Onion Allergy


onion allergy
Onion is the most common vegetable that is cultivated and eaten widely throughout the world. But, it also leads to some allergic reactions in some people as soon as they eat onion. Though, the reactions are mild, but can become serious if not treated seriously. On rare occasions, it can also prove to be a deadly reaction.

People with onion allergy can get affected with either cooked or raw onions. Raw onions are rich in protein and sulfur content, thus they cause more allergy than the cooked ones as cooking and frying denatures the protein present in it. This is the reason why people do not get allergy with cooked onions.

Onion is widely used in food recipes, it is hard to find a recipe without onions as it imparts a different taste and aroma on foods. Many fast foods, salads, sauces and ketchup are impossible to prepare without onions. If a person is having onion allergy, he should not consume and smell foods containing onions, because if a person is quite sensitive to onion vapors, then even the vapors can lead to severe allergic symptoms.

If you feel strange discomfort and breakout of rashes etc after consuming onions, you suffer from a rare onion allergy. This allergy is caused by exposure to or consumption of onions. Usually those who suffer from this allergy experience bloating, gas and digestive discomfort. However, generally but not always onion allergy is caused by raw onions.

For those who suffer from onion allergy, cooking the vegetables before consumption might help overcome this allergy in some cases. Usually those who are allergic to onions could also be allergic to garlic.

Causes of Onion Allergy

Onion allergies are caused due to hypersensitivity of a person to the substances present in this vegetable.

  • Our immune system identifies this vegetable as hazardous and thus, it releases Immunoglobulin E, an antibody into the bloodstream
  • These antibodies fight against the proteins present in onion and leads to release of histamine through mast cells present in soft tissues throughout the body
  • When an increased amount of histamine is released into the body, it causes inflammation in the body tissues and causes common symptoms of allergy
Onion Allergy Symptoms:

Since onion allergy is a contact allergy, most of the symptoms of contact dermatitis are apparent in this allergy. There are symptoms that occur on the skin, as well as discomfort in the digestive tract. If a person is allergic to onion, the symptoms can develop within minutes of consuming onion and it can take up to an hour before surfacing. Some of the common symptoms are:

  • Breaking out of skin in hives,
  • Itching all over the body
  • Gas
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Migraine or headache
  • Rashes
  • Abdominal pain
  • Facial swelling
  • Vomiting
  • Eye irritation

Though possible, it is rare for onion allergy to become fatal. Some people who have a severe allergy to onions may go into an anaphylactic shock and should therefore be extra careful while eating these. You must dial an emergency number when you experience some severe symptoms including an increased heart rate, swelling on lips, metallic taste in mouth, light-headedness, hives and sudden drop in blood pressure. These are some of the important signs of severe allergic symptoms of onion allergy which could also lead to a person’s death. So, these allergic symptoms should always be kept in mind if you are allergic to onion.

Usually, those who claim to have an allergy to onions, are simply intolerant to onions. They may experience cramping and bloating in their abdomen which is because the body is unable to process and digest raw onions. This is usually manifested in the form of indigestion and therefore can be differentiated from an actual allergic reaction.

Tests to Check Onion Allergy

There are some tests to check whether a person is allergic to onion or not. These tests are conducted to check for allergy as it is not possible to be confident about allergy by just looking at the symptoms. A doctor will do these tests to confirm your hypersensitivity to onions. Allergy to onions can start even in a few minutes, but its intolerance can take up to a day for the symptoms to surface and the reactions are mild.

  • Your doctor will do an Immunoglobulin E blood test in the lab. This is the most effective way to detect the allergy.
  • There are some cases, in which you will anticipate allergy, but after this test, it is produced that it is just intolerance.
  • Thus, it is important to to go for IgE blood test to detect allergy with full evidences.
  • Your doctor can also perform patch test, skin prick test and intra-dermal test to know about the allergen that is causing the allergy.
Onion Allergy Treatment
  • If you are allergic to onions, then it is better to eliminate onions from the food. So, before eating outside make sure that food does not contain onion in it.
  • It is also important to check the labels on ready-made and packaged foods to avoid consuming onions accidentally
  • If you have consumed onion accidentally, then take antihistamine for curing mild to moderate allergy symptoms
  • If inflammation in skin has happened, then you can take hydrocortisone to relieve itchiness and inflammation
  • If severe allergic symptoms have occurred, then you might need an epinephrine injection to restore the body

Mild symptoms like gas and bloating can be taken care of by taking an elimination diet. Such a diet helps in eliminating onion from the digestive tract. Usually, gas, cramps and bloating may disappear immediately after consumption of an elimination diet. This is usually an indication of onion intolerance rather than onion allergy.

Topical steroids are usually used to treat skin reactions and hives that may have broken out on the skin. If the allergy is severe, contact a doctor immediately.



  1. what about severe reaction to powered cooked and raw onions-diahrrea,cramping,vomiting,that can last for a couple of days after eating such?most of the times i can avoid onions but social events sometimes catch me by surprise(once someone added onion powder to mashed potatoes)

    • I suffer from the same thing and hate the 20 questions I have to play at restaurants and parties to find out if onions were used in dishes. Plus I find that restaurants often don’t take you seriously when you ask for onions to be taken out of the dish. I recently started taking Claritin right after exposure to onions or if I think I might be in a situation where it is hard to tell if onions are present (like a party or something) I take it beforehand. I found it works for me. I guess it might not work if people have an intolerance instead of an allergy, but for you fellow sufferers out there I’d say give it a try. I can’t believe I found something that worked after all these years of suffering. Keep in mind that I still try my best to avoid onions, but for those cases where they are hard to avoid, this has worked for me.

    • sylvia torelli on

      I am so happy that I found this site, because, I also suffer from the digestive intolerance of onions.
      since I was born, I have not been able to eat them at all. when I even smell them, or if they is one in the food, I will automatically gag, and my body will reject them, then, if I swalllllow one, I will vomit, and also get a terrible ache in my stomach, and cramps in my digestive system. My parents thought that maybe I just did not like to eat them, so they tried to trick me into eating them, but I could not swallow them, and told them, that I just could not do it. so, they started to not force me to eat them, and they just took them off, whatever they cooked, or I had to ask not to get them on my food or plate. I did not know waht I had, or why, becuase my brothers and sisters loved oinions, and it always made me sick to see them eating them. I also dont even buy them, and have to order food in restaurants without them. It is bad, becuase there is oions on just about all food they make! And once the food is cooked and prepared with onions, in the restaurant, it is mostly impossible to order a dish without it, unless they prepare it, fresh, I dont know why people love them, they stink, and makes your hands and breath stink too, but anyway, that is not the point, the point is just that they make me gag, and I cant stand to even think of them!

      • All my life, I have had a problem with onions, but was considered a ‘picky eater’ because I picked them out of my food. As I have gotten older, it has gotten to the point where a piece of any type of onion, cooked or raw, has triggered a gag reflux (and the feeling that I have to vomit) as soon as it touches my lip or teeth. I don’t think I have a problem with onion powder or onion salt but after this week I will be afraid to test it out again. Two days ago, I ordered chicken chow mein, no onions at a restaurant. Who knew that Leeks were not considered similar?? I had gagging, desire to vomit, chills, shaking, and a horrible taste in my mouth, also the muscle at the top of my stomach seemed to contract and is still sore today. I still feel a bit nausious and have no desire to eat anything. I am now taking Benadryl, Tums, and drinking lots of water but what a nuisance.

      • hey Salvia,
        I’m glad I ran into this article, the same thing that happens to you also happens to me. I am unable to swallow raw onions, and if i am unaware something have onions, and accidentally swallows it, I will puke everything. I can spit out cooked onions, but I gag long as raw onions reaches my mouth.

        Are you also sensitive to garlic. I can eat pieces of raw garlic, but if garlic is cooked and a chunk is accidentally swallow, I will puke out of control until tears come out my eyes. That does be really painful for me. This reaction is worst than onions until i fear consumption of garlic will kill me one day.

  2. christie love on

    there is a chili cook off at work on friday.
    they will be cuttin onions in the kitchen.
    i may have to take personal time off.

  3. I get knocked into bed for a couple days after each exposure. I can typically avoid it, but when it happens the migraine and nausea is so sever I wish I was dead. Why does everyone insist on using onions in so many things?! I had to use an epi-pen once from my EMT kit, I never envied my patients that I’ve stuck, but now I have a new sympathy for them.

  4. I get the same reaction as Jan. I avoid onions and onion powder as well, but before a social situation, I take Benadryl just in case.

  5. People generally say that onion allergy is about eating uncooked onions. Well, I tend to disagree with them. Our whole family is suffering from onion allergy which is from both cooked and uncooked. We don’t bring onions in the house and try not to eat outside. I think this will end the misconception that you onion allergy is all about raw onions.

    • ON April 8,2010 I was eating at my favoret resturent I had eaten Green Beans with onions, not knowing that there were onions in them 45 min later I was fighting for my life, The Doctor told my husband I had 7min
      to live. all because of an onion.

    • I also have the usual upset stomach reaction to raw onions but there is more. Even if cooked when eaten in large amounts like an order of onion rings I get achy all over.
      Not in the joints but seems like tendons, connective tissue and muscles. I thought I had fibromyalgia for years.
      I started taking note on what I eat and when I have the pain because I had some goods days and some real bad. I was one that thought as long as onions were cooked I could eat all I want.

      I started to think onions were the cause and cut way back on them.

      I no longer add onions to anything and ask to leave them out when possible but do still eat a small amount of raw and cooked onions. Since I cut way back what used to be such bad pain I thought was is fibromyalgiais gone. I sure do like to eat onions but being pain free is even better.

      Hope this helps someone.

      • I get the muscle aches and tingly, poppy feelings from my shoulders to my fingertips. With a heavy gas build-up, if I don’t realize Ivaq had onions in something, I end up thinking I need to go to the doctor – I think I am having a heart attack. No stomach problems however.

