It’s Been a Bad Day

Yesterday was not a good day. Abby stayed home sick. I had a lot of work to do. I basically had one day to write my business plan (so I procrastinated a little), which had to be ready to present today. Let’s just say it’s a good thing I’m not trying to convince bankers. I also had church last night, which meant a good chunk of the evening was gone.

It meant for a busy day, but not too bad. Then I had lunch.


A month or so back I went on a banana eating kick. I had one every day with breakfast and it felt good to actually be getting a one-fifth of my daily allotment of fruit. I’m not exactly a healthy eater. Then one day as I finished my banana I felt intensely sick. A stomach ache and cramps set in for the next 45 minutes. It was a good hour or two before I was back to normal. By that afternoon I felt fine. Rather freakish.

The next day the same thing happened. I decided to cut back on bananas, as in not eat them, and I haven’t had a problem.

Of course Abby’s made a few loaves of banana bread in the past month, and I’ve devoured them with no problem. So it’s not a total banana thing. Or maybe cooking bananas changes things.

At any rate, yesterday for lunch I went to Jamba Juice, the default sick-person food in our house. I always go for a Strawberries Wild, which is basically a strawberry and banana smoothie. After finishing three-quarters of smoothie the intense stomach ache and cramps hit me. Suddenly our house became a double-sickie home. Speak didn’t know who to lick more.

The pain subsided after an hour to the point where I could work, but I didn’t feel great. The cramps came back later in the afternoon, though it was shorter and less intense. By supper time I felt fine again, though that night I couldn’t sleep on my stomach. Not exactly a conducive afternoon for writing a business plan. Thankfully enough came together that I could squeak by, though I’ll have plenty of revisions.

So I guess that means bananas are out. They’re the only commonality that’s made me sick like this, though I can’t imagine why. Nothing else has ever had this kind of reaction for me. Is it possible to overdoes on bananas? And if it is, that’s just not fair. I try to be healthy and I get hit with a double whammy of suck.

And I liked bananas. It was healthy eating but they still tasted good. And I really liked Strawberries Wild at Jamba Juice. It’s the only flavor I ever order. Jamba Juice has suddenly lost all appeal.

So that was my bad day. Lying in bed next to my sick wife with a damp washcloth on my forehead and intense stomach pain, all while an incredible amount of work was due the next day. Yuck.

It’s really not that dramatic — it wasn’t that terrible of a day. But it wasn’t a good day by a longshot.

Update: It’s been more than a year since I wrote this entry on what could be banana allergies, and it’s racked up more than 50 comments. I’m thinking the comments are more helpful than my actual entry, but hopefully people are finding what they’re looking for.

Since it has been more than a year since I wrote this, I thought I should give an update. I haven’t had intense banana-related stomach cramps since, though I have eaten small quantities of bananas. Back in February I had half a banana with no dire consequences. A few weeks back my wife made a fruit salad with bananas, and over a couple days I ate the equivalent of a couple of bananas. No dire consequences.

My only conclusion has been that my stomach cramps were caused by consuming massive quantities of bananas in a short period. If I eat them every day, I get sick. But once in a while seems to be fine.

Of course I’m still a little hesitant when it comes to Jamba Juice.

404 thoughts on “It’s Been a Bad Day”

  1. Thanks for the article. I too thought I was the only one allergic to bananas. I never really liked bananas. The smell made me nauseous. I didn’t like the taste or how it felt in my mouth. I discovered my allergy when I was 13. I had decided to try a banana one day. I ate less than half and immediately felt nausea. Within 30 min my face, lips and tongue began to itch. Soon after my face and lips turned red and swelled up. I too had the severe stomach pain and cramping. Eventually I would vomit like twice and start to feel better within hours. Weeks later I tried eating a banana. I had the same reaction. Iam now 23yrs old and I haven’t eaten a banana since.

  2. I am 33 and have experienced stomach trouble with bananas since I was about 21. The stomach pain is the worst with bananas, spinach, avocados, and to a lesser extent with eggs, peanut butter, cantaloupe, and protein powder. I can consume any of these in small quantities without experiencing any pain.

    The pain usually goes away within a few hours but if I consume any chocolate, coffee, or alcohol within a day or so of the symptoms then the pain will sometimes return. Otherwise chocolate, coffee, and alcohol do not bother my stomach.

    I am healthy and have worked out my entire adult life. Whenever I have stopped working out for over a period of about a week or so I also sometimes experience stomach trouble.

    I went to a gastroenterologist and he did not have any good explanations for the root cause. The only theory that he came up with was that it could have something to do with my body having an adverse reaction to soluble fiber.

    The chitinase protein explanation found in these comments is interesting and I will have to look further into that.

  3. I have read these posts and finally feel someone understands me! I cannot even eat a morsel of a banana. And avocado, raw zucchini and on occasion, soy beans, peanut butter, egg. Just yesterday two tiny bits of zucchini almost sent me to the hospital. Extreme upper abdominal pain/gastritis, sweating, nausea, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, inability to even stand up for fear I would faint. Just horrible. It came on after 15 mins and lasted about 1 1/2 hours before subsiding to the point where I could stand up again. I believe it is an inability to digest certain enzymes. I was able to eat bananas until the age of 21 and avocados until about 4 years ago. I am 47. Hope this helps!

  4. So sorry for all of you being allergic to bananas too. I’m also allergic to beef and pork-their byproducts and likely any mammalian meats…I’m afraid to test this due to the severity of the reactions, egg whites, and tomatos…so just read this little bit of information…bananas are ripened by the same chemical which is produced by ripening tomatoes…ethylene…as I can eat pickles the doctors say I am not allergic to the acid in tomatoes..that leaves the red or ripening process so I research every red, orange and yellow fruit and vegetable I want to eat. It is also produced by decaying vegetation and in combustion…so this may be the reason I get sick when around diesel emissions and/or rubber products. Hoping this bit of info can help others. People think I’m crazy when I tell the what I’m allergic to…It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

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