Nut allergy is a frequent occurrence, and it may last a lifetime. There is a common opinion that those who are allergic to one particular kind should avoid eating other nut types as well. Recent studies have shown that things are not that bad.
Nut allergiesAllergies result from misidentification of healthy agents as unhealthy ones by the immune system. Once such an agent enters the body, the immune system triggers the production and release of histamines, which, in turn, cause adverse reactions. Usually, nut allergies cause skin reactions (rash, hives, blisters, swelling etc.), respiratory symptoms (cough, runny nose, sore throat, difficulty breathing, etc.), watery eyes, digestion problems (cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, etc.). These symptoms may range from mild to severe and even life-threatening (anaphylaxis).
Scientists say:Particularly, more than 80% of patients, who have developed a reaction to one type of nut, show zero reaction to other nuts. Almost all participants, who were allergic to peanuts, did well after eating pecans, almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, pistachios, cashews, etc., and showed no symptoms. This appears to be quite a valuable piece of information for nut lovers and those who seek benefits from eating nuts. In fact, they belong to a very healthy category of foods. If you frown too hard upon nuts in your diet, there is a possibility of throwing the baby out with the bath water. Not every doctor is aware of the demarcation line, and it can take a bit of research on your part.
Go for a testMost likely, your doctor will advise you to undergo a skin-prick and/or blood test. These tests are not always reliable and may trick you into abandoning nuts without having to do so. In this situation, it is advisable to meet a qualified allergist and apply for a so called ‘oral challenge test’. An ‘oral challenge’ is a sample of substance (nut), which the doctor will give you to check your reaction. He or she will give you a series of oral challenges and help you determine, which nut types you are allergic to, and which you can leave by your side.
Why should I eat nuts?You have all reasons to check if nuts are really that bad for you. Wonder why? Because they contain substances, which are fairly life-saving, as they:
- Strengthen blood vessels’ walls
- Impede the proliferation of cancer cells and kill them
- Help you control body weight
- Help prevent diabetes
- Help in the treatment of respiratory diseases