is better to wear gloves when cutting and deseeding jalapenos to prevent irritation to the skin and small wounds getting worse with the capsaicin.
The other allergic reactions to jalapenos include nausea, dizziness, stiffness in joints, inflammation, migraines, diarrhea and weakness. Usually jalapenos induce allergic reactions only when they are eaten raw; however there are rare instances of people experiencing allergic reactions after eating cooked jalapenos too.
It is not possible to consider allergic reactions to jalapenos and intolerance to jalapenos to be one and the same. This is because an allergic reaction is usually life-long where small amounts of jalapenos are sufficient to induce an allergy. In the case of intolerance to jalapenos, the gradual elimination of jalapenos from your diet or the reduction of the amount of jalapenos that is consumed is sufficient to cure intolerance to jalapenos.
When you suffer from allergic reactions to jalapenos, your immune system tends to overact to the otherwise harmless substance, jalapenos. Jalapenos or antigens enter the body to trigger an allergic reaction. This antigen is then considered to be an allergen that triggers an allergic reaction in the overreaction of the immune system.
This is how symptoms like coughing, wheezing, sore throat, sinus congestion, headache, skin rashes, scratchy nose and throat and facial swelling occur as allergic reactions to jalapenos. Sometimes, in severe attacks, rashes, hives, asthma attacks, difficulty in breathing, lowering of blood pressure and even death may occur as allergic reactions to jalapenos.
If you experience symptoms of difficulty in breathing and wheezing, it is important to visit a doctor immediately as these symptoms could indicate an asthma attack too. Anaphylaxis is a life threatening allergic reaction to jalapenos which often starts with itching of the eyes or face. In a matter of minutes, it can progress to severe swelling where you find it difficult to breathe and swallow too. This can be accompanied by vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea and is considered a medical emergency that needs immediate treatment.
The best treatment for allergic reactions to jalapenos is based on allergy tests, medical history and the severity of your symptoms. It is always better to not neglect allergies but to treat them to prevent adverse allergic reactions to jalapenos in the long run.