What Is The Best Approach To Treating A Tree Nut Allergy
Each of the listed tree nut allergy treatment options offers short-term prevention against allergic reactions. There is, however, a long-term approach that could enable a patient to continue eating tree nuts. Oral immunotherapy treatment is an effective approach offered by a small number of expert allergists like Dr. Chacko.
What is oral immunotherapy? This treatment involves giving periodic doses of a tree nut allergen to a patient to build up immune system tolerance. Patients start the process at a food allergy clinic, building up initial tolerance under close supervision. Subsequent doses can be taken at home according to a predetermined schedule. In successful cases, individuals can introduce tree nuts back into their diet without fear of an allergic reaction.
How Do You Test For A Tree Nut Allergy
Tree nut allergy is usually diagnosed based on a history of reactions after eating a tree nut, and may be confirmed using a blood test or a skin test called a prick test, said Lovenheim. Due to the higher than preferred rates of false-positive results from blood tests and prick tests, physicians will not make the diagnosis based on the test results alone. A history of a reaction after ingestion is usually required. If no such reaction is noted by the family, then a patient is often asked to ingest a small amount of tree nut under the supervision of an allergist. This is called an oral food challenge.
This sort of food challenge should always be performed in a proper medical setting and never attempted at home.
Understanding Tree Nut Allergies
Tree nut allergy is one of the eight most common food allergies. Tree nut allergies are an allergic reaction to the proteins found in tree nuts, including hazelnuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios. It is estimated that 32 million Americans have food allergies, and according to studies published in 2018 and 2019, 6.1 million Americans were allergic to peanuts and 3.9 million were allergic to tree nuts.
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What Is The Most Common Tree Nut Allergy
Tree nut allergies are some of the most common food allergies, affecting nearly 0.5%-1% of people in the U.S. Examples of tree nuts include:
- Pine nuts
- Lychee nuts
The most common nut allergies are cashew, walnut, hazelnut and pistachio. In the U.S. the most common nut allergy is cashew, followed by walnut. In the U.K. the most common nut allergy is hazelnut. Even in smaller quantities, cashew and pistachio allergies can cause severe reactions as compared to other tree nuts.
Surprised that peanuts arent mentioned in the list? True, peanut allergy is more common. But peanuts are legumes, not tree nuts. If you have a peanut allergy, however, its likely that you may have a tree nut allergy as well, since peanuts and tree nuts share some structural proteins. In fact, 25%-40% of people with peanut allergies are allergic to one or more tree nuts.
Related Allergies And Conditions
Patients with an allergy to certain types of tree nuts may find they also have reaction to other types of tree nuts. This is known as a cross-reaction. In addition, it is quite common for people with a tree nut allergy to be also allergic to peanuts, which are a type of legume, not a nut. Therefore, tree nut-allergic individuals need to use caution when consuming any type of nut or peanuts.
Patients allergic to tree nuts are at an increased risk for oral allergy syndrome characterized by an itching or swelling in the throat, palate, tongue or lips after consuming certain foods at certain times of the year. This is because of a similarity between a specific type of protein found in the food and in certain types of pollen.
There are several conditions that may be mistaken for a tree nut allergy such as food poisoning and food intolerances, sensitivity to food additives , and various other gastrointestinal conditions.
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What Foods Should Your Child Avoid If They Have A Tree Nut Allergy
Studies have found that between 12 and 24 percent of people with tree nut allergies are allergic to more than one type of nut, and 20 to 68 percent are allergic to peanuts. Common allergies that occur together are pistachio and cashew, as well as walnut and pecan.
We used to say that if youre allergic to one nut, you should avoid all of them, but now we dont do that, says Kim. If youre not really allergic to something, you shouldnt avoid it because you may become allergic to it later. Quality of life and nutrition are also reasons to keep some nuts in your diet.
Tree nuts can be found in a variety of packaged foods and prepared foods . Tree nuts also show up in non-food products that kids can get their hands on, such as beanbags, soaps and pet foods.
In Canada, food labels must include the specific nuts that are found in products, and you should always ask about nuts at restaurants. Different tree nuts are often processed in the same facilities, so you need to be aware of the possibility of cross-contamination. However, precautionary labels that warn of potential cross-contamination are voluntary, so contact the company if youre worried about a particular product.
Tree Nut Allergy Testing
Skin prick tests, blood tests, and oral food challenges are the three ways to test for a tree nut allergy. All are supervised by an allergist, and all test for specific types of tree nut allergies.
- When your child takes a skin prick test, an allergist pricks their forearm with a needle containing a specific tree nut protein. Then, the allergist closely monitors your child to see if an allergic reaction develops around the area where the skin was pricked.
- When your child takes a blood test, their blood is checked for IgE antibodies that respond to specific tree nut proteins.
