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Does Coconut Affect Nut Allergies

Diagnosis Of Coconut Allergy

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Since a tree nut allergy can cause life-threatening reactions, a reliable diagnosis is required:

  • Medical History: The doctor will go through the medical history to know about allergic reactions in the past and also in allergic reactions running in the family.
  • Blood tests: Blood tests or skin prick tests will be done to determine the presence of antibody IgE.
  • Oral food challenge: If the above tests do not furnish any results, then he may ask you to go for an oral food challenge. The allergic person will be given small amounts of the suspected allergen, and then the doses will be increased for a certain time. This test is done under the strict medical supervision of an allergist so that if any emergency arrives, all medical equipment must be on hand. So, you have to be in the hospital if you are undergoing this test.
  • Coconut dermatitis allergy is more common than food allergy: Some products such as cocamide sulphate, coconut diethanolamide, cocamide DEA, CDEA are coconut derivatives products, and these can lead to contact allergic dermatitis. These substances are found in some cosmetics, soaps, shampoos, moisturizers, and hand washes. So, if a person counters any blisters or rashes after a day or two of usage of any products, then he should consult the doctor immediately, and it may take several days to resolve.

What Happens With A Tree Nut Or Peanut Allergy

When someone has a nut allergy, the body’s immune system, which normally fights infections, 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 very hard to fight off the invader. This causes an allergic reaction.

Even a small amount of peanut or tree nut protein can set off a reaction. But allergic reactions from breathing in small particles of nuts or peanuts are rare. That’s because the food usually needs to be eaten to cause a reaction. Most foods with peanuts in them don’t allow enough of the protein to escape into the air to cause a reaction. And just the smell of foods containing peanuts won’t cause one because the scent doesn’t contain the protein.

Diagnosing A Tree Nut Allergy

It is important to seek advice from a Healthcare professional if a tree nut allergy is suspected. In the first instance, this will usually be your GP. They may arrange for allergy testing to be carried out or refer you to a specialist allergy service for skin prick testing and/or specific IgE blood testing to tree nuts. These tests help determine if a food allergy is likely although a positive test on its own does not diagnose food allergy. Allergy tests cannot predict how mild or severe an allergic reaction will be, or when an allergic reaction is likely to happen.

Alternative types of allergy testing other than those recommended by a Healthcare professional are not advised as these may be from an unreliable source with no value in diagnosing allergy and could lead to removing food from the diet that does not actually need to be avoided. If you are unsure, call Allergy UKs Helpline to be signposted to your nearest NHS or Private allergy service.

*If you have had cause for concern over tree nut allergy and have been avoiding these nuts, it is important not to reintroduce tree nuts back into the diet without medical advice. Advice on whether it is safe to eat specific tree nuts and whether there is a need to avoid peanut should be sought from your GP/allergy specialist*.

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Foods To Avoid When You Have Nut Allergies

Nix them when you cook, and look for them on food labels:

  • Nut butters: Almond, cashew, peanut, and others
  • Nut pastes. These include products like marzipan, almond paste, and nougat.
  • Nut oils. These include cold-pressed or expressed peanut oil, along with others.
  • Hydrolyzed plant or vegetable protein. These can have peanuts in them.
  • Peanut flour
  • Nut extracts, like almond extract

Treatment Of Coconut Allergy

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The best treatment for any food-borne allergy is to avoid that food throughout life altogether.

People with a nut allergy are advised to avoid all nuts and even the foods containing nuts. They must check salads, ice cream toppings, sauces, bread, desserts, and certain baked items.

Botanically, coconut is not a nut but a fruit, but Food and Drug Administration has recognized this as a tree nut. Though allergic reactions have been documented in coconut, people allergic to nuts can safely eat coconut. It is better to seek the medical guidance of an allergist before consuming coconuts in the diet.

Some of the top coconut allergy treatment options:

  • One must avoid contact with the allergen
  • One must take adrenaline injection in case there is an anaphylactic reaction
  • Antihistamines can be used
  • Bronchodilators are useful for asthmatic symptoms
  • Dietary modification may be required
  • No treatment is required for mild reaction
  • Antihistamines are useful for rhinitis allergy and allergy mediated skin conditions
  • Desensitization, that is getting used to the allergen
  • For treating anaphylaxis, hospitalization may be required
  • Most of the baked products contain coconut. One must check them out
  • Women also must purchase cosmetics carefully as some of them do contain coconut oil
  • One must check out all daily use products such as shampoos, creams etc. that they do not contain coconut oil

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Can You Be Allergic To Sperm

In rare cases, people have been known to have allergic reactions to proteins in their partners semen . Semen allergy isnt a direct cause of infertility. Signs and symptoms of semen allergy include redness, burning and swelling where the semen has contacted the skin, usually in the outer genital area.

