What Is Nut Allergy
An allergy occurs when your body’s immune system, which normally fights infection, overreacts to a substance called an allergen. Most allergens are not obviously harmful and they have no effect on people who are not allergic to them. Allergic reactions to allergens can vary from mild to life-threatening.
Both peanuts and tree nuts can act as allergens, and can cause an allergic reaction in some people. When you come into contact with something that you are allergic to , a group of cells in your body, called mast cells, release a substance called histamine. Histamine causes the tiny blood vessels in the tissues of your body to leak fluid which causes the tissues to swell. This results in a number of different symptoms.
Strictly speaking, peanuts are not nuts, they are legumes, in the same family as peas and beans. Peanuts grow underground whereas other nuts grow on trees. The word nut in this leaflet can mean either tree nuts or peanuts.
See also the separate leaflets called Allergies and Food Allergy and Intolerance for more information about allergy in general.
Allergy Blood Test Vs Skin Test
Allergy blood tests are used to find out if you have an allergy. One type of allergy blood test called a total immunoglobulin E test measures the overall number of immunoglobulin E antibodies in your blood. Another type of allergy blood test called a specific IgE test measures the level of IgE antibodies in response to individual allergens.
In allergy blood test, a health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.
What do the allergy blood test results mean?
If your total immunoglobulin E levels are higher than normal, it likely means you have some kind of allergy. But it does not reveal what you are allergic to. A specific immunoglobulin E test will help identify your particular allergy. If your results indicate an allergy, your health care provider may refer you to an allergy specialist or recommend a treatment plan.
Your treatment plan will depend on the type and severity of your allergy. People at risk for anaphylactic shock, a severe allergic reaction that can cause death, need to take extra care to avoid the allergy-causing substance. They may need to carry an emergency epinephrine treatment with them at all times.
What To Expect At The Immunologist
To decide on the best course of treatment, an immunologist needs to know whatâs causing the allergic reaction. Youâll be asked for a detailed description of your symptoms and their possible triggers.
The immunologist will perform a series of tests to identify the allergen or substance thatâs causing your reaction. Each test contains tiny amounts of possible allergens that may trigger an immune response.
The testing includes:
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Reasons To See An Immunologist
The immune system is a complex combination of organs, cells, and chemicals that protect your body from harmful bacteria, viruses, or other attackers. Disorders of the immune system are serious and need to be addressed by a specialist.
When youâre sick or have an allergic reaction, your immune system isnât working the way it should. Decades ago, immune disorders were considered rare. Now, through improved testing and diagnosis, immunologists can find and treat diseases immediately. When you know whatâs causing your disease, you can reclaim your health and prevent further damage to your body.
What Does An Allergist Test
An allergist can order, analyze or perform a wide variety of diagnostic and screening tests for allergies, immune system problems, and general health issues including:
Blood tests including RAST and IgE antibody testing to help identify allergies and the substances that cause them
Elimination test to help diagnose a suspected
Evaluation of an allergy symptoms log in which you document your symptoms, what seems to trigger them, when they occur, how severe they are, and how long they last
General health tests including complete blood count , urinalysis, , blood glucose test, liver and kidney function tests, cholesterol panel, thyroid hormone tests, and blood pressure screening
Provocation tests to help identify various allergens by eating or inhaling small but increasing amounts of different substances and watching for a reaction
Skin testing to help identify various allergens by inserting a small amount of possible allergens under the skin and watching for a reaction
Tests for breathing and asthma including lung function tests and bronchoprovocation tests
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Why See An Atlanta Allergy & Asthma Allergist
All of the physicians at Atlanta Allergy & Asthma are certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology and participate in the rigorous Maintenance of Certification program required by this board. This ensures that we continue to provide the most up to date, state of the art care for our patients.
Atlanta Allergy & Asthma is the largest allergy practice in Georgia with 17 locations. With more than 45 years of serving the Atlanta communitywe have grown to be one of the largest and most trusted allergy practices in the country. We are also the only National Allergy Bureau certified pollen counting station in the Atlanta area. Our daily pollen count is based on scientific data and is a trusted resource for media outlets. Individuals receive the daily count in order to better manage their specific allergies. This service is provided free of charge..
We are committed to providing our patients with the best care and resources for their allergies, asthma, food allergies and immune diseases. Take the first step toward improving your health and quality of life.Schedule your appointment today.
What A Dermatologist Does
A dermatologist is a specialist in the treatment and management of the skin. In addition to treating skin, dermatologists also treat hair and nails. As specialists, dermatologists not only complete pre-med programs and four years of medical school, but they must also successfully complete a one-year internship and three years of residency. This long course of education is necessary to treat an organ as extensive as the skin. You will look to a dermatologist to treat acne, melanoma, eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis, among numerous other conditions. Some dermatologists are responsible for carrying out cosmetic procedures such as facelifts, Botox injections, and lip fillers as well.