  6. Whenever I say people that I have onion allergy they make fun of me. But if I take a onion there is a burning sensation from mouth to stomach. Actually, I could feel the onion pieces journey from my throat to stomach. Once onions are in my stomach, I start getting burning sensation in my stomach. It lasts for 1 to 1.5 hours. Then everything is alright but I start getting gas problem. I could feel the onions in the pungent gas. Well, it might seem funny but it is a truth I have to undergo every time I eat onions. The major problem is that onion is one such thing which is mixed in nearly all the things. So, I have stopped eating outside too.

    • Hey, I never ate onions or garlics cause I can’t tolerate its smell ( I get headache and vomiting ) is this also onion allergy?

  7. Last week I walked into an old feed store to purchase potatoe sets. I know the minute I walked into the store something was terribly wrong. I looked around and saw bins of onion sets. I stepped outside and asked the girl to come out and get the money for my purchase. I made it home with much difficulty breathing. Instead of using my epi pen, I drove myself to the hospital. My blood pressure us up to approx 280 over 100 and my chest felt like I had a burning fire in it. It was difficult to breath. They administered epinephrine, steroids, and benedryl along with oxyagen. It took about 3 hours to settle down and go home.

    I am now avoiding resturants and large crowds of people as just the smell is now setting off allergic responses. My allergy Dr. said that I have an intolerance to onion, last week told me something totally different. I am on 3 allergy pills and 2 allergy nasal sprays per day. I actually fear for my life. People really don’t understand that anyone could have this kind reaction to an onion. I get tired of explaining myself and my situation. So thats my story. How do you avoid the smell of onion when it is in every resturant and most homes.

    • I totally understand your situation I also can’t be in a room with the smell of onions. Even the onion powder in some chips etc.. start my throat to close up, my eyes go bloodshot and the rash starts on my chest and works its way up my neck. I keep an epi pen and pills with me at all times. I’ve totally stopped eating in restaurants, even Tim Horton’s now with their new paninis make it hard to go inside to order a coffee I only do drive through. I haven’t found a way to deal with the smells yet, I’m trying some things with a naturopath, but so far I still have issues, but hoping it starts to help. I can keep away from eating the onions, but the part of the smell bothering me has really made going out difficult.

    • This is such a refreshing site!!! I have been struggling and feeling like I was losing my mind. Have been told it couldn’t possibly be onions and yet like most of you, have found relief when I stay away from onion and garlic family. Just recently have started having respiratory distress along with the nausea and am now sure it is the cooking process. I am allergic to sulfur and when cooked, onion releases sulfuric compounds. Why does it take so long for the medical field to catch up with what we know from what our bodies are telling us! Thank you for sharing!

    • I used to love to eat onions for many years until I was about 40 yrs old. All of a sudden I was no longer able to eat them without a dramatic adverse reaction and a lot of time sitting on the toilet waiting for my stomach to finish evacuating everything in my intestines.

      It sure causes problems and I have even lost a couple jobs because it made the people around me upset that I would not be able to eat with them and that I could rarely venture into the lunchroom without coming across onion vapors from somewhere in the room.
      I have been told that it is all in my head. I have been released from my employment because I didn’t know my job well. That was a bunch of BS and I even called my employer on it and told him that I knew the real truth about why they let me go and it had nothing to do with my job skills or ability at all. He didn’t like my attitude and I let him know that I didn’t like his cowards way of doing business. I had way more skill and knowledge than most of the people that I worked with.

      I also ran into problems at another job because of the allergy. I find that people don’t know how to cope with changes in their environment and it is an easy way out to just fire someone instead of learning about how to deal with it.

      The allergy sucks big time. I don’t remember the last time that I was able to go to a company picnic or a Company Christmas Party.

      One thing that I ran into one day was by fluke and stupidity really. I went into a fast food place and ordered a Taco salad. I took 2 bites and realized this was loaded with onions. I sat back and waited for my guts to start the wrenching program but it didn’t happen.

      I asked an employee how they prepared their onions.

      I was told that they cut them up and put them all in a pail for the next day. I have to think that there must be something going on with the freezing process of the onions. I have no proof and am scared to explore it on my own, but I think that their must be some kind of change that happens to the onions when they get frozen. In my mind, I would guess that there is a possible enzyme in the onion that gets killed of or neutralized by the freezing process.

      This is just my thoughts and speculation and I have no proof other than I didn’t get sick that day and I was very happy about that.

      Anyway……… that is some of my thoughts. I have this allergy to onions and it is a severe pain in the butt (literally) but I still have my health. I think I am still very fortunate compared to some people in this world. Life could be a whole lot worse so I have to be grateful for what I do have.
      Going the “Human Rights” way over my being fired would be nothing but a waste of time.

      • I can eat raw onion in a salad but grilled or fried onions give me severe cramps and diarrhoea for 2days. I thought pizza did too until I noticed they were ok without onions. Chinese food has the same effect, makes me wonder how much onion or onion extract they use?

  8. Linda, I think your allergy and intolerance to onion is very severe. Please take necessary precautions so that this incident do not recur. I know that onion is so common that it might be difficult to manage but still you have to accept the situation and change yourself accordingly.

  9. Onion allergy could get very severe at times. Once my neighbor was cutting onion and I had this severe onion allergy. I started sweating, watery eyes and what not. I had the symptoms for next 24 hours and it went of its own. I am not sure if it was onion allergy or something else.

  10. I CURED myself of MIGRAINE HEADACHES (severe pain, partial loss of vision, nausea) by totally avoiding onions, shallots, chives, oinion powder, etc.l You have to READ FOOD LABELS very carefully, as onions are in almost every canned food and many other produc ts sold in grocery stores, especially soups and salad dressings.

    I suffered throughout my teens and 20’s until I kept a FOOD CHART and discovered that my migraines were NOT at all due to stress, as I could have a terrific day and still have a migraine. Or, I could have the WORST possible day and NOT have a migraine, I went to a cooking class, knew I could not eat onions, but tended a pot cooking them, inhaled them and still got a migraine, though of course, I did not eat any onions.

    A gal sat across from me at a work luncheon and ordered a whole plate full of SHALLOTS. I asked, “How can you eat those and not have a migraine?” She immediately pulled out a box of anti-migraine PILLS from her purse !!!

  11. It nice to see that i am not the only one that has onion allergy. People try to tell me its all in your head. That makes me so mad, they are not the ones going through the pain when I am even int the same room with onions. If I breath in onion I get a headach, stomach ach and my lungs start to feel like I have fluid in them gets hard to breath almost right away. The bad think is sometime I do not even smell it I just start to get sick, I take a benidril and that clears up my cheats but my head and stomich last up to three day. It to where I hate going out becouse of onions, even driving in big citys around resturonts is bad. And if I eat onion cooked, uncooked or powered makes no differice get vary sick vary fast. Would like to beable to go out to eat with out getting sick. I have found that Culver and DQ are vary good with watching how the food is make for me, so not to get onion by it.
    My whole younger life I was sick all of the time when I visited my grandparent, I never knew why till I found out it was onions. My grandma cook with onion in everything. would love to go back in time and tell her so I could of enjoyed more of my childhood.

    • I completely understand your statement. After suffering from anaphylaxic shock from unknowing eating onions cooked in a dish, I was so sick to my stomach, then a horrible burning sensation covered me. I had this feeling that something really bad was happening, and drove myself to hospital. By the time they triaged me, my wind pipe was partially closed. My arms swollen, and eyes.
      I’m told a lot it’s just in my head, and that, in order to build a tolerance I should eat them.
      I’d get sick as a kid and teen all the time, due to my family using onions and garlic in everything. It was a joke that I had another headache, to get out of doing the chores. I still don’t eat at many events, due to the danger of never knowing what seasoning or spices were added.

  12. I have had 3 severe reactions to onions in the past 15 months. The first time I reacted I ate some fries that were cooked in the same deep fryer that onion rings had been cooked in. It was a scary experience because it was the first time I ever had to use my epipen that I had for another severe allergy and my first responder friends got me sitting down while I struggled to breathe, used my epipen and someone else got all the gear in case I lost consciousness or my airway. It freaked me out so bad while they loosened my uniform shirt and took out the OP airways, suction and oxygen and then brought one of the AEDs in. Luckly the epipen and then taking my inhaler and benadryl saved me from something much worse.

    My second reaction was not as nice as the first. I was sitting down eating some chips at my friends house and the bowl had been cross contaminated by the onions in the dip which I did not eat. I felt like i was having an asthma attack and used my inhaler. The inhaler was just not working for me. My friend who is a first responder brought me out to get some air outside thinking that maybe it was his dog which I am also allergic to could be causing the problems. I was having more difficulty breathing and felt like my throat was closing in as well as feeling lightheaded and having GI issues. In the next minute or so things got so much worse. My friend knew I had no other choice but to go to the hospital. He went in to tell his wife and came out to my car to find me in shock, barely breathing, almost unresponsive, unable to even get the cap off the epipen and my lips starting to turn blue. My friend had to administer the epipen to me and right at that point I lost consciousness. He figured that he was going to have to pull me from the car and onto the driveway and possibly start CPR. The epipen worked quickly to bring me around and I spent that night in the hospital being closely monitored.

    The third reaction I had was only 3 months ago and once again I ate something that was contaminated with onion. This time once I started to react I used an epipen right away and only spent 3 hours in the hospital and was given antihistamines. Having this onion allergy is one of the worst ever because it can be so severe and so many things contain it and not many people think that people have it. I have had people tell me that your not allergic you just don’t like it and say your allergic as an excuse but I reply you will be eating your words if you ever see me near death because of it.

    • @ Gemma – First responder.. Are you in St John or something similar? I am an advanced responder with St John (luckily)…

      Ever since I can remember I always got really bad migraines, hives and burning feeling from Onion, about 2.5yrs ago I was diagnosed with an onion allergy when I went and got tested because my lips and throat started to swell after eating pizza shapes (contain onion powder) and have had two anaphylactic reactions since.. Both at the SAME restaurant because they didn’t take it seriously, Luckily because of my first aid training I knew what was happening and luckily we were only 2mins from the hospital! I have to check labels so closely! I can’t be around cut raw onion, cant eat food with it or onion powder in it and cant be anywhere near onion being cooked so sit outside when I go out for dinner. My workplace has banned onion and foods containing onion in the office so that it doesn’t set me off.

