A food allergy develops when your immune system mistakenly identifies a certain food as a threat. Eating or coming in contact with the food sends your immune system into overdrive, triggering an allergic reaction — and nut allergies are among the most common food allergies.
In fact, about 3 million Americans are allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, or both. Nut allergies can range from mild to severe and cause a handful of symptoms from skin hives to stomach pain.
Our team at Allergy & Environmental Treatment Center, LLC, specializes in diagnosing and treating food allergies. Although they’re common, many people wonder if the symptoms they experience are due to the foods they eat or something else.
Here, we describe the signs of nut allergies so you can get treatment and lower your risk of potentially life-threatening complications like anaphylaxis.
Hives are itchy, raised bumps that develop on your skin. Also called urticaria, they’re one of the most common signs of mild nut allergies, along with skin rashes and redness.
If you’re allergic to nuts, eating or touching them triggers an immune response. Your body releases increased histamines into your blood to defend itself. Unfortunately, these histamines can cause itchy, swollen skin.
Histamines can cause hives, welts, rashes, or swelling in your extremities. Sometimes, you may notice increased redness or tenderness.
Hives from nut allergies generally develop two to four hours after eating nuts. They may appear in just one area or across your whole body. They may be large or small, and they’re usually red, pink, or skin-colored.
Hives and skin rashes aren’t the only signs of food allergies. Other symptoms can include:
The more severe your allergy is, the more severe your symptoms will be. Anaphylaxis is the most severe allergic reaction, and it can be life-threatening.
Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
If you notice these symptoms in yourself or a loved one, seek immediate emergency medical care.
Severe allergic reactions to nuts require immediate medical attention. Milder symptoms like hives, nasal congestion, or stomach cramps develop in the hours after you eat nuts, so you might not be sure of the cause.
If you think you or your child has a nut allergy, eliminate nuts from your diet and schedule allergy testing. Our team offers testing for children and adults, and we can pinpoint exactly what’s causing your hives and other symptoms.
Treatment for nut allergies generally includes avoiding the foods that trigger your symptoms, although we recommend rotation diets for our patients as well. Depending on the severity of your allergy, we may prescribe an epinephrine pen in case of an allergic reaction.
Find out what’s causing your hives with allergy testing at Allergy & Environmental Treatment Center, LLC, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Call us at 480-634-2985, or book an appointment online now.