Symptoms Of Nut Allergies

Each persons immune system is different and peanut, tree nut and seed allergies can cause diverse signs and symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. Many food allergies do not cause severe symptoms, but they can be life threatening in some people and should be taken seriously.Some people have negative or adverse reactions to food that are not caused by allergies. These can be caused by factors such as food poisoning, toxic reactions or food sensitivities . Although these are not allergic reactions, they are often mistaken for allergies. Mild allergic symptoms that can occur before a severe allergic reaction include:

  • raised red bumps of skin hives
  • swelling of the lips
  • tingling of the throat and mouth
  • itchy skin and rash
  • tightening of the throat
  • digestive symptoms cramps, stomach pain, nausea or vomiting.

If you or a child in your care have experienced any of these symptoms after eating peanuts, tree nuts or seeds, the risk of having a severe reaction after eating that food is greater than usual. Ask your doctor to refer you to a clinical immunology or allergy specialist.

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What Is A Coconut

If were getting botanical, the coconut is actually a fibrous one-seeded dry drupe. A drupe is a fruit with a hard stony outer layer enclosing the seed. The term comes from the word drupa, meaning overripe olive. A coconut, along with all drupes, have three layers: the exocarp , the mesocarp , and the endocarp .

Is Coconut A Tree Nut

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Theres a lot of confusion around the difference between peanuts and tree nuts. They may look similar, but theyre very different! Peanuts are legumes and, you guessed it, tree nuts are hard-shelled nuts that grow on trees. We cover this topic in a previous blog post!

Theres also a lot of confusion around the almighty coconut . Its pretty tricky to classifyits sweet and eats like a fruit, but it has a hard outer shell that needs to be cracked open like a nut. It also has the word nut in it.

Sois it a nut? A fruit? A seed? Can you be allergic? Read on to find out!

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Symptoms Of A Peanut Allergy

Most children and adults will develop an allergic reaction either immediately, a few minutes, and as long as a few hours after consuming a peanut or peanut derivative. Remember, some people are so allergic to certain foods that even touching the food or smelling the food can cause a reaction.

A list of probable reactions includes:

  • swelling, itching, or irritation of the mouth, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Asthma attacks
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Change of normal coloring of the skin
  • for light skin, check for signs of dark blue tints in the mucous membranes
  • for medium skin, check for signs of a gray-green tint in the mucous membranes
  • for dark skin, check for signs of gray or white tint in the mucous membranes

Why Do Products With Coconut State Contains Tree Nuts

So why does the FDA require coconut to be labeled as a tree nut? No one really knows for sure.

When the FDA passed the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act several years ago, they included coconut on their list of tree nuts. Therefore all products with coconut must make it recognizable or specifically note that tree nuts are found in the product.

Many researchers, organizations, and food manufacturers have contested labeling coconut as a tree nut for years. But its very hard to get the wording of a law changed.

The EU does a little bit better job with tree nut allergy labeling. Food manufacturers cant just list tree nut allergy. They have to call out which tree nut specifically. And their list of tree nuts includes almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts. They specifically state Other types of nuts, and other foods which are not nuts , are not named in the rules.

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Interesting Facts About Coconuts

Well leave you with some fun facts about coconuts you may not knowthese factoids were definitely new information to us!

– Coconuts are often called the Tree of Life because every bit of the coconut can be used. Coconut trees can produce drinks, fiber, food, fuel, utensils, musical instruments, and more!

– The oldest reference to coconut appears to come from an Egyptian traveler named Cosmas from the 5th century AD. Scholars believe his reference to the nut of India was the coconut.

– It takes 11-12 months for a coconut to mature.

– Coconut is a perennial plant that bears fruit continuously 12-13 times each year, for up to 6070 years, yielding between 30 and 75 coconuts every year.

– When intravenous solution was short in supply during WWII and the Vietnam War, doctors used coconut water as a substitute.

– The main coconut producing countries are the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Papua New Guinea, and the Pacific Islands.

Do you or someone you know have a coconut allergy? Please share your story in the comments below if so!

– Meg & the Allergy Amulet Team

This article was written by the Allergy Amulet team and reviewed by Allergy Amulet advisors Dr. Jordan Scott and Dr. John Lee. Coconut facts are courtesy of the Library of Congress and this journal article.

Is Coconut A Nut

Nut Allergy by mattie.thompson

Coconut is still technically considered a fruit, but the FDA grayed those lines. Even the Library of Congress tackled this hot topic and concluded that the coconut can be classified as a nut, a fruit or a seed according to their loose definitions.

Coconut is considered a drupe, or a fruit with a hard covering over the seed. But because nuts are defined as a one-seeded fruit, the coconut fits both descriptions. While the ins and outs of coconut classifications may put us non-botanists in a daze, its a crucial decision for anyone with a tree nut allergy.

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What Are Peanut And Tree Nut Allergies

Peanuts are among the most common allergy-causing foods, and they often find their way into things you wouldn’t expect. Take chili, for example: It may be thickened with ground peanuts.

Peanuts aren’t actually a true nut they’re a legume . But the proteins in peanuts are similar in structure to those in tree nuts. For this reason, people who are allergic to peanuts can also be allergic to tree nuts, such as almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, pecans, and cashews.

Sometimes people outgrow some food allergies over time , but peanut and tree nut allergies are lifelong in many people.