      It is annoying because I am lactose intolerant, allergic to egg protein and soy therefore it makes it impossible to eat without making it all myself (lucky I love cooking) when I go out if it doesn’t have onion it has one of the others. I tend to get salads with no dressing, no onion and plain grilled chicken or steak to be safe…

      Stupid allergies!!!

  13. I seem to have issues with onions and raw peppers. I had a tv dinner, salisbury steak that had gravy with onions in it, they were not raw but cooked. Tasted great, but I spent two hours with intestinal issues this morning. So I will not be eating that again or raw onions, yet though, the only type of onion I can eat are onion rings! Does that even make sense? I just do not seem to do well with onions (unless they’re rings) and uncooked peppers.

  14. I am so happy to find this site. I am allergic to onion and garlic, but my doctor claims that it is impossible to test. Every time I eat them, the insides of my mouth gets a rash, which then become ulcers that lasts for weeks. Then 3-4 hours after eating my stomach swells up with trapped gas, and I just have to lay in bed because of the discomfort. Which always leads to painful diarrhea after 8 hours. I also experience extreme fatigue, but I don’t know if that is the onion itself, or the poor quality of sleep you get when your stomach is a balloon.

    All through my teens I couldn’t understand why I felt this way, because it would happen whenever and whatever I ate.. Especially with Dolmio Bolognese!!! Oh, the painful nights I have had after eating that…Ironically this was my favourite dish! Only now I understand that they put the stuff in almost ALL products.. canned soup, frozen fish, ketchup, anything with spices +++. I read that our bodies actually crave the exact thing we are allergic/intolerant to.. so that makes it just so much more difficult to stay away from that delicious smell of pizza, or lovely garlic pasta.. I now try to make everything from scratch.. It takes time, but it’s worth it.. I stops me feeling ill all the time.

    • I just had the Alcot food allergy test done. It showed I was allergic to both garlic and onions. It was a pricey test but so nice to get answers.

  15. It makes me glad to see others who share this dreaded allergy.

    in my case, i found out that it was the reason i kept having severe acne on my face, shoulders and back, not a pretty sight and im sorry if this imagery upsets anyone.

    then too, when i pleaded with my family not to put so much onion in the food, they just laughed and thought i was making this up. Also, mixing onion with yellow cheese seems to make the reaction even more severe.

    it’s a damn shame too, i actually love onions. 🙁

    I find that avoiding anything that has to do with onions makes it all better. (duh, eh? i’m happy that these days i’m acne free)

    but it is a bit difficult to avoid everything. especially in restaurants and when you’re eating out, as onions are used to give added taste to many dishes, even ones that don’t have onion as an ingredient, you’d find that sometimes cooks would smear onions on their pans or grills for the aroma.

  16. For about 20 years I only had extreme intestinal discomfort from eating onions, shallots and scallions. Last year, my tongue got numb while eating BBQ sauce that had onions in it. This past weekend, I accidentally ate a shallot, went into all out anaphylaxis, and left a beautiful restaurant in an ambulance. It was horrifying, but a wake up call. Continued exposure to the allergen increases the reaction, so please be diligent about what you’re eating. I had benadryl with me, which slowed down the reaction, but needed steroids to keep it at bay. Make sure you carry benadryl and an epi-pen with you at all times. I’m fortunate the ambulance got there as fast as it.

  17. I have never been able to eat raw onion. When, as a child, I tried diligently to LEARN to like them. Immediately after consuming a bite of raw onion, I begin to gag and vomit. I can eat cooked onions in some dishes if it is a small amount and has lost the raw onion taste while cooking. Has been a great embarrassment for me on many occasions. Could it be an allergy??

    • I am like gigi and Sharon, I can’t tolerate any form of raw or cooked onion (leek, shallot, green/scallion), but I’ve eaten the powdered stuff and it’s OK. Also, if my mom cooks a stew and puts half an onion in and then takes it out after, it’s not so bad. I guess it’s something in the texture or taste, I don’t know but if I see it, or feel it in my mouth, it doesn’t stay in. I gag and feel like throwing up right away. And I have tried, many times to eat them but to no avail. They just won’t go in. The same goes for garlic. I once mistook a garlic clove for a piece of unmelted mozzarella. I got up from the table (I was at home, luckily), ran to the sink spat it out and was gagging. But if it’s minced, it’s not a big deal, just smelly.
      I’m so glad I’m not alone. I feel so embarrassed sometimes. I ask for stuff in restaurants not to have onions in it. This intolerance became a source of humour for extended family but they indulged me by putting aside a portion of say salad or mushrooms without the onion in it. I also have issues with green/red/yellow/orange peppers. They give me nasty heartburn. So do some spices. I wish I knew what they were so I could avoid them.
      I would love to know what causes this intolerance, and why. The rest of my family is normal and actually enjoys onions.

  18. dorinda mckenney on

    wow..I have found others that have onion allergies..I have had mine all my life,use to pick them out of my foods as a kid(mom use to say I was a picky eater and that I ate like a bird), back then I would get the heart burn,gas and vomiting..today I carry 2 epi pins and have 4 back ups at home…..the onion or any kind of pepper just has to touch my tongue and I am screaming(death scares me) especially going into shock…

    I have every food label memorized and lately alot of companies have been changing their labels, so I have to re-read everything just in case, I can,t have dehydrated peppers or onions eighter…I can tolerate powdered onion but suffer later…

    I don’t attend any social outings because of my allergies and have stopped attending church functions like the pot lucks…even transfer from a knife that has been used to cut an onion and then cut into lettuce causes a severe reaction in me…enough to pull out an epi pin and inject…

    The smell of cooking onions can bring me to tears and running for the door…and for hours after I find it hard to breath..my kids like the packaged taco mix..oldest makes them and I hide in another room in the house…

    I am certainly going to watch this info as other people update with their stories…be careful and be safe with this allergy,glad to find of all you…

  19. I don’t know if my problem with onions is intolerance or allergy. My problem started 2 1/2 years ago after the birth of my son. Since then I have cut them from my diet best I can, but like most everyone here has pointed out it’s in everything and almost all restaurant dishes. Usually if I know before hand that I am going to be eating out I will take two gas x pills before but if not I will be in pain for 2 days no matter how many gas pills sometimes vomiting. I was glad to find this article I know now I am not crazy. It’s been hard to convince my family not to cook with onions it seems to be a staple. Anyways it’s been a real eye opener to ready everyone’s comments.

    • This site has been very interesting. I too have an “intolerance” to onion. I get such cramps about 20-30 minutes after and then “bottom unpleasantries “, I have even gotten so sick to my stomach that I thought I would never stop vomiting. The pain I get with onion is SO bad that if I even suspect it may have onion I won’t eat it.

      My immediate family (husband and kids) have taken to watching out for me when we dine out. If you say you don’t want onions, it is pooh pooh’d. The terminology that we found we MUST use is “Severely Allergic Reaction” in order to prevent any onion in my food.
      I use to love onions on hotdogs, hamburgers and even green onions raw. So it isn’t that I just don’t like onions.

      I am also lactose intolerant which according to my Gastroenterologist, “it is like a mine field in my intestines when both dairy and onion are ingested together”. I really did think I was alone in this. So many people think it is all in my head…even my own mother! But, she wasn’t in the car when we had to stop at almost every rest area or fast food place with a restroom so I could spew from either end and drinking a bottle of “Pepto” for a 200 miles car trip. Pain like that NEVER leaves the memory. I too, am sorry for all who suffer from onions!

      • Oh you poor thing. I had that kind of raction to horseradish. I had never had BK’s onion ring dipping sauce before (onions don’t bother me, my hubby can’t eat them though) and didn’t know what was in it. I ate a big thing of onion rings and tried the sauce for the first time and really liked it. I ate 2 tubs of the stuff. on a trip from NM, to OH. (24 hour drive) Big Mistake! I was so sick for like the first 8-10 hours of that trip, I thought I was going to die.

  20. I am affected by all forms of onions (raw, cooked, powdered, breathing the fumes, etc.). Instead of getting diarrhea, I become constipated. It feels like my lower intestine has swollen up.

  21. My problem is limited to raw onions (or scallions, etc.). I don’t seem to have a problem with cooked or processed onions. I agree with those who have said that people try to make it some kind of joke or say “one little onion piece can’t hurt anyone”. Bah, humbug! I develop severe nausea and diarreah as a result of that “one little onion piece”. I have heard it is because arsenic is a significant ingredient in onions and some of us have an intolerance to even a trace amount. For me, cooking the onion seems to remove the arsenic (or whatever the troublesome ingredient may be).

    I have found that most restaurants in Southern California do treat it seriously if you tell them in advance. I have a granddaughter with a peanut allergy, and nowadays that too is being treated seriously in restaurants.

  22. I am so happy I found this site! I have been made fun of for years by my family members even my sister who is gluten-free! I don’t understand why people never believe me. I have the same problem with stomach issues, but if I eat onions, I also become dizzy and disoriented. Does anyone else have this problem? I have somewhat of the same reaction with garlic except it’s worse because that will make me vomit if I have too much of it! Thank you to everyone who has shared their story. I feel much more normal now!!!

    • @Sarah,

      I get the dizziness symptom too!… sometimes it feels like I’m drunk, but without the more pleasant, sedative qualities… 😀 Its so annoying, cause I LOVE the taste of onions and garlic. I still cheat every now and then, and eat them in small portions, but I can always tell when I’ve eaten too much, usually it takes a week or two of a steady diet of small portions of onions, but I’ll get a dizzy sensation, and if I close my eyes, the room starts spinning… Soooo not fun. 🙁

      Anyhow, I appreciated hearing someone else’s story and thought I could/should contribute.


