Do you think you or a loved one has an allergy to tree nuts? If so, then you are not alone. According to the American Academy of Allergies, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAI), about one-half to one percent of Americans are allergic to tree nuts. While some may experience a mild symptoms of a tree nut allergic reaction, others may have more severe allergic reactions that can be life-threatening and lead to anaphylaxis. Here are four reasons why you should visit a tree nut allergy doctor for evaluation and treatment.
1. You Have Allergy Symptoms After Consuming Tree Nuts
Maybe your symptoms are mild or moderate, but you are fairly certain they happened after consuming almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios. hazelnuts, Brazil nuts or cashews. You may be allergic if you experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Red, raised hives or other skin rash
- Oral swelling
- Runny nose and/or congestion
It is also common for people with tree nut allergy symptoms to be allergic to peanuts, too. Typically, symptoms begin in childhood, but even adults who have never reacted to tree nuts may begin having symptoms later on in life.
In such cases, a consultation with a board-certified allergy doctor is recommended. They can discuss your specific symptoms and medical history and perform allergy testing to determine your sensitivities and allergies.
2. You Just Do Not Know What to Eat
Treatment for tree nut allergies involves more than just testing and medications. It also includes education on what you can eat and what to avoid. Your allergist can help you learn which tree nuts are safe for you to consume and which are not.
Also, because of today’s food preparation methods, it is important to know how to read package labels. This can help you to avoid choices with tree nuts or foods which are prepared on nut-contaminated surfaces or in facilities which process them.
This management strategy is particularly critical for people who experience severe allergic reactions. Additionally, you should ask about the food preparation any time you eat at a restaurant or with a relative or friend who is unfamiliar with your tree nut allergy.
3. You Have Had a Life-Threatening Allergic Reaction
Consult a tree nut allergy doctor if you have been treated in a hospital emergency room for an anaphylactic reaction to food. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that causes dizziness, airway constriction, labored breathing and even loss of consciousness and death.
A full evaluation will reveal food allergy triggers and how you should manage them. Carrying epinephrine with you as an emergency medication can help reverse anaphylactic reactions in an ambulatory situation.
4. You Believe You Have Outgrown Your Tree Nut Allergy
It may be that your tree nut allergy symptoms no longer occur or have substantially lessened. In fact, about 10 percent of children or young people who have had tree nut allergies do indeed outgrow them.
That being said, you should be evaluated and tested again for tree nut allergies. This way you, your loved ones and your healthcare providers can be certain it’s safe for you to consume these nuts.
Tree Nut Allergy Doctor Near You in Northeastern Illinois
At Oak Brook Allergists, Drs. Ruben, Pongonis, and Knysak understand how important it is to identify and manage food allergies, including tree nut allergies. To learn more about this common medical issue, call us for an in-office visit at one of our four locations at (630) 574-0460 or request an appointment online. We will be happy to discuss this important topic with you!