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What Happens During An Allergy Skin Test
You will most likely get tested by an allergist or a dermatologist. You may get one or more of the following allergy skin tests:
An allergy scratch test, also known as a skin prick test. During the test:
- Your provider will place small drops of specific allergens at different spots on your skin.
- Your provider will then lightly scratch or prick your skin through each drop.
- If you are allergic to any allergens, you will develop a small red bump at the site or sites within about 15 to 20 minutes.
An intradermal test. During the test:
- Your provider will use a tiny, thin needle to inject a small amount of allergen just below the skin surface.
- Your provider will watch the site for a reaction.
This test is sometimes used if your allergy scratch test was negative, but your provider still thinks you have an allergy.
An allergy patch test. During the test:
- A provider will place small patches on your skin. The patches look like adhesive bandages. They contain small amounts of specific allergens.
- Youll wear the patches for 48 to 96 hours and then return to your providers office.
- Your provider will remove the patches and check for or other reactions.
The Differences Between Allergies And Colds
Though they may share many signs and symptoms, allergies and colds are different in important ways. An allergy is medical condition that causes an adverse bodily response to a food, drug, insect bite, seasonal allergen, or environmental allergen. Symptoms can be mild or severe from itchy or watery eyes, sneezing, hives, or coughing to life-threatening anaphylaxis. In these severe reactions, symptoms commonly include tightening of the air passages swelling of the face, mouth, eyes, and throat severe vomiting and even heart failure.
Patients with a history of severe reactions or who are at risk for anaphylaxis must exercise caution around trigger allergens. They are advised to always carry life-saving emergency medication, such as epinephrine, in case they are exposed to something theyre allergic to.
Allergies, colds, and viral upper respiratory tract infections affect many people and share symptoms such as nasal congestion, runny nose, and sneezing, explains Dr. Lighvani. But there are some key clinical differences that can help us distinguish between these very common conditions.
Allergies are typically associated with significant itching of the eyes, nose, and throat and clear nasal discharge related to local histamine release, Dr. Lighvani says. And despite the term hay fever, allergy sufferers rarely experience actual fever, which is a more typical feature of viral and/or bacterial upper-respiratory infections.
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Who Should See An Allergist
Your primary doctor can often monitor and treat mild allergies, such as seasonal . Your doctor will likely refer you to an for allergies or immune system diseases that are ongoing or more difficult to control or diagnose, such as allergy-induced . Seeing an allergist for early treatment and preventive care is the best way to ensure optimal treatment, live comfortably with fewer symptoms, and reduce the risk of life-threatening allergy complications, such as anaphylaxis.
What Does An Allergist Treat
Allergy and immunology doctors treat conditions and diseases that affect your immune system, including:
Allergic skin conditions including and
Allergies to insect stings including bees, wasps and hornets
Allergy-related conditions including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, , and respiratory syncytial virus infection, all of which are linked to or worsened by allergies
, which is a life-threatening type of allergic reaction that affects the entire body
Asthma, which is commonly triggered by allergies
Drug allergies including allergies to penicillin and other
Environmental and including hay and allergies to dust, dust mites, pollen, mold, and animals
Food allergies including allergies to eggs, milk, nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish
, which are raised, itchy red areas or welts on the skin
Latex allergy, which is an to allergens in latex such as latex gloves
Primary immunodeficiency disorders, which are inherited immune system disorders that make the body less able to fight infections and more susceptible to serious complications
Sinusitis, which is an inflammation of one or more of the sinuses
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Study Design And Patients Characteristics
This study included a total of 172 children . All patients underwent a SPT with cashew nut extract and a DBPCFC test with cashew nut. The mean age of the children was 8.8 years , with 102 boys and 70 girls . Symptoms consistent with eczema were reported by 65 children , with asthma by 52 children and with hay fever by 89 children . Medical ethical approval was obtained and all patients signed informed consent.
What Will Ent Do For A Sinus Infection
Sinusitis has varying degrees of severity. For a mild sinus infection, an ENT may advise using conservative care including a decongestant and/or nasal spray. More serious infections may require the use of antibiotics, nasal irrigations, steroids and even surgery. Chronic sinusitis symptoms can be alleviated by avoiding triggers which may include allergens or fungi.
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Immunologist Education And Training
Immunologists in the United States spend at least 9 years training — after earning a bachelorâs degree. The education process that follows includes:
- 4 years of medical school
- 3 years of training in their specialty, typically pediatrics or internal medicine
- Passing an exam and receiving certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine or American Board of Pediatrics
- A 2-year immunology and allergy fellowship
- A final exam to receive certification from the American Board of Allergy and Immunology
Doctors with ABAI certification have an in-depth knowledge of the immune system, immunochemistry, and immunobiology. Theyâre experts in diagnosing and treating autoinflammatory and inflammatory disorders.