  23. It is wonderful to realise that that an allergy and/or intorlerance to onions is not so uncommon. I remember growing up and having regular pain when I had dinner and my parents used to use onions regularly. My siblings never had any problems. And it’s not just raw. If I eat raw (as in coleslaw) the buring and discomfort are from my mouth all the way to the other end. If cooked it starts in my stomach. Usually I can smell and taste if something has onion in it so I avoid it. Sometimes I find out after I’ve eaten it because so many spices have been used to cover the taste and smell. Once I’ve eaten it I will drink a couple of glasses of milk to try and soften the pain. It usually works completely after about a few minutes and then I have minimal discomfort until it is all passed. If not I am just about doubled over in pain for a few hours. I cannot understand why there is a constant need for onion flaviour for everything. Food tastes fantastic without it!. I don’t have this same ‘intolerance’ for chilli unless I eat a large handful at once and the burning is mainly for a short time in the mouth and that is it. So if you can handle milk -either cows / goats/ soya bean / rice milk when you ‘ve been caught out (and you’re not that bad that you need an epi pen), then it is a quick temporary remedy. Nothing else works for me. Best wishes in future dishes…

  24. I’m so glad its not so rare or just a “slight intolerance” like my family said. Im affected by most forms of onions; raw, cooked, powder and sometimes even the smell of onions make me sick. The smell makes me dizzy and nauseated. Eating raw onions makes me vomit right away within seconds of taking a bite, but cooked onions seem to make my stomach swell(?). I dont know if it would be considered bloating or swelling, to me it seems like more of a swelling since my stomach will expand to where I look like Im 3 to 4 months pregnant and it makes it hard to breath or move but my throat doesnt close so I dont think I need a epi pen(?). My pressure/bloating/swelling lasts about 2 days after eating onions and goes away. I havent seen a doctor about this since everyone trys to tell me it HAS to be something else you eat it CANT be onions.

  25. Wow its nice to see other people are aftected by onion too. Its such a pain for me. My doctors told me it was impossible to be allergic to onion and i didnt need to see a specialist. Yet< if my neighbor cooks onion across the hall or a coworker eat a raw onion in the lunchroom, my eyes swell and i cant see, i feel like someone shoved a baseball down my throath from my tonsel swelling and in burns everywhere inside my body for a few hours. I take a double dose of benadryl, but im not sure if it help or not since im stuck like that for a fewe hour jsut from breathing it in, i dont dare nto take it in case its does help.
    I had a little piece f inion touching my lip once that was put in a sandwhich by accident, and my whole face got numb. i spend 20 minute rinsing it in the store's washroom.
    This is such a hard allergy since people dont believe it exist or can be serious. so They wont tell me they are eating onions or wait for me to leave the room before cooking or eating them.. and they are everywhere.
    I avoid restaurant, make everything from scratch, but i really cant afford a house 20 miles away from anyone or to not go to work. So its really hard to avoid it… and i jsut dont know how to get out of the swelling and the problem breathng. I'm glad to see im not the only one in that boat. Perhaps if enough of us start speaking about it, people might realize someday how hard it can be to avoid triggers and help in making people with allergie feel safer and BREATH!!!

  26. OMGosh!!!! I am so glad to see I am not alone with this miserable allergy. Mine started in my 20’s. First it was raw onions, then it moved to cooked onions. Now it is any kind of onion (raw, cooked, power, and salt) even the smell of it. I get severe migraines from just being around it. I carry my migraine medicine with me at all times. I have also developed a migraine reaction to garlic and jalapeno peppers. Making lasagna is not as enjoyable as it once was. I, too, am constantly reading labels. I used to use the chicken and beef boullion cubes for cooking but have had to eliminate them as they have onions in them.

    I am very thankful that I do not have the other symptoms that some of you have listed. When I told my doctor that I got migraines from eating onions, he said, “well don’t eat them”. I have had to walk out of places because of the onion smell.

    I am glad I am not alone, but I am sorry all of you suffer from onions like I do.

  27. I have been having awful reactions to onions for about 7–10 years, I am 36yr old Female. I start itching all over my body, more intense on my face, but the worst sensation i get is that it feels like i have drunk a bucket load of cooking oil, my skin starts to smell really bad too. Touching raw onions can do this, as well as consuming them. Even dried onions in sachets can make me ill, even cooking onions to a slop can do it too. A antihistamine can work but not everytime, and it only relieves the itching and nothing else. Even when i can not see the onion in the food, i can tell i have eaten it when i start feeling like as above, this is a truly awful experience and can reduce me to tears. I dont get cramps or diarrhea. Does anyone else have this reaction (drinking of the Oil) this is a nasty nasty feeling.

  28. Anyone here take Accutane in the past – Specifically those who suffer from GI onion issues?
    I have to say, like many have posted, it’s very refreshing to have found this group. I have suffered from digestive issues with onions for around 15 years. I’m 34, and the problems really stared in my early 20s. Prior to that, I was able to eat anything without any issues. Now, if I eat a tiny amount of onion I can usually tolerate the minor GI discomfort (bloating, gas, frequent bathroom trips for a day or so), but anything more than a little amount and I’m in trouble for at least 2 – 3 days, sometimes a week before my digestive system is back to normal. I’ve never had vomiting, but I do have severe intestinal cramping, diarrhea, and just general discomfort for days. It took some time (~5 years) to finally narrow down what food was the culprit, but once I did, my quality of life improved quite a bit. Now it’s usually only a few times a year that I have a bad attack since I watch my food intake like a hawk when eating outside of the home. And, thankfully, my family is aware of my onion intolerance and purchases foods and prepares meals accordingly.

    In trying to narrow down what could potentially be the root cause, I suddenly became aware of all of the lawsuits around the drug Accutane. Accutane is a pretty nasty (lots of side effects), but effective drug that was used to treat severe acne (it’s no longer on the market). In my teenage years, I exhausted all other acne treatments with my Dermatologist and began taking Accutane for almost 12 months (I was 18 – 19 years old at the time). It cured my acne, but I now suspect that it did something to permanently alter my digestive tract – again, given all of the recent press and lawsuits around the gastrointestinal issues associated with it – inflammatory bowl disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, etc. Thankfully, I’m quite certain I don’t have those severe issues. But, shortly after I finished my Accutane treatment was around the time that my digestive issues with onions started. I’m curious if anyone here has had a similar experience or took Accutane at some point.

    • Mike,

      I too took Accutane, and my mother puts onions in EVERYTHING! I have never liked onions, in fact, I have always disliked onions from the time I can remember, but yes, now, ever since Accutane, I cannot have onions, cooked or uncooked… my stomach literally feels like it is on fire! And I can feel this horrible burning sensation if an onion is in the mix of food, from my mouth down to my stomach, and once I have eaten an onion, my stomach is in knots, and extremely upset for hours upon hours, with horrible headaches and nausea!

      I would have never put the two together!

      Regardless of the Accutane or not, I refuse to eat onions all together, I think they are nasty! The smell, the taste, and of course my reaction to them!

      Thanks for the post!

  29. Wow, it is interesting to see all of the varied reactions to onions and garlic. I can not say that I am “happy” to know others suffer too but am relieved to confirm that garlic/onion allergies are real. I am sorry to hear that it can induce such violent reactions in others because it is almost impossible to avoid.

    I have always noticed feeling disoriented and exhausted after eating even one bite of a raw onion so I began to avoid raw onions entirely. Other than that, I have had no real issues until a few years ago. I began to have a burning sensation nearly all the time from my tongue to my stomach with swelling. I pretty much avoided physicians to address the problem because they only tend to like patients with textbook symptoms, ones that are easy to diagnose and give a prescription. However, I couldn’t stand it so I began to experiment with diet changes. After many guesses, I tested eliminating all forms of garlic and amazingly, the pain and burning was gone!

    Now it is a huge task to avoid garlic because food manufacturers and cooks add it to almost everything. I slip sometimes (as was the case tonight, I had bbq sauce and am paying dearly). Friends and family don’t understand why I am now so cautious – I eat a lot of cereal to be safe 🙂 but it is absolutely worth it to be pain free.

  30. One of the reasons I think I have trouble with onion and garlic is because of fructans. These are chains of fructose that are deadly to me causing bloating, gas, stomach ache, constipation and/or diarrhea, headaches, aches and pains, brain fog, bladder urgency, and the list goes on. This is part of a condition called fructose malabsorption.

    Tonight, I forgot to tell the waitress not to put any seasoning on my steak. I ate it anyway and now, I have a sinus headache and my face around my eyes feels like it is swelling up. Now I wonder if I also have an allergy to them.

  31. OMG..I can’t believe what I’ve just read. I can eat raw onion/garlic (at this stage) but as soon as it’s fried, all of the above mentioned symptons occur. When I have the cooked onion or garlic, I suffer for it in the early hours of the morning, from about 1.30am, starting with pain, bloating & gas..(I can’t believe someone can burp this much & it burns when released from the other end) It leaves me feeling sick & of course tired, from lack of sleep, all day. I don’t have any jarred sauces in my pantry & mostly stay away from any preservatives. We eat steamed vegies or salad with meat fish or chicken, no gravy or sauce, just mushrooms. So I’ve learned to live without cooked onions/garlic. When I tell people I can’t have cooked onion or garlic, SO MANY people say..”Oh I love it” & I reply..”Me too, it just doesn’t like me!!”

  32. I one time ended up in ER because i was at red lobster-btw my favorite- and i told them i’m allergic to onions please dont put them on my salad…with in MINUTEs i was swollen and couldn’t breathe had hives everywhere and ended up in er they evidently musta just picked my onions off my salad…nice huh needless to say they really took care of me and gave me extra crab legs the next time i was in 🙂

    no i be sure to tell everyone PLEASE ABSOLUTELY no onions on anything and most places are pretty good about it.

