I Have An Onion Allergy, I am not Kidding You

I am the annoying person who asks a million questions about the food at restaurant. Could you wear gloves? Can you clean your knife? Does that have onion in it? My husband knows that he can’t kiss me if he ate raw onions or I might throw up on him.

Allergies are not a joke (I have a son with a nut allergy, I know this all too well), but weird ones that nobody has ever heard of, those are hard to explain.

I am allergic to raw onions. Yes, anything that has anything to do with an onion that is raw will make me sick. Purple one, white ones. Onions of all kinds.

Red Onions

I only found out about this about two years ago. I have been suffering from Migraine headaches since I was 15. They got worse when I wrote my book, the Food Lovers’ Guide to Seattle. They were really bad at that point. They were really bad when I worked at a restaurant at the age of 18. Every other day I came home sick. I was the one making the sandwiches, layered in onions and smoked meat. So how the hell does someone go through their whole life with an allergy and not figure it out?

I had been hearing the word “trigger” when it comes to migraines for years. Doctors had told me to avoid cheese and chocolate when I was tired or hormonal because they might trigger migraines.For years, I tried so hard to identify the silent trigger that was making me suffer so bad.

I could never figure out the trigger until one day after a lunch at my favorite Mexican restaurant. I walked in with the biggest smile ever. I was only 3 bites into my food when I a headache started, then I got pain in my stomach, I ran to the bathroom, my stomach hurt for hours, then nausea and a kind of flurry feeling in my head. It lasted 3 days. I looked at everything and couldn’t figure it out. The next day another migraine. Then every few days it happened. The same sequence happened again: migraine, stomach pain, nausea and an inability to concentrate. Every time I ate Mexican food or anything with raw onion in it. Then I started monitoring it. Every time I ate onions, I got the same reaction. A headache that got progressively worse and sometimes usually lasted 3 days at a time, stomach pain and cramps, nausea and a feeling of disorientation.

I avoided onions and my migraines started going away. They went from several a week to once a month or less. It was like a weight lifted off of me. The crazy part is that I always hated the smell of raw onions but couldn’t understand why ( as if my body was trying to telling me something).
Young woman with handkerchief having  cold. Isolated.

I am very careful now when eating out. Yesterday, I ate a pickle at a restaurant that was right near the onions and it happened again. Every time even a cube of onion touches my mouth I can feel the sequence unfolding. It has even gotten worse with time. A knife that is not clean from onions will trigger it. If you get sick every time you eat onions, then you might have an allergy.

I feel like it is my duty to share this because you never know if anyone has this and doesn’t know.

Here are the symptoms of a raw onion allergy for me…

- headache with aura
- migraine
- vomiting
- nausea
-stomach pain
-bloating
-leaky gut
-disoriented and confused feeling

If you have a weird allergy, please feel free to share. You never know how you can help others.

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2 Comments

Filed under allergies, Uncategorized

2 responses to “I Have An Onion Allergy, I am not Kidding You

  1. I feel for you – I have a real problem with onions as well. I started hating them as a kid. I would whine so much that my mom would try to ‘hide’ them in spaghetti and such. It would never work and always make me sick.

    The problem with eating out, is that even though you can make the requests, they often fall on deaf ears – or do not get relayed to the chef. Just yesterday I was served two dishes after repeating three times “with NO cheese” – both stacked with cheese. I had to laugh – and send them back.

  2. franticfoodie

    Joe, I agree about eating out I can’t give up the pleasure of eating out. I just ask obsessively and hope for the best.

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