How Do I Know If I Need An Allergy Test
If youre allergic to allergens in the air like dust, pollen or pet dander, you may develop allergic rhinitis. Also known as hay fever, this allergic reaction causes:
Food allergy symptoms typically occur within 30 minutes of food ingestion but may occur up to two hours after ingestion. People with food allergies may experience:
- Skin symptoms such as hives, swelling of the face, lips or tongue, generalized itching.
- Respiratory symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest or throat tightness.
- GI symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain and cramps, vomiting and diarrhea.
- Cardiovascular symptoms such as pale skin, weak pulse, dizziness or lightheadedness.
People who are allergic to latex, fragrances or metals like may develop contact dermatitis. This allergic reaction affects your skin. You may have:
- Burning sensation on skin or .
- Skin rash or itchy skin.
A patch test, performed by a dermatologist, is used to diagnose these types of reactions.
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For Mild Allergic Response Start With Your Family Doctor
A variety of doctors can evaluate your mild food allergy: family medicine physician, pediatrician, internist, nurse practitioner, physician assistant. If your allergy is persistent or getting worse or perhaps you cant identify what is triggering it, you can consult an allergy specialist. An allergy specialist, and there are pediatric varieties, can tell you with some certainty what foods are triggering the response and make evaluations of your lifestyle and recommend changes which may positively impact your health. A dermatologist can also help with allergy related eczema. A pulmonary specialist can be consulted if asthma is also present and creating a more stressful allergic response.
How Common Is Nut Allergy And Who Gets It
In the UK about 2 in 100 children and about 1 in 200 adults have an allergy to nuts. The number of people with peanut allergy is growing.
Nut allergy is the most common type of severe food allergy. It often starts when children are very young. Most first allergic reactions take place when a child is between 14 months and two years old. Unlike other food allergies such as milk allergy, nut allergy is something that you are unlikely to grow out of. Only about 1 in 5 people with a nut allergy will grow out of it, and these tend to be the people who have mild reactions.
If you have what is called atopy, or if atopy runs in your family, then you are more at risk of developing an allergy to nuts. Atopy is the name for a group of allergic conditions that include hay fever, asthma and eczema. In particular, children who have eczema are more likely to develop a nut allergy. If you have an allergy to peanuts then you may also react to tree nuts.
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Indications For Doing Skin Prick Testing
Skin prick testing is most often used to demonstrate atopy. Atopy is characterised by an overactive immune response to environmental factors and has a strong genetic component. It usually manifests clinically as one or more of the characteristic disorders of asthma, , or hay fever . The results from skin prick tests can be used to guide the management of patients with asthma and hay fever, for example, to paln desensitisation to a certain allergen, removal of a family pet, removal of carpets, and avoidance of certain foods. It is also useful in patients with bee and wasp stings, and , especially if is being considered.
Skin prick testing is generally unhelpful in the investigation of , chronic urticaria and , food intolerances, dermatitis herpetiformis, and nonspecific rashes.
Overall, skin prick tests can provide confirmatory evidence for a diagnosis made on the patients history and clinical condition.
Who Develops Asthma Or Allergies
Asthma and allergies can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, race or socioeconomic factors. While its true that asthma and allergies are more common in children, they can occur for the first time at any age. Sometimes allergy symptoms start in childhood, disappear for many years and then start up again during adult life.
Although the exact genetic factors are not yet understood, there is a hereditary tendency to asthma and allergies. In susceptible people, factors such as hormones, stress, smoke, perfume or other environmental irritants also may play a role.
I wonder how many other people out there are going about their lives, maybe even pushing themselves like I was, unaware that they have asthma or another respiratory condition.
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When Do You Need To Call A Sinus Doctor
A runny nose or sinus congestion happens to everyone, often occurring when a person gets sick with the common cold. Even though these illnesses are uncomfortable, they often clear up on their own within a few days. But if home remedies and rest dont help you heal, then it might be time to talk to a doctor.
When health symptoms arise, its common for people to call their general physician for an appointment. These visits can be helpful for basic diagnosis and medical care. But dont underestimate the importance of talking to a specialist when needed.
For example, an ear, nose, and throat doctor has more experience treating conditions relating to these areas of the body. This experience can improve your treatment, resulting in faster relief from your health concerns.
What Does An Asthma Attack Feel Like And What Happens During An Attack
An asthma episode feels somewhat like taking deep breaths of very cold air on a winter day. Breathing becomes harder and may hurt, and there may be coughing. Breathing may make a wheezing or whistling sound.
These problems occur because the airways of the lungs are getting narrower. The muscles that surround the airways tighten, the inner lining of the airways swells and pushes inward, and the membranes that line the airways secrete extra mucus, which can form plugs that further block the air passages. The rush of air through the narrowed airways produces the wheezing sounds that are typical of asthma.
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