  33. I am so relieved to have found this site! Everyone thinks I’m crazy when I say I think I’m allergic to onions (which I love btw!!) and say it has to be something else. I have been to the ER 3 times in the past year with sever hive attacks which have progressed into shock. I have been to an allergist doctor & he said that it’s very hard to figure out, suggested a food allergy test which he says usually doesn’t come up with anything, and now has me on medication to prevent any attacks. I take Allegra everyday & it really seems to help. I do try to avoid things that I know cause a reaction but sometimes I have no idea what it is. I have allergic reactions from burritos, submarine sandwiches & the Roasted Garlic Chicken Pizza at CPK. All stuff I have eaten so many times until recently with these attacks. I used to take Benedryl when I would feel it coming on but it made me so sleepy & in the past year basically hasn’t been helping. The Allegra doesn’t make me sleepy at all & it really does help. The doctor also has me on Singulair but it doesn’t seem to do anything, plus it’s expensive. I have been trying to narrow down the cause of the allergy so that I can just avoid the onion but it seems to be a certain type of onion. I have eaten onions all of the time, forever & only certain things set me off lately. I have been getting migraines my whole life & now wonder if this was a sign of the allergy all of this time! Hopefully I will find some more answers soon. Some of your stories really scared me but made me realize that this is nothing to play around with. Thank you all & good luck!!

    • Cher – i know what you mean. After eating onions, i get bloated, gassy feeling and the urge to pass stool. The big problem is that I love raw onions with almost anything, in salads, with rice, rotis etc. especially when i am having meat dishes. Is there any medicine i can take after eating onions to eliminate the symptoms ?

  34. Eamonn Cunningham on

    I suffer from an extremely harsh onion allergy. Not only do i get stomacghe upsets and itching, my lips also swell, split and blister a couple of days after consuming… I myself had to figure out why this was happening as the doctors did not have the slightest idea… Onions, Garlic, Leek, Chive and cellary are all part of the same family, but i have different reactions to each.
    I done my own study of symptoms and found the following…

    White onions cause severe mouth ulcers and swelling of the lips and leave nasty scabs and splits…
    Red onions cause my throat to swell and the inside of my mouth becomes very irritated…
    Chives cause a huge rash on my left arm which is EXTREMELY itchy!
    Garlic is the cause for my stomache upsets…
    Celery also causes stomache upsets and also causes my urine to sting…

    It wasnt nice finding all this out, but it needed to be done so i knew for definite that i was allergic… I find that anti histamines do help a little but i try my hardest to stay far far away from any of these foods…

  35. I am flooded with relief right now. I finally don’t feel so alone. It was discovered that I was allergic to onions when I was a baby, and now I am 22. I used to break out in a horrible rash and get hives every time I ate certain baby foods, and through trial and error my dad found that onions were a common factor in every rash and hive break out.

    Even to this day I get crap from my friends when we try to eat out because it takes forever for me to convince the cook/manager that I do have an allergy. Then when my food comes out, its still full of onions and I can’t eat.

    & it doesnt matter if the onion is raw or cooks, I still break out and sometimes when I am in a room full of onions getting cooked, i have problems breathing from my throat closing up.

  36. My parents told me that it was just my imagination and that no one is allergic to onions. But, I have hated the taste and smell of onions my entire life. I had relatives that would sneak onions into my food because they said that I didn’t know what was good. Much to their amazement I could not be fooled and the onion flavor came bursting through the heavily disguised recipes.
    It was not until the last year that I have had the reactions others have described. Cooked onions, if they are few, will not effect me. But raw or large amounts of cooked onions will give me a headache, burning nostrils and a feeling that a thousand needles are being stuck into my skin.
    Some retaurants will cooperate, but others do not. I have requested no onions in my salad, on my burger or sandwich or guacamole only to find it loaded with onions. Sometimes restaurants partially prepare sandwiches in advance with a big wedge of onion on it. They remove the wedge, but the smell and taste remain. I feel sorry for those who go into shock when exposed to onions. Onions are in almost all prepared foods and the general public does not believe we who suffer.
    Thanks for helping me the feel less abnormal. I will visit the site again.

  37. I’m so relieved to hear so many stories that sound like mine, although I am sorry that you are all in the same sad place. My allergy is fairly recent and now getting progressively worse. From reactions to: only raw, then even extremely cooked and now even powder. I’m still getting sick occassionally when I cook my own food because I’ve used ingredents that contain onion powder or juice. Such as boullion, ketchup, breadcrumbs.
    I’d love to know a list of SAFE ONION FREE products, and if anyone knows if onion powder etc. is listed seperate on the ingredients lists or if it can be included in the “spices”. On several occassions in the past I have gotten ill not knowing what food contained the onion.
    I hope there is something we can do to make more products onion free in the future.
    Does anyone think the recent increase in onion allergy may be linked to genetic engineering of foods?

  38. For those of you with the allergy–what instructions do you give at a restaurant? Do you need to avoid shallots, chives and leeks? I am wondering what other physicians have recommended? I am in my later 30’s and used to eat onions all of the time. I had three reactions recently where my mouth has swollen from raw onion. The allergist tested me and I came up positive for onion, however, he said the serum simulates a cooked onion so raw may be a worse reaction. However, I was not given any tips on how to avoid it in my food. The other day I ate some black bean Tostitos and ended up with huge hives all over the trunk of my body. I realized that they contain dried onion in them after the fact. Thus, since this was one of the last ingredients on the package, I fear my allergy is growing worse. I need some tips to manage it while I am out–we eat out a lot. Thanks

  39. I too have this problem with onions but have narrowed my problem to yellow onions. I have extreme cramps and intense rash with restricted breathing and itch like crazy. One such reaction sent me to the hospital on a near fatal experience which scared my daughter to the point she still calls me if she knows I am leaving town to make sure I have my epe-pin with me.

    We do have to be careful when eating out, the last reaction I had was when i ate some tatar-totts that had been cooked in the same grease as their onion rings.

    My reactions vary from 1hr long to several hours which benedryl will put at bay as a double dose.


  40. I too was known as a fussy eater when I was a child but instinct guided me that it was better to be hungry than in pain. I also noticed that labour pains were remarakble similar to what I suffer when eating onion-contaminated food. It was only when I was a teenager that I made the connection between onion/garlic/leek/shallot and digestive pain. I have been quite careful/fussy with what I eat most of my life however the most surprising time I got caught out with garlic intolerance was when taking some Multi-vitamins … took days to discover that they had garlic added – definitly not healthy for me

    Have a brother who was always a good eater but developed Crohn’s Disease in his 30’s and now he too has recognised the onion family not good for him.

    As for eating out … going out for just dessert is wonderful. However it would be nice if chefs could learn to be a bit more imaginative with their flavourings for anything savoury. Being onion family intolerant means all mains look the same – inedible

  41. Nice to know I’m not alone. I was told I was allergic to onions about 40 years ago. At first, it wasn’t bad. I love French Onion Soup. I was also told, the more I was exposed to onions, the worse it would get. They were right, I can no longer have onion soup.

    I do my best to avoid them. Restaurants tend to cooperate, but they don’t take it seriously. I feel it’s okay to be expose a little here or there, but some days my reactions are worse than others. Lately, I seem to be extremely sensitive.

    Onions have popped up into dishes I would never expect it to be in. I’ve had a lobster roll in Boston that after one bite, I had to run back to my hotel room. I ordered macaroni and cheese in the South, and they loaded it down so much it should have been called macaroni and onion.

    And don’t you just love it when you ask for no onions in your salad – but they forget to tell you they’ve loaded down their salad dressing in onions?

    I don’t understand why they say this is “rare onion allergy.” I was told that many have an allergy to onions but they live with the symptoms and never have it confirmed. They don’t even know they have it. Dogs can’t have onions — they can’t digest it, so I’ve read. I believe this is much more common than the author thinks.

  42. my reaction to raw onion is immediate burning throat and gas. cooked ones do not burn my throat, but i get the GI symptoms, and like some of the other posters, it tends to last for days.

  43. Glad I found this. I have have a bad rash all over my body for the past few months. I went to the doctor. He said I had Psoriasis. He put me on pregnizone. Ichyness and rash went away. Now I normally eat a salad everyday for lunch Monday through friday… with onions of course lol, this past weekend I didn’t eat them at all. Today the medication did nothing and I am itching like crazy! Holding out on the onions from here on out. Bad news is I just bought an aloe detox drink, if I have and allergic reaction to onions, aloe will have the same effect. I will keep everyone updated here next week!

  44. So, when I had my first reaction, I was about 12. I get the worst pain in my stomach from any type of onion, mild or strong. It feels like someone is stabbing me under the ribcage for hours on end in the middle of the night. However, this is a great excuse as to why you can’t go to school the next day! (:

  45. I am also allergic to onion. With well cooked onion, I suffer the digestive upsets and a rash on my chest. With raw onion, my lips tingle, my mouth feels like it’s swarming with ants, and my tongue swells.If I touch it with my hands, I get a rash on my wrists & forearms. I am not allergic to garlic. This has caused so many issues with people because they assume that I’m lying or faking it because I can eat garlic. Restaurants are difficult to find and even my own parents will sneak ground/mashed onion into food to try to prove to me that it’s in my head. I was not a big fan of them (onions, not my parents; they’re usually great.) as a child, and then after I had my first daughter I started having the allergic symptoms. Since I have no qualms about saying I simply don’t like something (radishes, dark chocolate, strawberries, blueberries, etc…) I’d have no reason to fib about an allergy. I sincerely hope people start seeing this as a real, honest to goodness allergy instead of people just being finnicky eaters.

  46. This article was really interesting but I’m still unsure about whether my problem is an allergy, intolerance or something else. I like the last of onions and have always eaten them but in the last six months i have developed a nasty reaction to them. By them i mean ONLY raw red onions and occasionally white and spring onions. As soon as i put them in my mouth I start gagging and what i believe are my saliva glands (underneath your tongue) spasm and create masses of saliva in my mouth and my tongue becomes sort of paralysed. Does anyone else experience similar reactions and do you know why it happens? Is it worth going to a doctor or not?

    Somebody please help me!!!

