Tree Nut Allergy
Allergies to tree nuts can be a frustrating problem for kids and adults alike. Since children allergic to tree nuts have a 30-50 percent chance of also developing a peanut allergy, trigger foods can be very difficult to avoid.
However, the specialist physicians at Accent Allergy in Gainesville, FL can help you and your child with all your food allergy issues. They will help you learn to avoid allergy triggers, manage your allergies and what to do in case of an allergic reaction.
Tree nut allergy causes
All food allergies are caused by an over response by the body’s immune system to protein(s) found in certain foods. Tree nut allergies are no exception. Although there is likely a genetic component to tree nut allergy, the exact cause is still uncertain.
What we do know, however, is that people are rarely allergic to a single type of tree nut. Allergies to multiple nuts are usually present together, and may also include allergies to other, non-nut foods.
Unfortunately, tree nut allergies are typically lifelong. Only about 9 percent of children eventually outgrow their tree nut allergy. While only 0.5 percent of American kids have a tree nut allergy, these kinds of allergies are still among the most common food allergies.
|Some of the possible nuts that can cause allergic reactions
It’s important to know that, although they may also cause allergic reactions, peanuts are not truly a nut and are a separate allergen. Also, water chestnuts, butternut squash and nutmeg are not nuts, despite their names, and do not need to be avoided by those allergic to tree nuts.
Tree nut allergy symptoms
Luckily, most allergic reactions to tree nuts are mild. The symptoms are typically limited to a runny nose, stomach upset, nausea and itching of the mouth, eyes and face. However, you should know that tree nuts may also cause severe and potentially deadly reactions in some people. Symptoms that need immediate medical attention include throat swelling, difficulty breathing, seizures, loss of consciousness and shock.
At Accent Allergy, our doctors have the training and experience to guide you on how to manage allergic reactions, whether mild or severe. They’ll give you the knowledge and tools to be prepared to handle symptoms and avoid them in the first place.
Question: Is a coconut a tree nut?
Answer: Coconut is not a botanical nut; it is classified as a fruit, even though the Food and Drug Administration recognizes coconut as a tree nut.
Tree nut allergy treatment
It is a simple matter to have a suspected tree nut allergy confirmed by the experts at Accent Allergy. In-office skin testing is available and takes under an hour. The procedure is not painful and you’ll receive your results right away.
If a skin test is not appropriate because of a skin condition or due to certain medications, a RAST blood test can be drawn and sent off for analysis. Although results from this test aren’t immediate, it is still an excellent indicator of the presence of an allergy. Food elimination challenges can also be employed under the care of the specialist doctors at Accent Allergy. These tests carefully adjust your diet to look for allergic reactions.
Although there is no complete cure for tree nut allergies, most people find they are able to manage well with expert physician advice. Avoidance is the best form of treatment and includes reading labels, inquiring about ingredients at restaurants and being aware of possible exposures.
Remember that tree nuts may be present in:
- Foods fried in nut oils
- Nut butters
- Trail Mix
- Nut paste
- Ice cream treats
- Coconut products
Always check the label for nut allergy warnings. Also, those that are very allergic need to pay extra attention and see if the label warns that the food product was processed on machinery that is also used for tree nuts, as this small exposure may be enough to cause an allergic reaction.
Typically, products containing tree nuts that are not ingested do not cause allergic reactions. These include items like lotion with shea nut butter or walnut facial scrubs. However, you should ask your allergy specialist before using any such products to be safe.
If you or your child has a tree nut allergy or shows allergy symptoms, contact us! The allergy specialists at Accent Allergy can educate you and help you manage your allergy symptoms, keeping you in good health and enjoying life.
Accent Allergy & Sinus Center | 4340 W Newberry Rd #301 | Gainesville, FL 32607 | (352) 271-5389