What symptoms can nut allergies cause
If you ponder you or your kid may own a food allergy, it’s extremely significant to enquire for a professional diagnosis from your GP. They can then refer you to an allergy clinic if appropriate.
Many parents mistakenly assume their child has a food allergy when their symptoms are actually caused by a completely different condition.
Commercial allergy testing kits are available, but using them isn’t recommended. Numerous kits are based on unsound scientific principles. Even if they are dependable, you should own the results looked at by a health professional.
Read more about diagnosing food allergies.
The best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to identify the food that causes the allergy and avoid it.
Research is currently looking at ways to desensitise some food allergens, such as peanuts and milk, but this is not an established treatment in the NHS.
Read more about identifying foods that cause allergies (allergens).
Avoid making any radical changes, such as cutting out dairy products, to your or your child’s diet without first talking to your GP. For some foods, such as milk, you may need to speak to a dietitian before making any changes.
Antihistamines can assist relieve the symptoms of a mild or moderate allergic reaction.
A higher dose of antihistamine is often needed to control acute allergic symptoms.
Adrenaline is an effective treatment for more severe allergic symptoms, such as anaphylaxis.
People with a food allergy are often given a device known as an auto-injector pen, which contains doses of adrenaline that can be used in emergencies.
Read more about the treatment of food allergies.
In the most serious cases, a person has a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), which can be life threatening.
Call 999 if you ponder someone has the symptoms of anaphylaxis, such as:
- trouble swallowing or speaking
- breathing difficulties
- feeling dizzy or faint
Ask for an ambulance and tell the operator you ponder the person is having a severe allergic reaction.
Most food allergies affect younger children under the age of 3.
Most children who own food allergies to milk, eggs, soya and wheat in early life will grow out of it by the time they start school.
Peanut and tree nut allergies are generally more endless lasting.
Food allergies that develop during adulthood, or persist into adulthood, are likely to be lifelong allergies.
For reasons that are unclear, rates of food allergies own risen sharply in the final 20 years.
However, deaths from anaphylaxis-related food reactions are now rare.
What causes food allergies?
Food allergies happen when the immune system – the body’s defence against infection – mistakenly treats proteins found in food as a threat.
As a result, a number of chemicals are released.
It’s these chemicals that cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Almost any food can cause an allergic reaction, but there are certain foods that are responsible for most food allergies.
Foods that most commonly cause an allergic reaction are:
- tree nuts
- some fruit and vegetables
Most children that own a food allergy will own experienced eczema during infancy. The worse the child’s eczema and the earlier it started, the more likely they are to own a food allergy.
It’s still unknown why people develop allergies to food, although they often own other allergic conditions, such as asthma, hay fever and eczema.
Read more information about the causes and risk factors for food allergies.
Types of food allergies
Food allergies are divided into 3 types, depending on symptoms and when they occur.
- non-IgE-mediated food allergy – these allergic reactions aren’t caused by immunoglobulin E, but by other cells in the immune system.
This type of allergy is often hard to diagnose as symptoms take much longer to develop (up to several hours).
- IgE-mediated food allergy – the most common type, triggered by the immune system producing an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE). Symptoms occur a few seconds or minutes after eating. There’s a greater risk of anaphylaxis with this type of allergy.
- mixed IgE and non-IgE-mediated food allergies – some people may experience symptoms from both types.
Read more information about the symptoms of a food allergy.
Oral allergy syndrome (pollen-food syndrome)
Some people experience itchiness in their mouth and throat, sometimes with mild swelling, immediately after eating unused fruit or vegetables.
This is known as oral allergy syndrome.
Oral allergy syndrome is caused by allergy antibodies mistaking certain proteins in unused fruits, nuts or vegetables for pollen.
Oral allergy syndrome generally doesn’t cause severe symptoms, and it’s possible to deactivate the allergens by thoroughly cooking any fruit and vegetables.
The Allergy UK website has more information.
What is food intolerance?
A food intolerance isn’t the same as a food allergy.
People with food intolerance may own symptoms such as diarrhoea, bloating and stomach cramps. This may be caused by difficulties digesting certain substances, such as lactose. However, no allergic reaction takes place.
