Food allergies can be nuts

Tree nuts are used widely in a variety of foods that we eat.  While almonds, cashews, and other tree nuts may be delicious, they can also be potentially life-threatening for the 3.9 million people in the U.S. who have a tree nut allergy.

Are you worried you or your child may be allergic to tree nuts? Allergy Group NJ can help. We offer comprehensive tree allergy testing and treatments, including a cutting-edge solution called oral immunotherapy (OIT).

 

What Are Tree Nuts?

Tree nuts grow on trees, in contrast to peanuts, which are legumes that grow in the ground. Some of the more common tree nuts are listed.

  • Almonds
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Cashews
  • Hazelnuts
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Pecans
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pistachio Nuts
  • Walnuts

Tree nut allergy begins in childhood, and roughly 50 percent of kids who are allergic to one tree nut are allergic to another. That means if a child has an almond allergy, there’s a good chance he/she also has a walnut allergy (or any other combination). 30% of children with peanut allergy also have a tree nut allergy.  The common severe tree nut allergies are due to cashews, pistachios, walnuts and pecans.  Similar to peanut allergy, if a child has has a severe nut allergy there is only a small chance of outgrowing it. 

Tree Nut Allergy Symptoms

Tree nut allergy symptoms can be difficult to spot since they’re similar to those you would see with other types of allergies. When you eat anything containing nuts or even foods that come in contact with nuts, you might notice symptoms like: 

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Diarrhea
  • Itching or swelling of the lips, tongue, throat, skin, or other areas

The most severe allergic reaction to tree nuts is anaphylaxis—a life-threatening episode that can cause severe hives, wheezing, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, seizing, trouble breathing, and/or chest pain. This is why food allergy testing is so important. 

Tree Nut Allergy Testing & Diagnosis

At Allergy Group NJ, our allergists will run a combination of skin tests, blood tests, and cutting-edge component blood testing to gain greater clarity about the risk for severe reactions and the actual tolerance to tree nuts. This will help us develop a comprehensive tree allergy treatment plan to help you and your family live life without the burden of tree nut allergies. 

Oral Immunotherapy (OIT): A Promising Tree Nut Allergy Treatment

While there’s no official cure for tree nut allergies, tree nut immunotherapy is the closest thing—and the doctors at Allergy Group NJ are sought after by patients throughout the tri-state area for this revolutionary treatment.

OIT gradually exposes you to small doses of tree nuts over time, desensitizing your body, retraining your immune system, and decreasing allergic reactions to nuts. We’ll work with you one-on-one to determine if tree nut OIT is right for you. 

Managing Your Tree Nut Allergy

We know that families affected by tree nut allergies can experience constant anxiety and stress. We’ll provide ongoing education and teach you the skills you need to prevent and manage an allergic reaction, should one occur.

It’s important to remember foods that don’t list almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachio nuts, or walnuts in the ingredients can still be contaminated with trace quantities through food preparation or manufacturing processes. Always be alert for signs of anaphylaxis and be prepared with an epinephrine injector (EpiPen or AuviQ). (See the Food Allergy Action Plan).