Allergies

All About Walnut Allergy

WalnutWalnut allergy is an allergy to the dry fruit – the walnut. Walnut can trigger allergic reactions such as hives, rashes, itchy and watery eyes, and nausea. This is caused when the immune system mistakenly identifies the protein present in the walnut as harmful and attacks it.

People with walnut allergy may also be allergic to other tree nuts such as cashew, almond, hazelnut, pecan nut etc. Hence, walnut-allergic individuals should be careful while eating other tree nuts.

Some people overcome the walnut allergy if the walnut is cooked. This may be because the allergy-causing proteins are destroyed in the cooking process.

If you experience allergic symptoms after eating walnuts, immediately rinse your mouth and take antihistamines or other prescribed medications

Walnut Allergy and Birch Pollen Allergy:

Those with walnut allergy may also be allergic to birch pollen. It is caused as the proteins present in birch pollen are structurally similar to the proteins present in the walnut. This is also known as oral allergy syndrome (OAS), which is a milder form of allergy. Symptoms of OAS include swelling of the mouth, lips, and tongue, and itching of the lips.

Walnut Allergy Symptoms:

Walnut allergy can cause hives, rashes, watery eyes, runny nose, nausea, and diarrhea. More severe symptoms include breathlessness, dizziness, and low blood pressure. All these are symptoms of anaphylaxis and if they are not checked, the reaction can progress to anaphylaxis, which can be life threatening.

To prevent anaphylaxis, an epinephrine should be administered immediately and/or the patient should be taken to the emergency room.

Walnut Allergy Testing:

Skin prick tests and blood test (RAST) can be conducted to determine if you are allergic to walnuts. Do consult your allergist if you want to have yourself tested.

Preventing Walnut Allergy:

To prevent walnut allergy, you should read the food labels and avoid walnut containing products. All the tree nuts have to be declared on the label if they are present in the food product.

Inquire about the ingredients used in the dishes while eating out. Beware of cross-contamination while eating out or while cooking at home.

If you suspect walnut allergy, do consult a doctor to get yourself tested and to get proper treatment.

More Information on Walnut Allergy

Similar to other cases of food allergies, walnut allergy causes vomiting and expulsion of eaten food, hives, diarrhea and stomach ache. In very serious cases, the digestive tract may need to be purged to save the patient’s life. In mild cases, the symptoms are negotiable and can be prevented by avoiding eating walnuts.

In severe cases, walnut ingestion may lead to breathlessness, diarrhea, severe dehydration and even variations in blood pressure. In such conditions, the patient has to be rushed to a doctor for immediate treatment. Strong medication in time can stop the patient from suffering an anaphylactic shock, which could even cause death. Therefore, walnut allergy is certainly not a condition to be trifled with.

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