Important differences between a food allergy and a food intolerance include:
- you need to eat a larger quantity of food to trigger an intolerance than an allergy
- the symptoms of a food intolerance generally happen several hours after eating the food
- a food intolerance is never life threatening, unlike an allergy
Read more about food intolerance.
Sheet final reviewed: 15 April 2019
Next review due: 15 April 2022
Bird JA, Jones S, Burks W.
Food allergy. In: Wealthy RR, Fleisher TA, Shearer WT, et al, eds. Clinical Immunology: Principles and Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 45.
Du Toit G, Sayre PH, Roberts G, et al; Immune Tolerance Network LEAP-On Study Team. Effect of avoidance on peanut allergy after early peanut consumption. N Engl J Med. 2016;374(15):1435-1443. PMID: 26942922 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26942922.
NIAID-sponsored expert panel, Boyce JA, Assa’ad A, et al.
Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of food allergy in the United States: report of the NIAID-sponsored expert panel. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010;126(6 Suppl):S1-S58. PMID: 21134576 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21134576.
Sicherer SH, Lack G, Jones SM. Food allergy management. In: Adkinson NF Jr, Bochner BS, Burks AW, et al, eds. Middleton’s Allergy: Principles and Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 84.
Togias A, Cooper SF, Acebal ML, et al. Addendum guidelines for the prevention of peanut allergy in the United States: report of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-sponsored expert panel.
J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017;139(1):29-44. PMID: 28065278 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28065278.
en españolAlergia a los frutos secos y a los cacahuetes
Oh, nuts! They certain can cause you trouble if you’re allergic to them — and a growing number of kids are these days.
So what helpful of nuts are we talking about? Peanuts, for one, though they aren’t truly a nut. They’re a legume (say: LEH-gyoom), love peas and lentils. A person also could be allergic to nuts that grow on trees, such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and pistachios.
When you ponder of allergies, you might picture lots of sneezing and runny noses.
But unlike an allergy to spring flowers, a nut or peanut allergy can cause difficulty breathing and other extremely serious health problems.
That’s why it’s very important for someone with a nut or peanut allergy to avoid eating nuts and peanuts, which can be tough because they’re in lots of foods.
How Is a Tree Nut or Peanut Allergy Treated?
There is no special medicine for nut or peanut allergies and numerous people don’t outgrow them. The best treatment is to avoid the nut. That means not eating that nut, and also avoiding the nut when it’s mixed in foods.
(Sometimes these foods don’t even taste nutty! Would you believe chili sometimes contains nuts to assist make it thicker?)
Staying safe means reading food labels and paying attention to what they tell about how the food was produced. Some foods don’t contain nuts, but are made in factories that make other items that do contain nuts. The problem is the equipment can be used for both foods, causing "cross-contamination." That’s the same thing that happens in your own home if someone spreads peanut butter on a sandwich and dips that same knife into the jar of jelly.
After checking the ingredients list, glance on the label for phrases love these:
- "may contain tree nuts"
- "produced on shared equipment with tree nuts or peanuts"
People who are allergic to nuts also should avoid foods with these statements on the label.
Some of the highest-risk foods for people with peanut or tree nut allergy include:
- ice cream
- Asian and African foods
- cookies and baked goods
- sauces (nuts may be used to thicken dishes)
Talk to your allergist about how to stay safe in the school cafeteria. Also enquire about how you should handle other peanut encounters, love at restaurants or stadiums where people are opening peanut shells.
People with nut allergies generally won’t own a reaction if they breathe in little particles. That’s because the food generally has to be eaten to cause a reaction.
Have an Emergency Plan
If you own a nut or peanut allergy, you and a parent should create a plan for how to handle a reaction, just in case. That way your teachers, the school nurse, your basketball coach, your friends — everyone will know what a reaction looks love and how to respond.
To immediately treat anaphylaxis, doctors recommend that people with a nut or peanut allergy hold a shot of epinephrine (say: eh-puh-NEH-frin) with them.
This helpful of epinephrine injection comes in an easy-to-carry container.
You and your parent can work out whether you carry this or someone at school keeps it on hand for you. You’ll also need to identify a person who will give you the shot.
You might desire to own antihistamine medicine on hand too for mild reactions. If anaphylaxis is happening, this medicine is never a substitute for epinephrine. After getting an epinephrine shot, you need to go to the hospital or other medical facility, where they will hold an eye on you for at least 4 hours and make certain the reaction is under control and does not come back.
