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everephebe's avatar

Can onions cause headaches?

Asked by everephebe (11552 points ) February 6th, 2011

I have noticed that if someone cooks onions, I get a headache. Sometimes just diced onion causes headaches, but cooking especially. Even if I am far off from the kitchen, I still get nasty headaches. Also fatigue and possibly irritability as well.

I never eat onions because I don’t like hate them. But recently even the smell is too much. I have a very acute sense of taste and olfaction.

If I was sleeping I’ll wake up to the smell and already have a headache. If awake, I’ll know almost immediately that someone is cooking onions in the house, first with a headache then the smell.

Is this an allergic reaction or something else? Have you ever heard of smell alone causing a headache?

Thanks!

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11 Answers

everephebe's avatar

I think that when onions are being cooked it weaponizes them, for me, if that makes sense.

marinelife's avatar

The fact that your reaction is strengthening is not a good sign. I think you should see an allergist right away.

“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. Some of the common symptoms are:

* Breaking out of skin in hives,
* Itching all over the body,
* Bloating,
* Gas,
* Nausea,
* Diarrhea
* Headaches and migraines

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.

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. ”

Source

everephebe's avatar

I never never eat onions. If someone has used a cutting board to chop onions and washed it three times, I still wash the board myself before I use it. So the only contact I get from onions is in the air, from cooking mostly. Chopped onions don’t seem to be that bad, I still loath the smell but I don’t get headaches that much from the smell. Never had any skin irritation before.

What’s weird is I’m not eating onions, but I’m getting awful headaches smelling them.

Thammuz's avatar

They could, if thrown fast enough

downtide's avatar

Onions are one of the triggers for my sister’s migraines. Other things being chocolate, coffee and red wine. Poor girl. :(

everephebe's avatar

@downtide living without chocolate, coffee and red wine? I might just kill myself. Onions, I won’t cry over losing.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

I know for a fact onions give me horrible headaches. I go to the other end of the house when my mom’s chopping them.

flo's avatar

I have never heard of it, but If it happens to you it is real. I don’t think it is different from having allergy to peanuts or other things.

marinelife's avatar

@everephebe When you are smelling onions, there are onion molecules in the air entering your body through you nose.

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