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Facts About Tree Nut Allergy

allergen

Tree nut allergy can affect both adults and children and, in the worst cases, can cause a dangerous allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Sufferers of this condition are advised by medical experts to have permanent access to epinephrine auto injectors.

Tree nut allergy tends to be a lifetime condition. Therefore, it is important for sufferers to remain vigilant and ensure that they ask the waiter for specific information about the ingredients of any dish ordered in a restaurant.

The most common types of tree nut are walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios and Brazil nuts.

Tree nuts are often hidden where you might least expect to find them. For example, there is often tree nut protein in cereals, biscuits and chocolates as well as flavoured coffee, frozen desserts, marinades and barbeque sauces.

When a person is allergic to tree nuts, their immune system mistakenly identifies nuts as a harmful substance and moves to neutralise the perceived threat.

Often, when a person is exposed to a nut allergy for the first time, they will not exhibit any symptoms. However, their immune system has already identified nuts as a potential threat is prepared to fight the intruder. Next time that the person consumes a nut, the allergic reaction may be almost instantaneous. Their immune system will launch an attack by releasing the chemical known as histamine, which causes the allergic reaction.

Skin reactions in case of tree nut allergy may include:

  • Rashes
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Tenderness
  • Hives

The allergic reaction might also affect the upper respiratory system including:

  • Running or stuffy nose
  • Uncontrollable sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Itching and watery eyes

Tree nut allergy may also trigger symptoms such as nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhea or vomiting. Occasionally, the sufferer may encounter breathing difficulties as well.

This is a partial list of the nuts to be avoided if you suspect that you have a tree nut allergy:

  • Almond
  • Cashew
  • Chestnut
  • Brazil nut
  • Hazelnut
  • Macadamia

 

If you do suspect that you may suffer from a tree nut allergy, early diagnosis and proper medical advice is essential.

I am currently putting together a 'Tree Nut Allergy Report', which you will be able to download from our website, very soon.


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