An Introduction to Nut Allergies
Nut allergy symptoms can be as minor as a slight skin irritation or as serious as anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening reaction. According to WebMD.com, allergies to nuts cause more fatalities than any other type of allergy. As a result, it is imperative that people with nut allergies avoid nuts at all costs and gain a thorough understanding of what food products tend to contain nuts.
If you suspect that you or your child has an allergy to nuts, let your doctor know about it right away. Your doctor will be able to confirm the allergy or will determine other underlying causes of symptoms if a nut allergy is not the culprit. Even if you only experience a minor reaction to nuts, it is important to talk with your doctor since more serious reactions can happen in the future.
Symptoms of nut allergies can include:
- Skin redness or swelling
- Feelings of constriction in the chest area
- Tingling or itching sensation around the throat or mouth
- Digestive problems including nausea, diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal cramps
- Wheezing or shortness of breath
Individuals with severe nut allergies may experience anaphylaxis, which requires immediate emergency care.
The signs of anaphylaxis include:
- Constricted airways/difficulty breathing
- Increased pulse
- Shock with a rapid drop in blood pressure
- Loss of consciousness
- Feeling of lightheadedness
Any symptoms of allergic reaction to nuts should be addressed immediately. If severe reactions occur, seek emergency attention right away.
Many people live healthy lives with nut allergies. The key to living with nut allergies is to become educated about what types of foods contain nuts or nut derivatives. Always check ingredient labels when grocery shopping and tell waiters at restaurants that you have an allergy to nuts. The severity of your allergic reactions will determine just how cautious you will need to be.
If you have questions about nut allergies, contact your local doctor who will arrange for you to see a dietitian and nutritionist.