When a person experiences allergic reaction after consuming nut, this condition is referred to as nut allergy. Its symptoms are very severe and are linked with anaphylaxis. Two types of nuts that can lead to severe allergic reaction are cashew and walnut. Usually ninety percent children who suffer from nut allergies do not outgrow from their allergies. It remains throughout their life. There are a variety of nuts that can cause allergies. Some of them are:
- Macadamia nut
- Brazil nut
- Pine nut
- Hickory nut
- Gingko nut
- Hazel nut
It can be found in food items like cereal, ice cream, candy bars, macaroons, fudge, divinity, granola bar, caponata, trail mix and baked foods.
Symptoms of Nut Allergy
The symptoms of nut allergy are very severe and needs immediate treatment. Some of the symptoms are as follows:
- Hives, rashes or inflammation of the skin
Anaphylaxis: Nut allergy can also lead to fatal reactions known as anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis may also show other symptoms including the above mentioned symptoms. They are:
- Pain in chest or tightness
- Increase in heartbeat
- Tightness or swelling of the throat
- Severe difficulty in breathing
- Cramps and pain in abdomen
- Shocked, low blood pressure, dizzy feeling, may lose consciousness.
Treatment of Nut Allergy
The best way to avoid nut allergic reactions is to keep away from nuts. When a person suffers from anaphylaxis then one has to consult the medical expert immediately. If a person is already an anaphylaxis patient then that person should always carry two doses of epinephrine drug. In an emergency it is advisable to phone up 911 or the respective emergency number.
Other steps to keep away from exposure to nut and ensure quick treatment for nut allergy are as follows:
- Information: Children are usually affected by nut allergies. Therefore school authorities namely principal, teachers and other respective people should be informed in advance about the nut allergy, its symptoms and how to use the drugs. Also they should know to call the emergency care in serious case. Parents should also ensure that the child carries the drugs to school. Other family friends and relatives should also be informed about the allergy.
- One should always carry epinephrine (adrenaline) dose in case of emergency after consulting the medical experts.
- One can wear medical identification bracelet (in case of serious anaphylaxis) that explains the allergy and need for emergency care.
- One should read the food labels carefully and shop in stores that provide nut-free alternative food items. Also one should be very careful when eating in hotels. The person should clearly inform the hotel staff about the allergy. Since nut allergies have serious symptoms one should always discuss about the diet to the chef or hotel manager. The Greek cuisine is the riskiest one for allergic reactions as it uses walnut for common dish as well. Japanese and Latin American are amongst the safer cuisines. One can derive information about various nut-free recipes from the respective specialized books.