Are Coconuts Tree Nuts

Is coconut considered a tree nut? After all, nut is part of the word. Technically speaking, a nut is defined as a one-seeded fruit. So with that loose definition, a coconut can also be classified as a nut. However, coconuts lack many of the proteins that people with tree nut allergies are sensitive to, so many people who have tree nut allergies can safely eat coconut without having an allergic reaction . For a complete list of every food the FDA considers a tree nut , check out #25 on this list.

In 2010, the Journal of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology published a study that digs into the relationship between sesame, coconut, and nut allergies in children. Researchers found that children with a peanut or tree nut allergy were not more likely to be allergic to coconut.

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Hidden Places For Coconut

Its also important that you avoid coconut in home décor. Right now, it is popular to have coconut bowls, coconut roping and macramé, and even coconut utensils. While they are a good eco-friendly option for the planet, they are not good for us with coconut allergies. When purchasing a bowl, for example, please make sure you ensure it is not from a coconut tree.

Also, you want to make sure that if you purchase any new cast iron cookware, the oil used to coat the cast iron is not coconut oil.

  • Perfumes are a place where coconut can hide.
  • Make up
  • Body paint around Halloween time

Preventing A Nut Allergy Reaction

Peanuts, tree nuts and coconuts – not all nuts are created equal.
  • Ask your server. Foods that don’t have peanuts or tree nuts in them can still get contaminated if theyâre made in the same place or with the same equipment as food that has the nuts. It can also happen in restaurants that use lots of ingredients, and even in ice cream parlors if equipment, like scoops, are shared.
  • Check the label each time you buy a product. Food makers sometimes change the recipe.
  • Look outside the kitchen. Nuts can also be in lotions, shampoos, and pet food. Check labels before you buy or use them.

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Is Coconut Safe For People With Tree Nut Allergies

I follow several food blogs, and after seeing repeated mentions of coconut oil, I became interested in trying it. A company graciously provided me with a few jars of their product to sample, and I turned to the for tips on how to use it. My readers know that my son is tree nut allergic, and they identified an issue Is coconut safe for people with tree nut allergies? I knew that my son had eaten coconut before, I remembered reading that it isnt a tree nut, but I wanted to be sure.

I searched online and found a dialogue from the Fall 2005 issue of Allergic Living magazine Ask the Allergists column with Dr. Wade Watson. He was asked by a mother of a peanut and tree nut allergic boy if coconut is a tree nut.

Dr. Watsons answer was: Coconut is a member of the palm family, which is not related to nuts or peanuts. Coconuts are large seeds adapted for water-born dispersal and remain viable after having floated in the sea for six months or more. If your son is allergic to peanuts or tree nuts, there is no reason for him to avoid coconut. I checked with Gwen Smith, the editor of Allergic Living magazine, to see if this answer remains correct, and she assured me Dr. Watson stands by that advice.

As with any ingredient, watch out for may contain nuts or tree nuts statements on labels, which reflect cross-contamination during processing. Otherwise, coconut gets the green light for people with tree nut allergies.

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Should I Avoid Coconut And Nutmeg If I Have A Tree Nut Allergy

Coconut and nutmeg are not considered tree nuts for the purposes of food allergen labelling in Canada and are not usually restricted from the diet of someone allergic to tree nuts. A coconut is a seed of a fruit and nutmeg is obtained from the seeds of a tropical tree. However, some people allergic to tree nuts have also reacted to coconut and nutmeg. Consult your allergist before trying coconut- or nutmeg-containing products.

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Coconut Allergy Is Relatively Rare

Coconut is a very different plant from peanut or tree nuts. The presence of the letters “nut” does not mean that coconut will trigger an allergic reaction in people allergic to peanut or tree nuts. Allergies to peanut and tree nuts are relatively common compared to allergies to coconut which are very rare. This suggests that the risk of coconut allergy in a person known to be allergic to peanut or tree nuts is very low. Therefore allergy testing to coconut is not considered as routine.

Coconut Milk Allergy Symptoms

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Allergic reaction to coconut is very rare, but there are also life-threatening cases reported. In 2013 published an article saying that a man died after ingesting coconut cream.

So, you shouldnt ignore if you ever experienced mild reaction.

Food and Drug Administration label coconut as a tree nut, because once a person who is allergic to walnut ingested coconut, he experienced allergic reaction. However, as mentioned coconut is a fruit.

Symptoms of coconut milk allergy are similar to coconut allergy. If youre sensitive towards water and meat, then certainly your immune system will react harshly towards its milk.

When a chemical reaction is triggered by IgE antibodies and histamine, skin rashes, eczema, hives, nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, wheezing, coughing, runny nose and life threatening situation can be experienced.

Swelling of lips, mouth and throat can also be experienced.

Products that include coconut derived ingredients like CDEA, cocamide sulphate, cocamide DEA and diethanolamide included in personal care products can triggers contact dermatitis.

Bisphenol A, a chemical ingredient is been included in canned coconut milk can be the mere cause of allergic reaction. There are several studies that found neurobehavioral changes with higher consumption of Bisphenol A.

Hypersensitive people must avoid guar gum and fructose malabsorption, as it may lead to very serious problems.


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