Nut Allergies

Nut Allergies

Nut allergies can result in potentially life-threatening reactions for some people who have them. The exact reaction depends from person to person, and from time to time. But basically it consists of a physical reaction varying in intensity from uncomfortable wheezing to a full blown attack that results in unconsciousness and worse.
In this article we talk about the nuts that cause allergies, the biological mechanism behind nut allergies, and how to avoid them.

Different Nuts That Cause Nut Allergies

The types of nuts that can cause nut allergies are pine nuts, hazel nuts, Brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds, macadamias, pistachios, pecans and cashews. If you have nut allergy, you should also avoid nut oils of different kinds. Though peanuts are technically not nuts but legume, they too cause nut allergies, or allergies like nuts, because of their biological makeup.  Coconut and nutmeg too can provoke an allergic reaction in some people.
Apart from the nuts themselves, people with nut allergies should avoid any products that have nuts in them. This includes not just food stuffs like cookies and almost any dishes in a restaurant, but also non-food products like bean bags, massage oils, cosmetics or hair products etc.

Why do Nut Allergies Occur

Nut allergies occur when someone’s body mistakenly believes that the body s under attack by some harmful substances. The keyword is mistakenly. Under this false impression, the body’s immune system releases specific antibodies in its bid to fight the “invasion”. These fighting proteins are called immunoglobulin (IgE).
Immunoglobulin (IgE) then triggers the release and dispersal of certain immunological chemicals into the body as part of the natural process of the body’s immunological system. One of these chemicals is histamine, which by itself is required for the proper functioning of the human or any animal body. But in this case it starts to cause various perverse reactions in the body – these include sneezing, wheezing, stomachache, vomiting, hives and swelling on the low to moderate scale.
In the worst case scenario, you can end up with anaphylaxis, when one becomes unconscious due to the adverse effects of the nut allergies on the blood pressure.  You will need immediate medical attention in such a case.   

Peanut Allergies

Peanuts are actually legumes, but they have the same types of proteins as most nuts, the reason they can also give an allergic reaction to those susceptible to it. This is also the reason that people who are allergic to peanuts are also allergic to other tree nuts such as walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts etc. Peanut allergy is one of the most widespread of all nut allergies, just because of the widespread use of peanuts causes a lot more people to come in contact with them. If you have peanut allergy, or nut allergy of any kind, you should avoid peanuts and products with peanuts – such as the peanut butter jelly sandwich.
For more information about nut allergies, and to check whether you have them, contact your doctor or an allergist. Once you know that you do have nut allergies of one kind or another, always take care about the kind of nuts or products you come in contact with.

Back to Top