This allergy is not that uncommon, and I have had only one serious reaction in my life, real anaphylaxis, in France, from gravy made with marrow or other squash, only labelled as matière végétale on the package. The chef apologized but I ended up in bed for two days.
Today, I have swelling of the eyes, mouth, throat, and some tightening of the chest, as well as chills. Also, my face is swollen and I have asthmatic symptoms.
I shall be ok.
The problem is when companies either do not label well, or make things or cut up things on the same machines which involve any of the cucurbitaceae family members.
The list of fruits, I cannot eat, is quite long: you can click on these categories from Wiki and look at the lists.
- Cucurbita – squash, pumpkin, zucchini, some gourds
- Lagenaria – mostly inedible gourds
- Citrullus – watermelon (C. lanatus, C. colocynthis) and others
- Cucumis – cucumber (C. sativus), various melons
- Luffa – common name also luffa
Needless to say, I feel peaky and am in bed, as such reactions exhaust one, partly from the breathing problems and partly from minor shocks to the system.
One of my brothers and I would not tell my mom, who put chocolate ice cream in a half of a muskmelon, that we were having troubles breathing, with itching mouths and swollen lips. Finally, the allergy became bad enough for complete abstinence of some favorite foods.
Why some people have allergies and some not is a real mystery. My son cannot eat peanuts, or even smell them without becoming ill. and so on...