Tree nut allergy is categorized as food allergy. This condition is described as the hypersensitivity of people to dietary products from tree nuts, which result in an overreaction of their body’s immune system. When this occurs, mild to severe physical symptoms occur to those affected, some even resulting to death.
Affecting millions of people worldwide, tree nut allergy is often mistaken to peanut allergy. The difference of these two conditions is the cause of allergic reactions. While dried fruits cause tree nut allergy, peanut allergies are caused by different kinds of legumes. However, the symptoms of these two conditions are alike, but a person with tree nut allergy is not necessarily allergic to peanuts and vice versa.
Allergies to tree nut products are usually children, but may also occur with adults. Just like other allergies, it is treated by avoiding the foods that came from the source of allergen – in this case, nut particles, oils and tree nuts. However, severe cases of tree nut allergies could cause an allergic reaction called “Anaphylaxis”, which requires immediate medical attention and Epinephrine injections.
Tree nuts include all kinds of nuts that grow on trees, such as walnuts, pecan, pistachio, cashews, hazelnuts, filbert, hickory nuts, almonds, macadamia, beechnuts and chestnuts. Unfortunately, allergies from these nut families are common and life threatening. Since these nuts are usually found in candy bars, chocolates, drinks, cereals and other sweets that children love, it is important to be aware of what your child eats to identify if ever he or she experiences the symptoms of tree nut allergy.
Coping With Tree Nut Allergies
If you think something is wrong with your child, you should check the symptoms of tree nut allergies to see if it has anything to do with what he or she consumed. Common symptoms of this condition include skin reactions including eczema, rashes, itching, swelling, inflammation and hives.
Tree nut allergies could also cause gastrointestinal symptoms, such as vomiting, stomach pains and diarrhea. Some severe cases experience nausea, rapid heartbeat, loss of breath, wheezing, running nose and itching around the areas of the mouth.
If your child experiences more than four of these symptoms, consult your doctor immediately for appropriate treatments. While the doctor could give your child epinephrine injections, it cannot cure the allergies for good.
The most effective way to avoid these allergies is through your child’s diet. Make sure that all his or her snacks, meals, sweets and other food items do not include any of the contributing factors of tree nut allergy. As parents, you have to ensure to read label ingredients to find hidden nuts sources in a food item.