Allergy to tree nuts and peanuts

Nut allergy is a condition defined as a hypersensitivity reaction of the patient’s immune system to the ingestion of certain foods, in this case, fruits of vegetable origin. We consider here almonds, hazelnuts, chestnuts and walnuts, among others.

Various sources specialized in the study of occupational risks, such as for example Prevent systemcalculate that the prevalence of this type of allergy is 1% of the population in the United States. That is, 1 in 100 people suffer from it. It is also estimated that 50% of school-age children are sensitive to one or more allergens.

While in the United States or France, peanuts are usually the main trigger of this pathology, other foods such as hazelnuts are the most common allergenic nut in Europe. If you want to know how to effectively deal with this process, read on.

What happens during the allergic reaction?

Second World Allergy Organization And, contrary to what many might think, allergy is not an immune overreaction. The defense system acts normally, since the problem lies neither in the type of response nor in its intensity, but in the objective.

When an allergen, a harmless substance that is mistaken for a threat, enters an individual’s body, the release of immunoglobulin E (IgE) begins. This is a type of antibody that promotes the release of inflammatory substances, which produces the clinical picture.

On the other hand, it is essential to point out that there is a fundamental difference between allergy and intolerance. The magazine Ámbito Farmacéutico warns us that the former is of immune origin, while an intolerance finds its cause in metabolic disorders, such as the lack of production of enzymes that digest the product, for example.

Nuts in bowls.
Nuts cause allergies in 1% of the population.

Symptoms of allergic reaction

Allergy symptoms depend on where the allergen enters and the level of reactivity of the patient’s immune system. Even so, bring them like the mayonnaise clinic Pick up on some of the common signs of a nut allergy. These are the following:

  • Tingling or itching in the mouth.
  • runny nose
  • Acne the whole body.
  • Swelling of the lips, face, throat or other parts of the body.
  • wheezing and abdominal pain.
  • Rapid drop in blood pressure, dizziness and even loss of consciousness.

Second Spanish Association of People with Food and Latex Allergies (AEPNAA), the symptoms appear from a few seconds after ingestion of the dried fruit up to two hours later.

Among other allergic responses, two different general clinical pictures can be distinguished:

  1. Oral Allergy Syndrome: It is mild in nature, as it triggers an allergic reaction that leads to itching and tickling in the mouth. It is very common to occur in people allergic to pollen, as some proteins in nuts are similar to those of these grains.
  2. Anaphylaxis: This is considered a serious complication, as it endangers the person’s life. It is characterized by narrowing of the airways, swelling of the throat and a sharp drop in blood pressure.

When to visit the doctor?

A visit to the allergist is necessary as soon as the patient suspects an allergy, nuts, pollen or any other compound. Also, it is always best to consult when the reaction is underway if possible, as this provides a lot of information to the practitioner.

On the other hand, in case of blockage of the airways, rapid pulse or difficulty breathing after ingestion of food, immediate emergency treatment is required. During an anaphylactic shock, every second counts.

Treatment and control

The best control for nut allergy episodes is, without a doubt, monitoring the affected person’s diet. It may seem obvious, but avoiding the consumption of nuts or their derivatives will always be the best solution.

An ID tag that can be worn as a bracelet is a good idea for patients with more severe allergic reactions. This prevents them from offering food with the allergen in question and reduces the possibility of coming into contact with the substance.

On the other hand, it can be contemplated that the patient carries an injection of adrenaline (epinephrine) with him. Second AEPNAA, this hormone increases blood pressure and dilates the bronchial tubestherefore it can fight the most severe cases of allergic reactions.

Nut allergy diagnosis and prevention

There is no certain diagnosis for allergy to nuts or other foods. The allergist doctor must collect various characteristics of the patient, such as symptoms and family history. If he deems it necessary, he will indicate the execution of a skin test.

Skin testing is on the horizon when suspicion is high. With a small subcutaneous injection of a liquid with the suspected allergen, the patient’s hyperreactivity to it can be confirmed.

Child with nut and peanut allergy.
In children, up to 50% of the infant population may be allergic to some substance.

Emergency plan if you have a nut allergy

As we have already mentioned, what is meant, in any case, is to avoid anaphylactic shock. Mild allergic reactions can be fought with antihistamines over the counter or prescription, but in severe cases an adrenaline rush is the only way out.

Every second counts and, therefore, the fact that the patient presents an identification card with their personal data and their allergic condition can make a big difference. In the midst of the confusion of despair, few are able to act with clarity among those around the person.

If the allergy sufferer does not have an adrenaline injection at hand, the patient should be transported to an emergency room. There the corresponding protocol will be established.

Nut allergies are usually mild.

As we have seen in these lines, allergy to nuts is a pathology that should not be underestimated in any case, even if it tends to be mild. Not all clinical pictures lead to a situation of anaphylaxis, but this probability must be contemplated.

Previous allergy consultations are recommended to determine sensitivities. The more information a person has about their immune response capacity, the easier it will be to limit adverse effects.

The post Nut and Peanut Allergy first appeared in research-school.



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