What Will the Doctor Do?
If your doctor thinks you might own a nut or peanut allergy, he or she will probably send you to see a doctor who specializes in allergies.
The (allergy specialist) will enquire you about past reactions and how endless it takes between eating the nut or peanut and getting the symptoms, such as hives.
The allergist may also enquire whether anyone else in your family has allergies or other allergy conditions, such as eczema or asthma. Researchers aren’t certain why some people own food allergies and others don’t, but they sometimes run in families.
The allergist may also desire to do a skin test. This is a way of seeing how your body reacts to a extremely little quantity of the nut that is giving you trouble.
The allergist will use a liquid extract of the nut that seems to be causing you symptoms.
During skin testing, a little scratch on your skin is made (it will be a quick pinch, but there are no needles!). That’s how just a little of the liquid nut gets into your skin. If you get a reddish, itchy, raised spot, it shows that you may be allergic to that food or substance.
Skin tests are the best test for food allergies, but if more information is needed, the doctor may also order a blood test.
At the lab, the blood will be mixed with some of the food or substance you may be allergic to and checked for antibodies.
It’s significant to remember that even though the doctor tests for food allergies by carefully exposing you to a extremely little quantity of the food, you should not attempt this at home! The only put for an allergy test is at the allergist’s office, where they are specially trained and could give you medicine correct away if you had a reaction.
What Happens With a Tree Nut or Peanut Allergy?
Your immune system normally fights infections.
But when someone has a nut allergy, it overreacts to proteins in the nut. If the person eats something that contains the nut, the body thinks these proteins are harmful invaders and responds by working extremely hard to fight off the invader. This causes an allergic reaction.
What Are the Signs & Symptoms of a Nut Allergy?
When someone with a peanut or tree nut allergy has something with nuts in it, the body releases chemicals love histamine (pronounced: HISS-tuh-meen).
This can cause symptoms such as:
- dizziness or fainting
- a drop in blood pressure
- throat tightness
- itchy, watery, or swollen eyes
- trouble breathing
- anxiety or a feeling something bad is happening
Reactions to foods, love peanuts and tree nuts, can be diverse.
It every depends on the person — and sometimes the same person can react differently at diverse times.
In the most serious cases, a nut or peanut allergy can cause anaphylaxis (say: an-uh-fuh-LAK-sis). Anaphylaxis is a sudden, life-threatening allergic reaction. A person’s blood pressure can drop, breathing tubes can narrow, and the tongue can swell.
People at risk for this helpful of a reaction own to be extremely careful and need a plan for handling emergencies, when they might need to use special medicine to stop these symptoms from getting worse.
What Else Should I Know?
If you discover out you own a nut or peanut allergy, don’t be bashful about it.
It’s significant to tell your friends, family, coaches, and teachers at school. The more people who know, the better off you are because they can assist you stay away from the nut that causes you problems.
Telling the server in a restaurant is also really significant because he or she can steer you away from dishes that contain nuts. Likewise, a coach or teacher would be capable to select snacks for the group that don’t contain nuts.
It’s grand to own people love your parents, who can assist you avoid nuts, but you’ll also desire to start learning how to avoid them on your own.
What is nut allergy?
An allergy occurs when your body’s immune system, which normally fights infection, overreacts to a substance called an allergen.
Most allergens are not obviously harmful and they own no effect on people who are not allergic to them. Allergic reactions to allergens can vary from mild to life-threatening.
Both peanuts and tree nuts (for example, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, Brazils and pistachios) can act as allergens, and can cause an allergic reaction in some people. When you come into contact with something that you are allergic to (an allergen), a group of cells in your body, called mast cells, release a substance called histamine.
Histamine causes the tiny blood vessels in the tissues of your body to leak fluid which causes the tissues to swell. This results in a number of diverse symptoms.
Strictly speaking, peanuts are not nuts, they are legumes, in the same family as peas and beans. Peanuts grow underground whereas other nuts grow on trees. The expression nut in this leaflet can mean either tree nuts or peanuts.
See also the separate leaflets calledAllergies and Food Allergy and Intolerance for more information about allergy in general.