  47. I have severe issues with Onions. Tongue swells up, throat, inside my mouth, bad headaches, and stomach aches. It seems that the author of the story does not take this allergy as serious as it is.

    If you have the allergy it can change your life!!!

  48. Has anyone gotten back pain and eye twitching from this? I’m trying to keep a better food journal but I keep coming back to onions.
    Gas is terrible and hurts my neck, stomach, sides. I can hear gurgling from the gas like burping with your mouth closed ? if that makes sense.

    I’m 32 and started noticing symptoms a year ago that seemed to get worse. Endo and Gastro led to discovery of Ulcers with H.Pylori but I treated those accordingly andk now still have issue (on ocassion) -[ some times I can go 2 or 3 days with no issue or no symptoms.

    Had no onions yesterday but a little bit of horseradish on roast beef that set me off within an hour… maybe horseradish is related to onion?

    Any advice is appreciated.

  49. my wife is severly allergic to onions. and we cant ever go to like steakhouses because of the onion smell. just the smell is discomfort for her. and if she eats and onion she would close up and die. but we have been working on getting her somewhat use to onion powder. it seems to be about the only onion item to cook with. i know being from the south its hard not to start out cooking with an onion. its really strange to just brown the meat without onions flavoring it. or eating hamburgers with onions on it i cant enjoy it either because i know its on my breath and discomforts her. so i live my life without onions as well.

  50. I’ve looked on so many different websites and could never find anything about this being a registered allergy, however, I too suffer from this and its so acute that even if there’s onion powder in something it’ll make me very ill. I now have to check everything I eat and can’t have anything that contains it. But it’s not by just being in a room with them….I can do that but I feel nauseas. And at restaurants if you say can they check it because you have an allergy they just look at you in a very strange way!!

  51. Chuck Carpenter on

    I too have been plagued by this vegetable and it’s relatives. I have had this issue all my life and right after my 50th Birthday it really got horrible and severe. My symptoms are bloating and rapid non stop hickups and belches my abdomen swells like I’m carring a 9month pregnacy (which would be quite impossible as I am a male). This allergy/intollerance has made me loose time @ work my Co-Workers didn’t understand. Now this makes what I’ve been living with real and not just in my head.
    Eatting out has become a real challenge I was @ my Neices Birthday Party at Chilli’s and they serve fahitias and the onions were very strong I immediately got sick and had to leave. I can’t go any where near where they are prepared which is practically everywhere. I tried benadryl no success tums and rolaids nothing, my best treatment is either Yogurt or icecream. Pretty much any kind of dairy product will lessen but not end my torment only time and flatuence. There needs to be a forum for this allergy to be taken more seriously, and publically accepted!

  52. I can handle small amounts of onions, but usually pick most of them out of whatever I’m eating. But, as others have stated, you can’t avoid them sometimes, if you can’t see them. It’s no different if they are raw or cooked with me. The first time I ever had French Onion soup, I had such a severe gastric reaction that I fainted and was really sick to my stomach for a several days after. Not thinking that any antihistamine could prevent that from happening. People don’t understand how horrible it can be to have to avoid certain foods, particularly common things like onions. I am not picky, I just don’t want to pass out!

  53. Lee Leveille (female) on

    I have an allergic to aspirin;My Doctor keep giving perscripsions that have aspirin. Whate can I do? My docctors cam’t seem tthat this allergiiic will killl me.Does anyone know what I can do I have tried everythin health good stores, but can’t get antlief. I sould be so grateful if any one can send me someinthing I would be
    I have been told by doctors that my told boes are very good. Big Whoop, There must be. There must be so me out there out there who sufferes the same as me.

  54. It is very interesting to find this site, I was not sure if anyone had a similar problem with onions and their like – challots, chives etc.. Anyway I can’t be in the house if onions have been cooked within the last 4 to 6 hours or I need to throw up. However recently my wife, who generously will not cook with onions, even though she does love them, had been able to put onion powder or salt on here own dinner after preparation and sit on the other side of the room – the other day I walked into what was a wall of the onion smell and had to leave before being sick. People don’t realise how hard it is to get food without onions in it never mind certain brands changing their reciepes to put them in it (like Beans ? that nearly caused an accident). Anyway my sensitivity to these foul things seems to be on the increase as I get older, and its good to know its not just me.

  55. Onions have bothered me for years, causing great abdominal pain. It just took me awhile to pinpoint the cause. Trying to avoid them is frustrating because they are in everything! I finally discovered that Tagamet HB 200 (active ingredient Cimetidine) taken before a meal helps tremendously. I never cook with onions, but going to someone’s house or a restaurant, they are next to impossible to avoid. Whenever I have someone else’s cooking, I automatically pop a Tagamet as a precaution, even if they say they did not include onion. People without the problem just do not realize onion is in everything. Thank goodness for Tagamet! Give it a try.

  56. Can anyone tell me if they get any breathing difficulties associated with inhaling the fumes when cutting or chopping onions as my father does and we are wondering if it associated with onions as it has happened a couple of times when involved in preparing onions, and comments would be appreciated.

  57. Hi,

    I get very bad migraine symptoms and nausea from onions and garlic, and this all started after I had
    Accutane when I was 17. I am now 42 and had this allergy ever since. Could they be linked?


  58. I have had allergies on onions for five years… and in noticed that i have different reaction for white onions and the red ones… also when i eat onions that was heavily cooked, like when the juice is really mixed on the food, or when deep fried, that’s when i have a severe reaction to it… is that possible?

    Its such a hassle, specially when i go out on a date or with my friends as i don’t to act all important and have some special food for me, you know?

  59. I to am allergic to Onions…..normally i gag as soon as one hits my lips….vomit….loss of appetite….indigestion etc…..but my worst encounter was when i ordered a chicken quesadilla with no onions and one snuck in there….i went into a total reaction….i broke out in hives all over my body from head to bum…..i can eat cooked dehydrated onions ….and onion powder….i dont have any problems with garlic….ive never tried leeks and avoid most things that i think are in the onion family….thank you for this site.

  60. Oh my….I’m not alone. I too have problems with onions. I used to eat them all the time , until I had my gallbladder removed. Now if I consume the slightest bit of onion, I get deathly ill, with stomach pains, gas, bloating nausea, vomiting etc. I too have a difficult time eating at restaurants, because I even have to watch out for onion powder. Everything has onion powder in it, except for cereal and ice cream. I have to read all labels. All your soups, salad dressings, sauces, frozen meals contain onion powder. It has become a staple.
    I hate that most of the popular restaurants season their meats, and now their french fries. WHY? They taste perfectly fine without it. When I eat at Red Robin, I tell them no seasoning on my burger and fries, and they honor my request. Kudos to Red Robin. 🙂 I love eating at Chili’s, but found out recently that they cook their fries in the same oil that they prepare their onion rings….again WHY? It’s to the point where I am stuck eating baked potatoes everywhere. I love Olive Garden, and also found out recently “Everything” has onion in it. WHY…WHY…WHY??? I am so sick of it….LITTERLY!!!! (Good Pun)
    I feel like a pain at restaurants, because I have to have them do an onion check on everything.
    We should all buy stock in onions….we could become millionaires!!

  61. The Snarky One on

    Thank you so much I am emailing this to the hubby now!
    He thinks I’m full of it, I was diagnosed when I was pregnate with my son, from my first marriage.
    Everything I ate made me so sick! And we could not figure out why. My MIL at that time thought I was just trying to make her look bad by pretending to get sick from her food…

    >_> Like I have the time to figure out creative ways to annoy people.

    Eventualy the doctor said to remove everything from my diet go back to applesauce, toast, and milk. Add one thing a week untill we locate the issue.

    Onions, peppers, sourcream were the baddies for me.

    Extream swelling of the extrimities, breathing troubles ( cooking / preping onions or peppers)
    Rash and itching followed by gas, bloating and gastointestinal back end pyrotechnics were my lovely other side effects.

    I remember one time the first hubby’s Aunt ( read crazy A$$ B*tch ) decided she would “Hide” the onions by making onion puree and mixing it into the bread, her train of thought was out of sight out of mind.
    Nearly killed me. Take out places are always getting it wrong and canned, bottled anything will have it to some degree in some form.

    My food is bland but safe because I make it.
    However, Like so many of you I have found that people think I am a nut case who needs a room with rubber wall paper. 🙁

    The new hubby is Indian, ever see what is in Indian food? Onion, onion, onion, and yes you guessed it more onion! 😮 I have to leave while he is cooking becase the fumes alone will block my airway right up!

    I feel for those who also suffer from this rare allergy. Hopefuly as people become more and more aware of it we will finally be able to eat.

    I have found that if I glove up, wear goggles and leave all the windows and doors open, while wearing a wet rag over my nose and mouth I can prep the stupid things however, for those of you with family who want them it is something to look into.

    However, I must warn you if you are preping like this while you have guests you will look like a mad scientist!

    Good luck it is a jungle out there!

  62. my son had a sever reaction to onion powder in a baby food he is about to be one in two months and it seems that all foods have onion or onion powder in them what can i feed him that he can eat with out onions because he really wants food but his food in take is mainly crackers at this point and would love to feed him more but it seems that everything has onions in it and is making every thing so hard they said just to say clear because of his age they cant do a food challenge on him and both test came back negative but he had swelling of the lips and hives from head to toe

  63. I’ve ate onions all my life I am now 29 and have suddenly been getting really bloated and pass lots of has after eating fried onions , was wondering what was going on and why suddenly this was happening . Finding the posts here have helped me understand and realise what is going on . I’m just going to have to stop myself from eating onions now .

  64. I, like many who have responded, am relieved to find so many others who have trouble like me. I feel enlightened by the information in the posts, and how many different ways onions (& family) can affect someone. I am somewhat confused though: I always thought my trouble was an allergy, but some of my symptoms fall in the “intolerance” category.