- During an oral food challenge, your child eats small amounts of a specific tree nut under allergist supervision, to see if they develop an allergic reaction. This is the most accurate way to diagnose a tree nut allergy, but your child will need to take a different food challenge for each tree nut that they have a suspected allergy to.
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Tree Nut Allergy Safety In School And Work
If your child has a tree nut allergy, make sure to let both the school and their individual teachers know of their allergy. Any medication they might need, including an EpiPen if the reaction is severe, needs to be kept at the school in case of emergencies.
In elementary school, when they have assigned seating, it is easier to maintain a clean workspace for your child. As they go through middle and high school and beyond, make sure to have them wipe down the desk before they use it as there could be oils on the desk after someone ate a granola bar, for example.
The most dangerous moments for your child will be during school parties when parents bring in sweet treats to celebrate. You must teach your child that they cant participate in these events no matter how good the cupcake looks because we dont know if its safe.
Another dangerous moment is at the lunch table. While you might pack a safe lunch for your kid, there is no guarantee that they dont swap foods to share with friends at the table. This is another thing you need to teach your kids not to do.
In a work environment, you should inform your coworkers of your allergy and ask them to not eat tree nuts around you or your workspace, especially if your allergy is severe and anaphylactic. Making sure to wipe down surfaces is again important.
Treatment For Nut Allergies
The best way to treat an allergy to nuts is to prevent a reaction by staying away from them. Read menus and food labels very carefully when eating out or shopping.
New studies looking for treatment of peanut allergies have found that peanut immunotherapy drops administered under the tongue are safe and effective as treatment for peanut allergy, even in children as young as 1. They were also found to help significantly desensitize the patients to peanuts.
If you accidentally eat something with nuts in it, watch for signs of a serious allergic reaction , like trouble breathing or swallowing, tightness in your chest, stomach pain, vomiting, or a feeling of doom. These reactions can be life-threatening and need medical attention right away. You should:
- Lie down flat on your back.
- If you have epinephrine, use it and repeat after 5 to 15 minutes if your symptoms havenât gotten better.
If you have a nut allergy, carry two epinephrine auto-injectors at all times, and know how to use them.
Children with serious peanut allergies may benefit from using the drug Palforzia, which can help lessen symptoms theyâre exposed.
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What Can I Do
Consult your allergist or physician in order to obtain the advice and support needed to help manage your condition. Contact your allergy association for further information.
If you or anyone you know has food allergies and would like to receive information about food being recalled due to improper allergen labelling, sign up for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s e-mail Food Recalls and Allergy Alerts notification service available. When you sign up you will automatically receive timely food recall notifications.
Allergists recommend that if you do not have your auto-injector device with you that you do not eat. If an ingredient list says a product contains or may contain tree nuts, do not eat it. If you do not recognize an ingredient, if there is no ingredient list available or if you don’t understand the language written on the packaging, avoid the product.
Watch out for allergen cross-contamination!
Cross-contamination is the accidental transfer of an ingredient to a product that does not normally have that ingredient in it. Through cross-contamination, a food that should not contain the allergen could become dangerous to eat for those who are allergic.
Cross-contamination can happen:
How Long Does A Tree Nut Allergy Reaction Take To Develop
A tree nut allergic reaction may be immediate, but it could also be delayed and present hours after ingestion. A tree nut allergic reaction is typically what is called an IgE mediated reaction and involves the release of a product in your body called histamine. This release causes most of the symptoms often associated with an allergic reaction,’ Dr. Jay Lovenheim, D.O., F.A.A.P., of Lovenheim Pediatrics, told Scary Mommy.
Also good to know? Even after it seems as though your childs reaction has subsided, a second wave of symptoms may strike one to several hours later.
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Tree Nut Allergy: What To Eat And What To Avoid
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Tree nut allergies 101 everything you need to know to stay safe. Includes peanut vs tree nut allergies, a list of symptoms for tree nut allergies, and what you need to know to avoid tree nut allergy reactions.
The tree nut allergy is one of the most common allergies in children, with upwards of 1% of all peoples in the United States allergic to tree nuts, which is about 3 million!
If you are allergic to one tree nut, you may not be allergic to all of them, but I have found that many times people have a cross reaction to many tree nuts.
The nuts of the Tree Nut allergy include: almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, coconut, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts.
Tree nut allergies are one of the most severe allergies to have, with anaphylactic reactions common. If your child has suddenly developed a tree nut allergy, you do want to stress to them teh importance of being safe and how something might be changing, but it is to keep them healthy.
This article walks you though all aspects of a tree nut allergy, symptoms, waht to avoid, what you can still enjoy, and how best to manage your tree nut allergy.
