What is Brazil Nut Allergy?

Brazil nut is an edible nut which is used in many food products such as cookies, granola bars, grained bread, and ice creams. Its oil is also used in shampoos, conditioners and other products. Brazil nut can cause a severe allergic reaction resulting in breathlessness, dizziness and low blood pressure. Avoiding brazil nuts and products containing the brazil nuts is the only way to prevent an allergy.

What causes Brazil nut allergy?

The proteins present in the brazil nut are responsible for allergy. Similar proteins are present in other tree nuts such as cashews, hazelnuts, cashews, pecans and chestnuts. Hence, people with brazil nut allergy should avoid other tree nuts too.

Symptoms of Brazil Nut allergy

The symptoms can range from mild itchiness, rash to severe breathlessness, dizziness. If the symptoms progress to severity, the patient should be administered epinephrine to stop the allergic reaction. Here are some of the symptoms:

  • Watery eyes, runny nose, swelling of tongue, itchiness, rash
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Swelling of mouth, throat tightness, breathlessness, low blood pressure. These are the symptoms of anaphylaxis which is a severe allergic reaction. If an individual experiences this, he/she should be given

epinephrine immediately.

How to prevent brazil nut allergy?

  • Always read the food labels and avoid food products with nuts in it
  • Along with brazil nuts, also avoid cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, chestnuts and other tree nuts. It is also better to avoid peanuts and other nuts
  • Inquire about the ingredients while eating out
  • Avoid brazil nuts at home. Beware of cross-contamination while cooking

Testing and Prevention:

Skin test or blood test can be performed to check for allergies. Once brazil nut allergy is confirmed, your allergist may prescribe you antihistamines or corticosteroids to treat the allergy.

Brazil nut allergy can be severe and sometimes can be fatal too. So, avoid all forms of brazil nuts, tree nuts and other nuts to prevent an allergic reaction.

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