Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Sharp Cheddar Cheese Allergy?
An_190913 posted:

My girlfriend has recently run into an issue when eating sharp cheddar cheese. A few weeks ago, she made a bean and cheese burrito with canned refried beans and some store brand shredded sharp cheddar. After eating, she began to have the feeling of a lump in the back of her throat and she felt extremely tired and developed a headache. After an hour or two of rest, it went away. The first time, we didn't attribute it to sharp cheddar until she ate some tortilla chips with melted sharp cheddar on them a few days later with the same result.

Today, the same reactions happened after eating some Flamin' Hot Cheetos. I am positive she's never had an issue with these before, and I cannot tell what would be causing this, the ingredients say "Cheddar Cheese" but nothing else.

We picked up some mild cheddar last week and had a successful taco dinner without issue. She only seems to have this issue with sharp cheddar.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Sorry if this double posted, I had an error on the first post.
Aqua14 responded:
Sounds more like possibly acid reflux; doesn't sound like an allergic reaction. She could try taking a couple of extra-strength Tums 15 minutes before she eats sharp cheddar and see if that helps. There are other OTC reflux medications that could also be used (e.g., Zantac, Prilosec, etc.).

The other question is, is your GF taking any medications? Some of the older antidepressants, for example, react negatively with sharp cheddar cheese.

Finally, foods like aged cheddar contain tyramine, which has been linked to headaches and migraines. Avoidance would be the best thing to do, and it might be worthwhile to look up a complete list of tyramine-rich foods and try to avoid them as much as possible.

Hope these thoughts help. Take care & good luck. Judy
It's never too late to be what you might have been. ~ George Eliot. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
coughy16 responded:
Ditto what Judy said. Also sounds like it could possibly be something other than the cheese. If there was any seasoning or salsa on the burrito/tortilla chips & cheese, that & the spices in the flaming hot cheetos could very likely be causing reflux.
bwilkinson1 responded:
I have this problem and it's only when i eat sharp cheddar cheese or something with sharp cheddar cheese in it. my throat starts to feel itchy and then it starts hurting. I get a headache and my chest starts to hurt. this all happens couple minutes after eating it.
Aqua14 replied to bwilkinson1's response:
One word: histamine. Aged cheese contains a lot of histamine. Excess histamine can cause allergic-LIKE reactions (not true allergy). Try eating mild cheddar cheese and see how you do. If you get the same symptoms, then it would be best to visit an allergist as that might point to true allergy.

You might also try taking an antihistamine an hour before eating sharp cheddar and see if that relieves your symptoms.

Hope these thoughts help - take care and good luck. Judy.
It's never too late to be what you might have been. ~ George Eliot. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Helpful Tips

Tip: safe use of epinephrine auto-injectorsExpert
For patients with allergic diseases that place them at risk for severe allergic reactions or anaphylaxis, epinephrine autoinjectors are an ... More
Was this Helpful?
16 of 28 found this helpful

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information, visit the Duke Health Asthma and Allergies Center