Nut Allergy

Nut Allergy

Nuts can cause allergic reaction in a small but significant section of the human population. In many cases, the allergic reaction that happens when coming in contact is severe enough to warrant instant medical care. The nuts that are of particular concern and which elicit a nut allergy are: cashews, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, almonds and pistachios.  Though technically not nuts, peanuts are also known a widely known cause of allergenic reaction.
Here we talk about the various types of allergies, as caused by different nuts, and now you can cope with them. 

Mechanism of Peanut and Tree Nut Allergy            

Nut allergy occurs when someone’s immune system starts reacting to harmless nuts in a way it may react to an attack of harmful substances – it mistakenly starts behaving as if nuts were some harmful substances. Under this mistaken reaction, the immune system starts producing antibodies to fight what it believes are harmful substances. The antibodies are called immunoglobulin (IgE) and these are the ones released whenever our bodies come under attack.
IgE antibodies trigger the release of chemicals like histamine into the body. Histamine is one of the most fundamental part of a our body’s makeup, but extra histamine can interfere with the correct functioning of one’s respiratory system, cardiovascular system and skin, causing symptoms like stomachache, vomiting, itchy hives, swelling and eczema.   

Nut Allergy Reactions

Reactions to nut allergy depend on person to person, and on the type of nut involved. Sometimes the same person will react differently to a nut – the exact reaction is not completely predictable for many. But for most, nut allergy can elicit quite predictable reactions.  For some, nut allergy only involves mild reaction, like hives or rashes on skin. But others may react with more extreme symptoms of nut allergy, such as vomiting or diarrhea or even worse symptoms requiring immediate medical attention.
Nut allergy affects the four major body system in the following manner:

  • Skin reactions are some of the most common nut allergy reactions. These include itchy skin, bumpy and red rashes, also known as hives, eczema or redness or swelling around the face.
  • Gastrointestinal system reactions include belly cramps, vomiting, nausea and diarrhea.
  • Nut allergy symptoms for respiratory system include runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, coughing and wheezing.
  • Cardiovascular system is affected by nut allergy so that a person may feel lightheaded, or in extreme cases, may faint.

Of the more extreme reactions, anaphylaxis is a sudden, life threatening reaction wherein the subject’s airways swell, and his or her blood pressure drops. This makes it hard for the subject or patient to breathe, resulting in loss of consciousness. The subject will need immediate medical attention in such cases.  

Avoiding Nut Allergy

You can avoid nut allergy by avoiding nuts that cause you allergy. This means eschewing all foodstuffs that may contain nut by reading their contents before you buy any processed or other foodstuffs. If you have to remember just one line from this article, then let it be this: if you are allergic to nuts, then do not buy foods that have nuts.

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