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Diagnosing a tomato intolerance is not easy, particularly because the symptoms are the same as you’d get with any other allergy. But if you’re facing abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, or rashes on your skin after you eat a tomato-based meal, then you might have tomato intolerance.

Tomatoes are a very common food and are found in almost any food that you would not even notice in one way or the other. For example, many fast-food restaurants or ready meals will utilise tomato as a way of bulking out the dish, relatively inexpensively. According to studies, as much as 19% of the vegetables consumed are tomatoes [1], making tomato allergies very important and difficult to overlook.


Common Symptoms of Tomato Intolerance

Firstly, it’s key to understand the difference between allergies, intolerances and sensitivities which can be found here. As they are not the same, it can make diagnosis very difficult, however with a Tomato intolerance is different from others, such that it’s a contact allergy, a.k.a. type 1 allergy.

Type 1 allergies or contact allergies trigger the release of histamines in all areas exposed to the allergen or tomato for people with tomato intolerance. Often, people who have a tomato allergy are also allergic to potatoes, tobacco, or even aubergines, as they are all from the Deadly Nightshade family.  [2]

Nightshades, or Solanaceae, are a family that includes thousands of species of flowering plants. Many nightshades are commonly used in cooking throughout the world. They include:

  • bell peppers
  • eggplants
  • potatoes
  • tomatoes
  • chilli pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • paprika

Coming into contact with any of these can trigger an instant rash on the skin or eczema. In addition, people can face a tingling itch in the throat, nausea, cramps in and around the intestines, or uncontrolled coughing/sneezing. However, nightshade sensitivity reactions are usually very rare. A compound naturally produced by all nightshade plants is called glycoalkaloids and this is the part that a small percentage react to. [3] This is a natural pesticide that helps the plant fight against bacteria and can cause an immune response in people.

In some cases, the face, tongue, and mouth can swell up, indicating hypersensitivity to tomatoes. If you have a chronic stuffy nose or phlegm all around the year, it can also be an indicator of tomato intolerance as it can swell up the airways.

As these symptoms are also common to many other allergies, they are not a conclusive test for tomato intolerance.


How to Check if You Have Tomato Intolerance?

Food Allergy & Intolerance Tests Kit

The Allergy Intolerance Testing Kit

As many as 2 million people have some kind of food allergy, according to studies [4]. Tomato intolerance, like other intolerances, can be hard to diagnose with just symptoms and the right and proper way of diagnosing is to take a tomato intolerance test. A simple blood sample can be taken from the finger, just like a glucose level test.

A single test sample can help test 110 allergies and intolerances, and collecting the sample, takes under 2 minutes. Knowing your allergies and whether you have tomato intolerance will help you stay safe even if you’re travelling abroad.

You can order your Allergy and Intolerance Test Plus kit online and have it delivered to your doorstep here in the UK with our tracked Royal Mail service. After using the kit to collect the sample you can send the sample to the labs for testing through the local mail, and the results can be accessed online.


Is Tomato Intolerance Dangerous?

Yes, tomato intolerance can lead to respiratory issues, which can be particularly problematic if you have asthma. For some, it might not just give a rash, but it is best to know your allergies and intolerances beforehand so you can manage them well.

A tomato intolerance or food intolerance test will allow you to know all your intolerances so you can manage them accordingly. Most restaurants offer the option to remove tomatoes from your meals, making the management easy and seamless.

Seeking medical care in a foreign country where you’re visiting for the first time can be really hectic, and it is best to be safe than sorry. A simple blood test before you go away can save you trouble and help avoid an unexpected allergy flare-up.



Understanding is part of the battle with allergies and intolerances, and the team at Test Your Intolerance are here to help you with easy to follow tests, simple instructions and optional Nutritional Therapist appointments to help put a diet plan in place. Tomato intolerance can be rare, but as it’s in so many foods, it’s worth ruling it out or knowing you need to cut it from your diet quickly rather than risk any reactions. Check out our full range of test kits here, or read about other intolerances like banana intolerance or hay fever over on our regularly updated blog.



[1] K. J. P. R. Reimers and D. R. P. Keast, “Tomato Consumption in the United States and Its Relationship to the US Department of Agriculture Food Pattern,” 2016. [Online]. Available:,only%20to%20potatoes%20at%2023%25.&text=Leveraging%20the%20popularity%20of%20tomatoes,c.



[4] Anaphylaxis, “Anaphylaxis Campaign,” 2016. [Online]. Available: