The Risky Symptoms of Tree Nut Allergies

Although for most people, tree nuts are a simple, healthy and delicious snack, tree nuts can actually be dangerous for some. These people suffer from what is called a tree nut allergy. This is an allergic reaction to one or more types of tree nuts. Various types of tree nuts include hazelnuts, pistachios, pine nuts, pecans, walnuts, chestnuts, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, and cashews. Generally, people experience a reaction to more than one of these nut types, but may not be allergic to them all. The allergy usually manifests when the patient is a child and, although a small percentage of children outgrow this allergy, most people continue to be affected by it their entire lives.

The reaction and symptoms caused by a tree nut allergy vary depending on the specific case and how much of the nut the person has come in contact with. Mild reactions to a tree nut may include a runny or itchy nose, itchiness around the mouth, watery eyes, sneezing, and possibly a swelling of the skin. If the person has handled the nut, the skin on their fingers may also swell or become itchy. Hives are another common reaction.

In more severe cases, or when a larger amount of the nut has been ingested, the symptoms can escalate. People may find that their throat seems itchy or tight, and wheezing may occur. Stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting may also occur. In the most severe cases, patients can experience an anaphylactic attack, in which the throat begins to close. People may lose consciousness or be unable to breath. This type of attack can be life-threatening, and requires emergency medical treatment.

Severe cases of an allergic reaction to tree nuts usually require a dose of epinephrine, which will help to ease breathing and reduce the symptoms of the attack. However, the best way to a tree nut allergy is to avoid tree nuts all together. Avoiding tree nuts will ensure that patients with a tree nut allergy are never put at risk. People with tree nut allergies should avoid all types of tree nuts, even if they believe they are only allergic to a few types. Caution is often the best practice. In addition, people with tree nut allergies will need to pay close attention to the ingredients in foods, soaps, lotions, and other beauty products.