    My first huge reaction was when I was 19. My boyfriend would eat onions like apples, and while it grossed me out, I didn’t have any physical trouble with it. Then he told me that the heart of the onion was the sweetest part and put it in my mouth. I did the only “polite” thing and chewed it up and swallowed. About 2 hours later I looked like a tomato from my ears to my armpits. I was bright red, and itchy and miserable. I drank as much baby Benedryl as I thought I could get away with without killing myself and was still miserable 3 days later which happened to be Thanksgiving day. I was with family, and having a good time, but not feeling really well, I went in to the bathroom and while washing my hands, I realized I was covered in a speckly rash ALL OVER, hands, feet, legs, arms, trunk, back, neck, bottom. I panicked! 🙂 I was dosed with more Benedryl and took an oatmeal bath, and fortunately got ‘better.’ Unfortunately, no one believed that it could possibly be onions that did it. (Despite my overwhelming evidence!)

    I worked hard to avoid onions from then on, but as everyone has commented, they are Everywhere! I was at my mom’s about a year later and unthinkingly was snacking on BarBQue Chips…. Within 15 minutes I had a rash on my face, inside my elbows, and was feeling flushed. I knew it was the chips upon finding ‘onion powder’ in the ingredients. Evil Chips! I announced.

    So time goes on, I’ve had 3 children, and plenty of exposures… Usually Benedry or Claritin would help, but I would still itch and be uncomfortable. Then about 18 months ago a friend brought us supper (my husband had been in a bad accident and had just come home from the hospital) and it had a salad she had made, in a bag. I was eating the last of the salad, and kept thinking I was tasting onions… But I couldn’t see them. They were cut green onion tops, and once I realized that I stopped eating, but about 15 minutes later I was talking to my husband, and said something like… “Hmm it feels like my throat is closing up, isn’t that weird?” He flipped… he was still stuck in bed healing and was afraid that if I was having a major reaction, he’d have to call an ambulance. Fortunately you can take like 4 times the recommended dose of Benedryl without any problems, (which I did, and immediately slept all night long!)

    The most recent and most scary experience was just a few months after this one. I was returning from dropping my husband off at the hospital some 300 miles away and grabbed a bite at McDonald’s. I was about 10 minutes out of town and doing roughly 75 on the highway when I felt my throat closing up. I was worried, but couldn’t do anything about it. I kept timing my breaths and would take a drink of my smoothie every 4 breaths. The end result was I ‘lost’ about 35 minutes (45 miles) of driving. My only explanation: I had angels who took the wheel.

    I avoid them as best as possible, but as noted already, they are everywhere and sometimes they can’t be avoided. I am glad to add some “tools” to my toolbox, and will look in to Beano and Tagament as well as maybe an Epipen.

    Sorry we have to share such miserable experiences, but it’s nice to know I’m not alone in my suffering.

  65. Hello everyone ! I am so happy to have found this site and all of you who share my allergy to onions. I am 55 years old and have been allergic to them all of my life. In fact, this allergy runs in my family, on my mothers side of it and only in the males, skipping a generation. In other words, my grandfather and his brothers were all allergic to onions, but my mother and Aunt were not. My first cousins (males) are also allergic to them, but my sister is not. My daughters are also not allergic to them as are my niece and nephews. Another thing is that I can eat garlic with no reaction to it, but no onions, scallions, leeks, or any other member of the onion family. I have learned to read labels very carefully and to always let waiters/waitresses know about my allergy. Thank you very much.

  66. OK folks, if you gag or something just from smelling them, that is a mental issue. Not an allergy. These people are talking about people that get physically sick hours after eating onions. My husband loves onions…just like 99% of the rest of the world. However, if they accidentally get into his food like at a restaurant, because the servers NEVER listen, hours later at night, usually after he has gone to bed he gets really uncomfortable indegestion and ends up vomiting every time. It very much sucks. And I think it may be hereditary. We had greek last night and as usual the servers didn’t listen and his gyro and my son’s gyro came with onions. My son was like oh well I will eat them. My hubby picked them off. At about 11 last night my son had a terrible stomach ache and almost vomited. It is sad. Because onions add so much flavor to so many things. Most of what I cook at home, has very little flavor because I always have to leave out the onion and garlic. It doesn’t matter if it’s baked sauteed, or raw. Onions, and to a lesser extent garlic always set him off.

  67. Influx 'n Eat on

    I just opened a mobile food cart and I’ve been concerned about being able to serve onions, and the like. I separate my griddles and cook only meat on one and meat and onions on the other but wanted to be sure that when i clean my cast iron griddle and in case of accidental containimation can steam alone clean off the onion oil.

  68. I’m glad that i’m not alone! Onions and garlic wreck havock on my digestive system and they make me extremely tired and give me a fever. I have to avoid raw and cooked, but I’m ok (not great, but I can deal) with onion/garlic powder. I’ve actually fallen aleep driving after eating garlic. And the fever occurs ever time.

  69. I am happy to have found this site. I was told years ago, by my “GP” that I was allergic to onions. That it wasn’t severe, but, with each exposure it was to be worse. The worst reaction I ever had was in Boston. I ordered a lobster roll, and found after one bite that they had laced it with onion juice. (They never did that in Maine!) I had to run back to my hotel room and rest. My ribs hurt tremendously – I hadn’t had that type of reaction before.

    I am told now that it is not an allergy but a sensitive reaction.

    I don’t know what it is called, but I do my best to avoid onions, I don’t like being sick.

  70. Am so glad to have found all of you. My mother is allergic to onions and passed the allergy to only myself. I have 2 sisters and a brother that have other allergies, but not onions. My mother can eat garlic, but I can’t…found that out when I was pregnant with my 2nd child & had hives from the top of my scalp to the bottom of my feet for 2 weeks after eating 3 pieces of cheesy garlic bread.
    I am 54 years old and the only take-out places I can order from are Cousins & a chinese restaurant in town. I told both places 30 years ago that I’m allergic to onions & garlic, so they take special care & cook my food away from others. Haven’t been able to breath well in restaurants for 20 years now, seems that they use more onion & garlic than they did in the past & the smell affects my sinus too much. I am lucky in that after 3 bites of anything if I don’t get hives on the roof of my mouth I know that I can finish the meal.

  71. I love a good onion ring and will eat them from time to time. Cooked onions seem to have less of an affect on me. I enjoy raw red onions on a salad or a burger, but avoid them like the plague. Onions seem to be a staple to cooking and hard to avoid. My husband, who is not allergic to onions, often tells waiters and waitress he is because he hate them. I am mildly allergic and when at restaurant will contemplate if I will try to eat an onion every time. I don’t hate them and want to eat them every now and then, but I have to decide if I want a swollen tongue, to have the taste of an onion in my mouth for the next 24hr and worst of all if I wake up in the middle of the night with nausea and diarrhea. Usually when I do try them it is at dinner and that is why I get sick at night, so whether or not it is a work night factors into the decision. I am coming to the point where I think it would be just easier to give them up completely; however, I would really miss a good onion ring and onions on hot dogs. But how do you avoid them completely? I love going to restaurants and social get togethers. They are often chopped up and hidden in food. Unless you make all your own food, it seems impossible to avoid them.

  72. Almost everything i love has onion, onion powder or garlic powder in it.Def understand eating out , sometimes I find a great place that makes my meal off to the side without onions. Even deep fried foods , fried in the same grease as onion rings.I have tried making my own spices , sauces ,any recipe i can find without all the added “onion” stuff, it works , but flavor is laking.. I MISS ONIONS, yet am grateful i only have to worry about gas or diarrhea..then there’s date night…lol.. Can you imagine being single, trying to plan a date for dinner.Before the meal arrives i down about 2 to 4 acid reducer tablets & 1 anti-diarrhea pill . It seems to help , does not eliminate all symptoms, but at least i can get thru the date without to much embarrassment. One more thing.. I can eat salsa,found that funny , i just can’t eat the chips with it ..;D.
    Please anyone give more suggestions, recipes or websites with info. Thanks for Sharing. Good Luck.

  73. This is so interesting. My 11 yo has a sensitive tummy but nothing definite that disturbs her. Last night I made a beef goulash that had 2 small brown onions and some garlic and she had terrible pains in her tummy afterwards (thought she said she tried to pick most of the visible onion out). She settled but woke at midnight in pain again and was itchy all over her body, but with no rash. 😕 I am quite sensitive to onions too but didn’t ever think about excluding them to feel better. D’oh.

  74. I get migraines, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and nausea. Even when people are cooking with onions I cannot be around it without feeling nauseas and getting diarreah (at times). My friend just even called it an “allergy” as she claims i just don’t like it. I said why are you quoting “allergy”???? She said she never heard of an onion allergy before so I must just not like them. I said I like onions just fine, they just don’t like me!

    I’m unsure if I am allergic or just intolerant. I do not get rashes or anything like that but the migraines can get bad and the stomach issues are no joke!

    I find people enjoy tormenting me with onions to see if i really get sick eating them. I don’t know why

  75. Finally, others who share my allergy. My allergy is very severe. I go into anaphylaxis. It is terrifying! Folks do not believe that you can be allergic to onions…and they do think it is a dislike, not a true allergy. Try being with me when I can’t breathe. I don’t tempt fate…I don’t have them at all and they don’t come through my front door. :0)

  76. I used to have a allergy to onions when I was a child. Every time we would eat out and there would be onions in the food I would immediately gag and vomit. Now my allergys are to sunflower seeds and whatever they put in the ranch dressing.

  77. My son has an allergy to onions. But he loves them, I heard
    if you soak them in water it gets rid of a gas that’s in them. Can soaking them help with the allergy?

  78. I have recently discovered I have this allergy to raw onion, I use to stay away from them just because I didn’t like them now my pallet has changed but not my body (apparently there was a reason I didn’t like them, unknowingly). All this time I though I had a virus or bacterial tonsillitis when my throat would hurt for days to the point of not being able to talk and now it turns out it was an allergy!! Only know because now I’ve noticed my cheeks tingle, and my heart rate goes up, not something a kid really pays attention to.