Have You Experienced An Allergic Reaction To Tree Nuts
Due to the potential dangers from a severe reaction, tree nut allergy treatment is a primary concern for families in Atlanta. Some food allergies are outgrown over time, providing only temporary discomfort for children. However, tree nut allergies affect adults and children alike, with symptoms often persisting over many years. Here are some effective approaches to treating a tree nut allergy.
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If My Child Is Allergic To One Tree Nut Do They Need To Avoid All Tree Nuts
Even though “tree nut allergies” includes allergies to many types of nuts, if someone is allergic to one tree nut, that doesn’t mean they are allergic to all tree nuts.
Certain tree nuts are closely related, though.
Cashews and pistachios are closely related, and pecans and walnuts are closely related, since their proteins are very similar to each other.
Because of this, developing an allergy to one tree nut may make someone more likely to develop an allergy to a closely related tree nut. This is known as cross-reactivity.
Why does cross-reactivity happen? The proteins in closely related types of tree nuts are so similar to each other that someone’s immune system may start to treat these proteins exactly the same. This may cause an allergic reaction when specific IgE antibodies detect the proteins from either closely related tree nut. But not everyone with a tree nut allergy will experience cross-reactivity.
And even if cross-reactivity comes into play, many people with tree nut allergies are still only allergic to 1 or 2 types of tree nuts.
So, it’s worth working with an allergist to determine if your child can safely eat other types of tree nuts. Every child is different—your allergist will help you make an individualized plan for their unique needs. Until youve talked with an allergist, though, you may decide its safest to keep your child away from all types of tree nuts.
Allergist In Northeastern Illinois
To receive treatment for tree nut allergies, you will need a confirmed food allergy diagnosis. At Oak Brook Allergists, we can conduct allergy-testing for you or your child and determine the best treatment approach for maximum safety and the best quality of life.
To schedule an appointment with one of our allergists, call our clinic at 574-0460 or use our online request form. We proudly serve patients in our Downers Grove, Naperville, Elmhurst, and Plainfield locations.
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Understanding Tree Nut Allergies: Symptoms Treatment And More
What is a tree nut allergy?
A tree nut allergy is one of the most common food allergies in both adults and children. Allergic reactions to tree nuts can range from mild to life-threatening. You may be allergic to just one type of tree nut, or you could be allergic to several. Examples of tree nuts include:
- pine nuts
- lychee nuts
Being allergic to one type increases your risk for being allergic to others. Until your allergies are tested by your allergist-immunologist , you may be asked to avoid all tree nuts.
Severe Allergic Reaction Anaphylaxis
Peanuts and tree nuts are among the most common foods to cause severe allergic reactions. Severe allergic reaction is life threatening. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction include:
- difficult or noisy breathing
- persistent dizziness or collapse
- paleness and floppiness in young children.
If you, or a child in your care, have a severe allergic reaction , call triple zero for an ambulance. Do not stand or walk . Administer adrenaline via autoinjector , if available.
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When Shouldnt I Give My Baby Allergens
If you have a history of food allergies in your family, you will likely be very afraid of introducing common allergens into your babys diet. The research however suggests that you still should. Speak with your doctor and someone who is knowledgeable about the studies and findings cited above for guidance. Many doctors do not know or are not advocating for early allergen introduction despite this current body of evidence. If you have other children with allergies, or a family history of food allergies, youre likely going to be quite cautious about this idea of feeding allergens to your baby. I know I would feel that way! What you need to know is that the safest time to introduce these foods to your child is when they are infants. if it were me and I had a new baby, I would be doing this under medical supervision and very cautiously with small amounts. Knowing what this research has taught us however is that babies have milder reactions and benefit from early exposure to PREVENT the development of allergies, so holding off on introducing them to these foods could in fact support the development of food allergies.
The contraindications for holding off on introducing these allergens are two things:
Tree Nut Allergy: Symptoms And Foods To Avoid
Proteins found in many different types of tree nuts are a common cause of food allergy known as tree nut allergy. About 1% of the population suffer from tree nut allergies. Tree nuts are the hard, oily seeds of some trees, eaten raw or roasted, added to foods and sometimes also used to make edible oils. Tree nuts and their derivatives can be found in a variety of different foods as well as non-consumable products ranging from topical creams to shampoos.
Paradoxically, peanuts are not a type of nut but legumes like beans or peas, though some individuals allergic to tree nuts may be also allergic to peanuts. Other foods with the word nut in them that are not tree nuts include coconut , water chestnut , ginger nut and nutmeg .
Cooking, roasting or processing tree nuts does not reduce the allergic response they induce. Just like a , tree nut allergies can be triggered by a very tiny amount of offending substance , much smaller than other food allergies. Often, simply kissing or having skin-to-skin contact with someone who has just eaten tree nuts can cause an allergic reaction in very sensitive individuals.
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