Signs and Symptoms of Nut Allergies

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Are the signs of nut allergies different than those of peanut allergies?

Many people who have an allergic reaction after eating a peanut butter sandwich or foods containing peanuts also have a similar reaction when they eat tree nuts. According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), 25 to 50 percent of people with a peanut allergy are also allergic to tree nuts.

The most common allergic reaction to nuts

The most common allergic reaction to eating nuts is an upset stomach. If you eat a dessert that contains nuts or banana nut bread, you may develop nausea, vomiting or pain in your stomach. It is also possible to develop diarrhea as an allergic symptom to eating tree nuts. These symptoms usually start only a few minutes after eating almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts or other nuts.

Other symptoms of an allergic reaction to nuts

Sometimes people with nut allergies develop either a runny nose or they become congested after eating foods with nuts. They might also sneeze and their nose begins to itch. These symptoms usually begin suddenly after eating tree nuts.

Another symptom that could happen is an increased heartbeat after eating a food containing nuts. You might begin to feel dizzy and feel your heart racing.

Hives may develop on part or all of your body after eating nuts if you are allergic to them. These welts itch and may become swollen. Sometimes a person breaks out in a rash or in hives on their hands after handling nuts or foods containing nuts. It is also possible to develop itching in your mouth or on your face around your mouth.

If you have asthma in addition to a nut allergy, you may begin to wheeze if you eat a food containing nuts. You will need to use your rescue inhaler to lessen the wheezing, and get emergency treatment at the hospital if you continue to wheeze.

Getting tested for nut allergies

Unless you have had a serious allergic reaction to tree nuts, there is no way to know if you are allergic to them without getting tested. Your allergist may want to do a blood test, especially if you have a peanut allergy.

Both peanut allergies and tree nut allergies can be very serious. Both can cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction that requires immediate emergency care.

If you are allergic to peanuts, or if you have a child who is allergic to peanuts, you may want to avoid tree nuts until you know that you or your child is not allergic to them.

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