Nut allergy symptoms in children and adults and possible triggers at a glance
It has long been known that certain foods can trigger allergies. According to statistics, around 6% of Germans are affected. The nut allergy is particularly dangerous, as the body’s reaction to the nuts is often very violent and in the worst case can even lead to shortness of breath. It is therefore all the more important that the person affected can recognize the nut allergy symptoms at an early stage. We explain which nuts can cause allergies, list the most common symptoms in children and adults, and provide an overview of various methods of prevention and treatment.
Which nuts can trigger nut allergy symptoms?
There are many nuts that can cause an allergic reaction in both children and adults. The specific thing about the nut allergy is that, once it occurs, this food allergy never really goes away. Children will continue to suffer from a nut allergy for life, and adults may also have cross-reactions with other foods. Although the nuts that are believed to be allergenic do not belong botanically to the same family, they can cause similar symptoms.
- Cashew nuts
- Sweet chestnuts
The most common nut allergy symptoms at a glance
Here are the most common nut allergy symptoms at a glance:
- Nut allergy symptoms throat: People usually experience itchy lips shortly after consuming foods and dishes that contain the allergen. This is followed by a scratchy throat caused by the swelling of the lining in the throat. If you experience such symptoms, you must see a doctor as soon as possible. Because a nut allergy can develop quickly and lead to shortness of breath.
- Nut allergy skin: Those affected are already aware that a nut allergy can cause a rash on the face. But when it does happen for the first time, many people have a hard time figuring out the cause. The rash is characterized by red pustules forming on the face first. The majority of those affected report a rash on their face, hands, and elbows. The face can even swell in individual cases.
- Nut allergy intestine: A nut allergy can also cause a number of gastrointestinal complaints. These include nausea and diarrhea.
- Shortness of breath: If the person concerned first feels a scratchy throat, this is a sign that the mucous membranes have swollen. If not treated immediately, it can lead to shortness of breath.
Nut allergy in children: recognize symptoms early
The nut allergy in children has symptoms similar to those in adults. For this reason, parents should always watch out for reactions in the first few years of life when they introduce allergy-causing foods. This is especially true for babies with an increased risk of allergies. A nut allergy in toddlers manifests itself primarily through skin rashes such as urticaria, erythema and swellings. It is imperative that parents see a doctor immediately if they experience symptoms. Because the symptoms can worsen quickly. The immune system usually recognizes harmless substances as “harmful” and forms antibodies that are supposed to help in the fight against the allergens. These antibodies attack several body organs one after the other and can then lead to an anaphylactic shock within 30 minutes. Therefore, parents should always treat any allergic reaction as an emergency.
Nut allergy: what to do in an emergency?
If the defenses of the human body suddenly mistakenly recognize harmless substances as “harmful” and attack them, it can quickly become life-threatening. Especially people who observe or feel an allergic reaction for the first time cannot recognize an emergency in time. In young children, it is important to treat any sudden allergic reaction like an emergency. If the person concerned has a life-threatening allergy and accidentally consumed nuts, the emergency doctor should be called as soon as possible. Even if the allergy sufferer does not feel any symptoms, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. If you have the first symptoms, you should act quickly:
- The allergy sufferer should sit on the floor so that he can support himself with his hands. You can lean his torso against a wall.
- If the mucous membranes in the throat swell (symptom of scratching the throat), the person affected can suck on ice cubes or ice lollipops.
- If the person loses consciousness, first check that they are breathing normally. If he is breathing normally, roll him to the side, cross his left arm in front of his chest, and place his hand on his right cheek. Tilt his head back a little and open his mouth so he can breathe.
- If the person is not breathing, begin chest compressions and ventilation.
Peanut allergy in children and adults
1. According to researchers and doctors this is coming the peanut allergy most common in Europe. It is known as a type 1 food allergy. The majority of those affected feel the first symptoms immediately after or within an hour of consuming peanuts or foods containing peanuts. The symptoms very rarely appear later than 2 hours after eating peanuts. Both small children and adults are affected. In children, the allergen is usually transmitted through milk or baby food as early as infancy. Around 1% of all children in Germany have a peanut allergy. However, since more and more dishes now contain peanuts, the scientists assume that the number of those affected will increase in the coming years. Children with asthma in particular are at risk because they more often develop severe symptoms. The so-called cross allergy occurs much more often in adults. For example, people who suffer from hay fever or have a dust allergy can develop a peanut allergy later in life. Contact with traces of peanuts alone can lead to a violent reaction of the immune system in the case of a cross allergy. The quality of life of people who suffer from a peanut allergy is therefore massively impaired.
Nut allergy to almonds in children and adults
An almond nut allergy is less common than a peanut allergy. Nevertheless, those affected can also react strongly to the allergen. The special thing about a nut allergy is that it contains allergens that are heat-stable. Therefore, those affected should avoid not only raw, but also roasted almonds. Otherwise, the almond allergy has similar symptoms to the peanut allergy. The symptoms are also treated in a similar way and the simple prevention of peanut allergy is to avoid this allergen.
Cashew nut allergy: Often there are cross-reactions
A nut allergy to cashew nuts is much less common than a peanut allergy. In most cases, it is triggered by a cross-reaction. People who suffer from a pollen allergy are also sensitized to other allergens and if they come into contact with them again, allergic reactions can occur. That is why allergy sufferers who suffer from hay fever should eat consciously and, ideally, completely avoid it during the pollen count.
Nut allergy Pistachios can cause skin rashes
The pistachios are stone fruits and not nuts. Nevertheless, the pistachio allergy is often incorrectly referred to as a nut allergy in the vernacular. In any case, the symptoms are very similar: itching in the throat, rashes, intestinal discomfort, swelling. In addition, there is the fact that an allergy is detected with an allergy test, similar to that of nuts. The allergy to pistachios can reduce the quality of life. It is often very difficult for those affected to recognize all foods or dishes that contain pistachios or traces of stone fruit. Pistachios are not listed as an ingredient in some confectionery products in particular. However, the heat can destroy the allergy-causing proteins in the pistachios. In this regard, however, the person concerned should consult a doctor, because it often depends on the variety, the preparation, etc..
Nut allergy Chestnut: Typical cross allergy
Similar to cashew nuts, a cross allergy can sensitize the immune system to sweet chestnuts. In this case, for example, a latex allergy can cause cross-reactions with sweet chestnuts.
Balsamic vinegar for nut allergies: harmless or at least allergenic?
Do you have a nut allergy and are not sure whether balsamic vinegar is safe or whether it can trigger an allergic reaction? Although balsamic products do not contain nuts, they can still trigger an immune system reaction. That’s because balsamic vinegar and vinegar contain histamine. The affected person could develop a histamine intolerance as a result. It is therefore important to seek advice from a doctor and create a suitable diet plan.
Coconut oil for nut allergy: An allergic reaction may occur?
Coconuts and coconut oil are well tolerated by most people with a nut allergy. Of course, every case is different, so it is best to discuss this with your doctor.