Allergies

All About Cashew Allergy

Cashew allergy is on the rise. A study by British researchers from Addenbrookes Hospital, which analyzed 141 children, showed that cashews triggered more severe allergic reactions than peanuts. Those who are allergic to cashews can also be allergic to tree nuts and peanuts. Moreover, those with cashew allergy are more likely to have pistachio nut allergy.

What Causes Cashew Allergy?

Cashew allergy is caused due to the proteins present in the cashews. The immune system mistakenly identifies the proteins present in the cashews as harmful and reacts against it. This can result in symptoms such as hives, rashes, nausea, and diarrhea.

Cashew Allergy and Birch Pollen Allergy:

People with cashew allergy may also be allergic to birch pollen allergy. This is caused as the proteins present in the cashews are structurally similar to those found in birch pollen. This is known as Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS), which includes symptoms such as itching, swelling of the lips, mouth and tongue.

Cashew Allergy Symptoms:

Cashew allergy can result in symptoms such as hives, rashes, nausea, and diarrhea. Serious reactions include dizziness, low blood pressure, difficulty breathing. These symptoms can progress to an anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal. An epinephrine should be administered immediately to prevent anaphylactic shock.

Cashew Allergy Testing:

Skin prick test and blood test (RAST) can be conducted to find out if you are allergic to cashews and other tree nuts.

Preventing Cashew Allergy:

To prevent cashew allergy, avoid all forms of cashews. However, few people can overcome cashew allergy if the cashews are cooked. This might be because the some cashew proteins are destroyed in the cooking process.

Ice creams, chocolates, cakes and other food products can all contain cashews and you should be careful to read the labels to avoid them. Beware of cross-contamination while cooking or eating out.

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