Garlic is used as a flavoring in cooking in almost every cuisine in the world. It is also often used in herbal medicine.


When I tell people that I am allergic to garlic they seem shocked and often question me. Many people enjoy flavoring their food with garlic and have never heard of a garlic allergy.


I discovered my garlic allergy about 20 years ago when dining out in in Italian restaurants. Any time I ate something with garlic I experienced severe stomach cramps and gas. I first thought that the symptoms were caused from ingesting gluten. But I still had these symptoms when eating a salad with gluten-free salad dressing that contained garlic or from eating vegetables sautéed in garlic.


The reality is that there are a number of people that need to avoid garlic because of the allergic reactions they experience. It is estimated that 1 in 1500 Americans are allergic to garlic. People with Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) as well as those who are allergic to allium need to leave garlic out of recipes.


Common symptoms include:


*        Diarrhea or constipation

*        Stomach cramps

*        Bloating

*        Nausea

*        Gas

I*       itching of the skin