Nut allergy is a hypersensitivity to dietary substances from some edible nuts which causes an overreaction of the immune system thereby leading to physical symptoms such as nausea, nettle rash and feeling sick. This type of allergy is treated with antihistamines but it is advisable to avoid the consumption of nuts if you are allergic to them.
- Nut allergy
- Avoiding all types of notes
- Severe or moderate nut allergies
- Nut free chocolate bars
- Coping with nut allergies
Nut allergy is one of the categories of food allergy. This type of allergic conditions is described as the hypersensitivity of people to dietary products, particularly from nuts, which leads to an overreaction of their body's immune system. When this occurs, the patients notice some severe to mild physical symptoms; some even result in death. The problem with this type of allergy is that the reaction can take place very quickly and in most cases is much more severe than other type of allergies. Because the reaction can be so severe, it is crucial to understand the different symptoms of the allergy. This will help you to know whether or not you are allergic to nuts and also enable you to determine if you are having a reaction. But In most cases, allergy symptoms will require you to seek medical help.
It is important to emphasize that nut allergy is different from a peanut allergy because peanuts are not considered to be part of the nut family. Peanuts are believed to be part of the legumes family, which includes soya beans, lima beans, lentils, and peas. The clear difference between these two conditions is the cause of the allergic reactions. Legumes are known to be the allergens of the peanut allergies while tree nut allergies are often associated with dried fruits. However, these two conditions have similar symptoms, but a person with a peanut allergy is not necessarily allergic to tree nut and vice versa.
If you are allergic to nuts, then you are probably suffering from what is generally known as the contact allergies (some experts call it Type 1 allergy). However, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has estimated that more than 70% of food allergy patients have an allergy to Nuts. Many of the beverages and food processing companies use nuts and Nut oil in food preparations that avoiding them can be very difficult. Thus, there is presently no known cure for allergies that involve food. A lot of individuals that are allergic to Nuts now wear a Medical Alert Bracelet identifying the specific food intolerance.
Anaphylaxis is the most serious symptom of the nut allergy. This is one of the reasons why nut allergies are so dangerous. Although it can also occur with any type of allergy, anaphylaxis found to be much more common with nuts. Since most allergies show mild reactions in most some patients while other types such as allergy to parabens produce serious symptoms in a very small percentage of people, anaphylaxis is the most common reaction in nut allergies. Therefore it is important to know if you are truly allergic to nuts. In most cases, the first indication would be when you have a severe reaction.
As an allergic reaction, anaphylaxis affects the whole body. Once it occurs, a protein called histamine will be released into the body, and this will dilate your blood vessels. This, in turn, causes your body to swell up, and your blood pressure starts dropping to dangerously low levels. People who are allergic to nuts often carry epinephrine pens so that they can administer the treatment immediately they notice the symptoms.
The other most common symptoms are asthma and a rash. Asthma results when an allergic reaction causes your airway to become inflamed. This further makes breathing difficult as the airway has been impaired. Similarly, a rash caused by a nut allergy can occur and spread very quickly. This makes nut allergies to be more severe than other allergy types.
The problem with trying to ascertain whether you are allergic to nuts is that the symptoms for most of the allergies are similar. This is less of an issue with nut allergy symptoms since they are intense and they do react very quickly. Frequently, it is pretty evident that the reaction was caused by nuts. Nevertheless, you can't be too sure until you undergo an allergy test, carried out by your doctor. If you are confirmed to be allergic, he will probably prescribe an epinephrine pen in case you have any reaction.
Allergy to nuts chiefly occurs in children but can also occur in adults. Similar to other allergies, it is best treated by avoiding some of the foods that originate from the source of allergen - particularly nut particles, oils and tree nuts. However, when not treated immediately, it could lead to a severe case of allergies called anaphylaxis (as mentioned above), which requires immediate medical attention and Epinephrine injections.
Avoiding All Types of Nuts
If you are allergic to nut, then it is advisable that you avoid any foods that have been cross contaminated with nuts or foods that contain nuts. Generally, people with severe nut allergy can't risk their food coming in contact with any type of nuts, which means that they only consume foods that were produced in a nut-free environment.
Even if the ingredient doesn’t contain nuts or nut products, it is likely that the food has been contaminated because it was produced with the same equipment that made another type of nuts related foods. So, it is important that you look for foods that specifically say "nut-free" in order to be sure it is safe for your consumption. A lot of these brands will include a note on the back of the food with the inscription "Made in a nut free facility."
Severe or moderate Nut Allergies
Since contact with nuts can cause a break out of serious rash in some people or even affects their breathing, individuals who are suffering from nut allergies, either severe or moderate need to be careful about their exposure to nuts. If you are gifting chocolate to your friends with a nut allergy, be sure to buy a brand that is safe for that person to eat.
In addition, with your family and friends, ensure to check the potentials of food allergies so that you can make provision for their food requirements if you are making them a meal or giving them a gift. It is also important to be aware of the food allergies for people around you, to avoid giving them foods that could potentially raise their allergies.
Nut Free Chocolate Bars
Naturally, chocolate is free of nuts, but there are a lot of brands that include nuts to some of their chocolate products. If you are planning to eat chocolate or give it out as a gift, make sure you read the label to ensure that you are buying nut free chocolate bars with a less risk of cross contamination.
To give you the peace of mind and know that you can eat your chocolate without any negative health effects, there are different brands that produce allergy free chocolates to choose from.
Thus, one of the most cost-effective and effective ways to solve nuts allergy is the avoidance of nut-containing foods. Until a cure is known, read the labels of every food that you buy or give out. This is because the production processes change continuously, hence the need to re-read the labels each time you buy a product.
During an allergic attack, several histamines and antibodies are released into the blood stream in an attempt to abrogate the nut protein; known to be the major causes of most food allergies. Why some people overreact to particular proteins is still unclear, and more studies are required for its explanation. Over time, however, food allergies can become worst, and the more times you are exposed to its allergens, the worst the symptom can become.
A lot of over the counter products and common Vitamins can help with Nut Allergies like Glucosamine, Allergy Aid, Quercitin, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Eucalyptus, and M.S.M.
Coping With Nut Allergies
If you notice that something is wrong with your child, first check the symptoms of nut allergies to check if it has anything to do with what he or she eats. Common symptoms of this allergy include inflammation and hives, skin reactions like rashes, swelling, itching, and eczema.
Otherwise, nut allergies could also cause some gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, stomach pains, and vomiting. Some severe cases also include loss of breath, nausea, rapid heartbeat, wheezing, running nose and itching around the areas of the mouth.
Consult your doctor for immediate treatment if your child experiences more than four of the above symptoms. While your doctor could prescribe epinephrine injections, it can’t cure the allergies for good.
As earlier indicated, the most effective way to avoid these allergies is through monitoring your child's diet. Ensure that all his or her meals, sweets, and other food items do not contain any of the contributing factors of nut allergies.