Growing up, I always felt lucky that I didn't have any food allergies. Other than the minor hives reaction from that time I ate 2 gallons of strawberries in 12 hours, nothing about food ever bothered me. In the past year alone, though, I've developed many different food intolerances. The latest of these is that I have a honey allergy.

Recently, I ate a honey-based dessert when I was out to dinner. I found, to my utter shock, that not everyone's mouth itches and burns after eating honey. After my tongue swelled up a bit, I realized that I must have been allergic to honey my whole life without realizing it.

The facts

I did my research, and it turns out that a honey allergy isn't your typical food allergy. Honey allergies are usually mild, a.k.a most people don't have a severe reaction or go into anaphylactic shock after eating it.

So, it made sense that I could go my whole life without realizing a funky reaction to honey wasn't normal.

I also found that someone is more likely to be allergic to honey if they're also allergic to bees and pollen. I've been allergic to both my whole life, but I never knew that you're actually supposed to avoid eating honey if you have a known allergy to bee stings or pollen.

It's a precaution, but you should still get allergy tested before eating honey, just in case.

The takeaway

I'm already pretty good about reading food labels, but now I'm extra careful that honey isn't a main ingredient in foods I eat. Other than an itchy mouth, a honey allergy can cause other unpleasant symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, and nausea.

I finally understand why eating granola bars has always made me feel sick. I didn't realize how prevalent honey is in my diet until I had to completely cut it out. A lot of granola bars and cereals are made with honey, and it's a super common natural sweetener.

I had to give up my obsession with açaí bowls, which was a pretty tough breakup. Overall, though, being allergic to honey isn't the worst thing in the world. In my opinion, it's much better than having a serious reaction to something more common, like peanuts or gluten.

Still, it's pretty weird to be allergic to something that's commonly believed to help alleviate seasonal allergies.