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Learning About Tree Nut Allergies: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment.

Tree nut allergies

Many of the 1.2 percent of individuals in the United States who possess allergic reactions to peanuts mistakenly assume they are allergic to nuts, although peanuts are legumes, similar to black beans and lentils.

One of the most frequent food allergies for both children and adults is a tree nut allergy. Tree nut allergies can range from moderate (mild itching, eye irritation, and a sore throat) to fatal. You may even be allergic to only one variety of tree nuts, or you may become allergic to a number of them. Tree nuts include the following:

  • Almonds;
  • Pecans;
  • Hazelnuts;
  • Walnuts;
  • Pine nuts;
  • Lychee seeds;

If you are allergic to one kind of tree nut allergy, you are more likely to be allergic to others. You may be urged to avoid all tree nuts until an allergist-immunologist (a specialist who specializes in diagnosing and treating allergies and the immune function) tests your allergies.

Tree nut allergy symptoms:

If you are allergic to tree nuts and are exposed to them, you may have tree nut allergy reactions. In some situations, these symptoms arise quickly and are severe. In other circumstances, symptoms may appear within 30 minutes to a couple of hours.

A tree nut allergy can cause the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal discomfort;
  • Cramps and stomach upset;
  • Nausea and/or vomiting;
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty in swallowing;
  • Irritation in different parts of the body, primarily including the mouth, eyes, and throat;
  • Breathing difficulties or shortness of breath;
  • Anaphylaxis;
  • Wheezing, nasal congestion, or a runny nose.

Allergies to peanuts, shellfish, and tree nuts are among the most prevalent causes of anaphylaxis. People who are allergic to tree nuts should remain well-prepared to react to an allergic reaction. You must always have an epinephrine auto-injector on hand. Auto-injector brands that are often used are EpiPen, Adrenaclick, or Auvi-Q.

Allergy specialist

Tree nut allergy`s risk factors:

Allergy to peanuts

Peanuts are legumes, not tree nuts, but still being sensitive to peanuts raises your risk of being allergic to tree nuts. As per the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, 25 to 40% of those who are sensitive to peanuts are also allergic to tree nuts.

Other allergies to tree nuts

You could be allergic to more than one variety of tree nuts if you are sensitive to one. To determine all of your allergies, an immunologist may recommend a full allergy screening test.

Family history

Other siblings have a higher risk if a sibling or parent has a tree nut allergy. A doctor can advise you on screening for allergies in your family.

Diagnosis for tree nut allergies:

Tree nut allergies may potentially be fatal. That is why it is critical to have a proper diagnosis from an allergy expert. Your allergist may perform a skin prick test to diagnose your allergies. Your skin will then be exposed to a range of allergies during this test. Your skin will swell or become red if you are reactive to one of the available allergens. Based on your age as well as other medical issues, your doctor may also suggest blood testing.

If your test findings are equivocal, your doctor may order a food challenge. You would be introduced to a specific food allergen in escalating dosages over several hours for this test. People who are allergic to tree nuts may learn to look after their allergies with the help of a clinical immunologist or specialist and a network of supportive contacts. The availability of adrenaline auto-injectors adds credibility, but it is not a replacement for steps to reduce the likelihood of allergen trigger exposure.

Food to avoid if you have a tree nut allergy:

Tree nut allergies are incurable. So, avoiding tree nuts is the best method to avoid an allergic response. Strict avoidance of nuts and goods containing nuts may prevent you from having an allergic response. Many doctors would advise individuals, especially youngsters, who have a documented allergy to one tree nut should avoid all tree nuts due to the possibility of an allergy reaction to others as well.

Individuals with tree nut allergies should avoid nut butter, natural nut extracts, and nut oil. Food companies in the United States are obligated to identify allergies, including tree nuts, on product labels. To ensure that the product is allergen-free, examine the ingredient list on the label. During the production process, foods may come into touch with tree nuts. That possible danger is frequently listed on food packaging.

Given the increased societal awareness platforms about different food allergies, individuals with tree nut allergies may now explore safe foods and communicate about their allergies much more easily.

Tree nut allergy sources that are not widely known:

Despite the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) labeling standards, allergens can hide in items you may not expect. For your quick understanding, tree nut proteins can be found in the following foods:

  • Desserts include candies, chocolates, ice cream, and frozen yogurt;
  • Cakes, cereals, crackers, protein and breakfast bars;
  • Alcoholic drinks, flavored coffees, and liqueurs;
  • Cheese, marinades, and sauces;
  • Lotions, shampoos, fragrances, and soaps;
  • Several restaurants may also utilize tree nuts in their dishes without identifying the product. When you dine-in in a restaurant, it is advised to communicate with your waiters.
See Also: Peanut Allergy Fatal?

Summary:

Tree nut allergies are among the most frequent food sensitivities in the United States, with symptoms ranging from different sorts of body irritation to life-threatening. The easiest method to avoid tree nut allergy reactions is to avoid meals and items potentially containing nuts. Although tree nuts and peanuts are included in so many meals and goods, and cross-contamination may occur in manufacturing facilities where nuts are processed, consumers must be cautious to avoid inadvertent exposure.

If you are having any nut tree allergic reactions associated with tree nut-containing foods, have words with your allergy expert to schedule a test to determine whether you suffer from a tree nut allergy or if you are allergic to something else.

Family Medicine Austin

Written by Jeannette

I am Jeannette, the medical writing specialist here at Family Medicine Austin. I have over five years of experience working with a range of medical and healthcare across the U.S.