  79. I am finding that if I have red onions, my mouth and tongue swells up. The same thing with red peppers. I have the same symptoms with the intestinal distress if I eat either. But regular onions and regular peppers are fine, I thought it was bizarre but now I see it really isn’t. Its serious. Keep a close eye on salad dressings and thanks for sharing, I’m so glad I’m not alone.

  80. My allergy has gotten worse as cross contamination in restaurants is rampant. I have observed the kitchen staff cutting Red Onions on a surface without wiping, using the same knife to cut vegetables. It has become almost impossible to enjoy a dinner at any restaurant. At one of our favorite restaurant/bars every time I order a drink I break out and it is because the bartenders and wait staff also prepare food. The smell of Red Onions makes me break out and have trouble breathing. Antihistamines help but the hives, headache and stomach problems are hardl worth going out to eat anymore.

  81. hi,
    thought someone could help answer a few ?”s
    my Bother is thinks hes allergic to Onions & Green Peppers
    what are the symptoms when someone is allergic to onion’s and pepper’s ? and then ask how someone is tested for being allergic to onion’s and pepper’s ? Does being allergic to onion’s and pepper’s cause high blood pressure and mess with your eye’s ?
    please would like to get answer”s
    thanks , June

  82. I just had my allergies done for season hay fever and learned I have food allergies – Chicken/eggs, asparagus/onions/garlic/leeks/aloe/yucca (Asparagaceae family) and milk products. They all make me really congested and anything in the Asparagaceae family makes me itch. Cooked onions are easier but most spice mixes and dressings have onions and/or garlic, and it’s best to presume that anything spiced has onion or garlic included. This includes the Hoisin or Khan sauces at my favorite Mongolian BBQ.

    You can find symptoms for any food allergy by Googling “onion allergy” or whatever it is your trying to find. To determine if it’s a true allergy or sensitivity you may need to see a physician to be tested.

  83. “This is the reason why people do not get allergy with cooked onions.” Are you off your blasted rocker??? You clearly have no damn idea what you are writing about. cooked or not- if you are allergic to the allium family- onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, chives, ramps are all off limits and they are hiding in everything. Condiments, some canned veggies, boxed stuff, some breads- its crazy- if it says low fat- they have loaded it with some form of onion/garlic. I started researching this after an onion ring sent me on a medivac flight to an emergency room.

  84. I was told i disrupted a cooking class because i announced my allergy to onions. yes, onions seem to be in everything and no wonder I am often sick, bloated, gassy and vomiting, along with a very sore throat and difficulty breathing often leading to laryngitis. People seem to think this is all in our heads because they do not suffer the same problem. Yet everyone is aware of peanut and wheat allergies. why is onion, chive, leek scallion and especially green onion allergy any different? restaurants like to decorate with these killers, and no matter how often I request not to have them on my food… they show up! as a kid my uncle used to think it was funny to make me eat these things and yet I was often really sick. come on people do we have to die to get our wishes honored? please hold the onion and quit making us suffer!!! ps.. My son has the same allergy and to lovers…no kissing onion breath, or same reaction as eating onions!!! get it?

  85. I read to put red onion juice on my scalp for hair loss for 30 minutes then shampoo and condition. A week later I experienced a headache that I thought my head was going to explode plus vomiting. Never ever had a migraine. Almost went to the emergency room. I know that a week is a long time after doing this treatment but even the next two shampoos brought out the onion smell as if it was still there. There is a high potency of sulfur in red onions. Wondering if this could have been a reaction to the onion treatment and/or sulfur absorbed into my skin/scalp? Has this happened to anyone where onion was applied topically? Some people say its good for the face. Has anyone used anything to counteract it? However, it did work for the hair loss but I don’t think I will do it again.

  86. My allergy to onions started a few years back. It’s basically to raw or cooked onions. I can handle onion powder in moderation but actual white and red onions cooked or raw I break out in a rash on my chest and face. I’ve had chives no problem, but only to the other 2. My doctor has me carrying benedryl just in case. I usually take it before I go to a restaurant or anywhere I know onions are being prepared. I always ask no onions on all my orders.

  87. Last night I made a pot roast in the crock pot with 1 chopped onion. I woke up at 2:30. am in a cold sweat, entire body on fire and itching with red raised patches, stomach cramping, and chills. I walked to the bathroom and I was as white as a ghost with red lined eyes. I had light flashes in my eyes and felt like I was going to pass out. I crawled back to bed under the covers and tried not to scratch, too scared to hunt the house for an antihistamine. This went on for two hours. I have in the past gotten stomach distress from onion and beef on occasions, but I am not sure what caused this reaction.

  88. i’m not alone!!!
    thank goodness.
    fortunately my symptoms are not severe enough to be classified as an allergy, rather an intolerance…but the stomach cramping is no joke!
    I foolishly added 1/2 an onion chopped up to my turkey chili and one little bowl later extreme tummy pain and shakes and weakness. unreal.
    i was 1/2 through the bowl and was starting to feel funny…like an idiot i finished the bowl because i didn’t want to waste food…10 minutes later i was doubled over in pain and unable to stand straight, shaking, cringing in pain…
    so not worth it! should have tossed the bowl the second my tummy started seizing up!
    suffered at work for the next 4 hours and got hubby to run to Target for gas x. It helped somewhat but its been a full day and my belly is still extremely tender and sore. Sore as if i had done hundreds of crunches or as if someone had punched my abs repeatedly…i also took some charcoal pills to help speed up the recovery process… i seem to be deeply and immediately affected with raw onions…the cramping was in my opinion as bad if not worse than labor pains….wouldn’t wish this pain and discomfort on anyone…powder or fully cooked onions don’t seem to harm me…but with yesterday’s horrible experience i fear my intolerance to onions has heightened. sucks!
    pretty much permanently off onions to my best ability! wish they could come up with some magic pill to prevent this kind of pain and suffering….this seems to be my only allergy thankfully. i really feel for those that are allergic to gluten/peanuts/strawberries/etc/etc/etc…
    it sucks to be so adversely affected by a certain food/fruit/grain but to have to deal with derision and disbelief by family members and friends and restaurants really makes it extra sucktastic.

  89. I’m allergic to all alliums across the board. Onion, leeks, chives, garlic, aloe, agave, even lilies.

    If someone is cutting onion, i have to leave the building because it’s like i’ve been maced – my eyes burn and water uncontrollably and my lungs and sinuses get swollen and irritated. I can just be near someone who has been handling raw onions for this to happen. If i get the juice on my skin – hives, rash, burning, and itching.

    If i bite a sliver of raw onion in food, I will have a migraine for 3-5 days. My stomach reacts as though i’ve been poisoned and will basically let go from all orifices to protect itself. Basically, the occasional sliver of onion that might get dropped into the lettuce in a restaurant makes for a terrible week for me should i find it. Using the same knife to cut tomatoes, lettuce, or other veggies that have also cut onions will cause me these problems just like onion would. I have to be really careful to avoid the restaurants in town that cross-contaminate foods when they prep. Even storing them adjacent in the fridge or on the tray (like at Subway) can be enough to make everything inedible for me.

    Cooked garlic just causes intestinal distress, bloating, and gas. Raw garlic doesn’t get down my throat. It tastes vile to me and i can’t keep it down, which i assume is the body’s safeguard from eating it.

    Lotions with aloe cause skin irritation and swelling – it makes hunting for sunscreen and soaps very specific and difficult. That toilet paper that has a touch of aloe in it.. that’s the devil’s handiwork.

    Lilies will make me sneeze like a madman. So will allium blooms in a garden. The sinuses will swell, i’ll sniffle and snort and leak mucus, my throat will tickle, get sore, and i will start coughing with prolonged exposure. In all appearances, one might assume i have a cold. Many candles, potpourri, and room fragrances that use lily scents cause this as well.

  90. John Lincoln on

    I have an “allergy” to anything in the onion family (scallions, shallots, leeks, etc. but NOT garlic). Eating anything in the onion family causes stomach upset and diarrhea. It even happens with I eat a salad dressing with onion powder in it. After many years of suffering, my wife discovered (in France) that you can soak onions in milk (even skimmed milk) for about 20 minutes and then use them in a recipe and I am OK. It somehow neutralizes the “enzyme” (or whatever the source of my problem) and I can eat them without problems. On occasion when I realize that I have eaten a couple of bites of a dish that has onions in it, I have ordered a glass of milk and drink that as soon as possible, and the problem is minimized or even solved. It is a real chore to buy prepared food — it seems that 90+% of prepared foods, frozen, canned, etc., have onions or onion powder in them. Some restaurants are sympathetic and will prepare a separate “without onions” sauce and it is fine for me. When I find a restaurant that is willing to do that, I return there time and again.

  91. Hi,

    I know it’s common for people to ‘tear up’ whilst cutting onions. I used to experience this, however my eyes would stop stinging and tearing once the raw onion was cooked and the chopping board and my hands were washed. However, over the past 6 – 12 months I’ve noticed I can’t even stand to be in the same room as someone who is chopping or cooking onions. Hours after the food has been cooked if I enter the room my eyes sting terribly, despite good ventilation, the raw onion being cooked and its traces cleaned. Any ideas of the causes/meaning of this or how to fix this?

  92. Hi everyone.
    Like everyone here I also have some form of allergy to onions and peppers and garlic. I managed to cope with the garlic as long as it is a very small amount but onions and peppers and very bad for me.
    My neighbour cooks my meals for me and sometimes she will cook onions for her son and husband and if I happen to walk past the kitchen when she is preparing them and I get a smell, I instantly start the vomit. If I don’t get outside fast then it gets worse.
    I did find that I can eat the small pickled silver skin onions without harm but like everyone I have issues every time I go shopping checking there are no onions in the food but 9 times out of 10 there is. I have even contacted my local superstore to ask them to provide foods that don’t contain these things and they said they would look in to this for me?
    I think it has something to do with the oils in the onion and peppers that causes my problem but I’m not 100% sure, I hate it when people say I’m just a fussy eater, I wish I could make them understand how debilitating this is?

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