Cayenne pepper is one of the red peppers with strong to hot and piquant flavors. The degree of spiciness is based on the strength of the capsaicinoids. These are the alkaloid compounds that irritate the mucous membranes and the skin.
A doctor should be consulted regarding the potential side effects from cayenne in supplement form as well as in spicy dishes.
I am allergic?
Generally, the immune system utilizes white blood cells to fight off allergens. If allergic to cayenne, the immune system wrongly identifies capsacinoids as a threat and stimulates the mast cells to release histamine.
Histamine is the chemical responsible for the allergy symptoms in the skin, nose, respiratory and digestive tract. An allergic reaction arises right away or a few hours after exposure and might be due to consuming even a trace amount of cayenne.
What are the primary signs?
The initial indications of cayenne allergy include the following:
- Throat tightness
- Hoarse voice
- Stomach pain
- Runny nose
It is important to note that some individuals are born with the allergy while others develop issues over time. The allergies are frequently inherited; thus, the individual should ask family members if they have difficulties with red peppers or cayenne.
Anaphylaxis is a severe dangerous reaction where the immune system generates a systemic flood of histamine which results to a significant drop in the blood pressure or shock.
The indications of this severe reaction include:
- Weak, rapid pulse
- Nausea and vomiting
- Skin rash
- Difficulty breathing
- Feeling of impending doom
Bring the individual to the nearest emergency department right away if anaphylaxis is suspected since it can lead to loss of consciousness and death if left untreated.