Tea is one of the most beloved beverages consumed across the globe, particularly in India. Waking up to a pleasant morning with the bright, shining sun and starting your day with a hot cup of bed tea is a routine that is common for everyone. Tea is an inherent aspect of every activity - while reading or spending time with friends or when you’re sick and have a sore throat. It is advisable not to drink tea on an empty stomach; before having it, it is good to eat cereal, fruits, or any solid food. Beginning the day with a warm water cup is great to regulate PH levels in the stomach. Consuming black tea or green tea in place of milk tea is a healthy option for morning tea.
Tea contains theanine, tannins and caffeine, apart from other phytochemicals. Allergic reactions to these blends are rare but certainly possible. You should consult your doctor if you notice any side effects after drinking tea. Tea has medicinal properties and is recommended to fight allergic reactions. Allergic reactions to organic, unsweetened tea are rare, and intolerances and sensitivities are much more frequent. These include symptoms like cramping, stomach upset and diarrhoea, but don’t happen as a result of histamine release and antibody production.
If your allergic reaction to tea is because of tannins, you may be allergic to green tea and red wine too. If caffeine is the cause, coffee, sodas and energy drinks should produce a similar reaction. If you are allergic to theanine, some mushroom species and green tea may lead to problems also. Check with a tea allergy specialist to know which substance in tea is setting off an allergic reaction.
Caffeine, Tannins and Theanine
Tannins are grouped under polyphenols and also have certain compounds like catechin, theaflavin-3-gallate and tannic acid. Mostly, tannins are astringents and antioxidants, which add to the bitter flavour and dryness of tea. Tannin intolerance can result in abdominal cramps, but an allergic reaction is rare.
As a stimulant, caffeine impacts the adrenal glands, brain, cardiovascular system, kidneys and thyroid gland. Caffeine doses under 250 milligrams cause heightened alertness, low fatigue, and high doses can cause insomnia, restlessness, nervousness and tremors. An allergic reaction caused due to caffeine is rare, and intolerance is very frequent.
Theanine is somewhat similar to amino acids and has a mitigating effect on caffeine. As it has effects that are relaxing and calming, it is known to increase concentration.
Symptoms of Tea Allergy
A few tea allergy symptoms are:
- Runny nose
- Hives or irritated red skin
- Tingling in mouth
- Irritation and tearing of the eye
- Upset stomach
- Breathing difficulty
- Asthma or throat swelling
Treating and Curing a Tea Allergy
Tea allergies are not diagnosed easily, as they are very rare. A skin test is undertaken to diagnose if a tea allergy actually exists. At the appointment, the doctor usually places small amounts of the allergen on the arm and then checks it for a reaction. A caffeine or tea allergy is confirmed if there is itchiness, redness or pain.
If you have physical symptoms of a tea allergy, it is best not to have any food or drink which has caffeine and get in touch with your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will recommend an antihistamine which may lessen symptoms like swelling, itchiness and hives. To prevent or cure tea allergy, you should avoid edible products which have caffeine. You must read food and drink labels.
If you suffer from a caffeine or tea allergy and continue to consume caffeine, your symptoms may become worse. Based on the severeness of the reaction, anaphylaxis symptoms may develop, which can be fatal. If you avoid caffeine and get a correct diagnosis, the symptoms will improve. Not including caffeine in your diet may trigger withdrawal symptoms like shakiness, headaches and fatigue. These are short-term symptoms and generally get resolved within a week. If a person has a caffeine allergy or is intolerant to it, the ideal preventive measure is to avoid consuming products that have caffeine in them. This means cutting out chocolate, coffee, tea and energy drinks.
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