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Nut Allergy Symptoms

Nut Allergy Symptoms

Step 1 
Know the different nut families. Affected patients often have allergy symptoms in relation to particular categories of nuts. For example, an allergy to walnuts often coincides with an allergy to pecans. Other nut families include: pistachios and cashews; beechnuts and chestnuts and hazelnuts, filberts and hickory nuts. Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts and almonds don`t seem to be related to any other nuts. 

Step 2 
Be cautious of tree nuts if you have an allergy to peanuts. While people with allergies to tree nuts aren`t always allergic to peanuts, those with a peanut allergy are significantly more likely to be allergic to other types of nuts as well. Cashews, walnuts and pistachios, in particular, tend to cause similar reactions because they contain the same allergenic proteins as peanuts. 

Step 3 
Note the first symptoms of an allergic reaction. Though all allergic persons should know the signs, children especially should be warned to watch for tongue swelling, hives, tightening of the throat and vomiting after possible exposure to a tree nut or tree nut product. These symptoms can signal the beginning of a very serious systematic reaction known as anaphylaxis, which needs immediate medical attention. 

Step 4 
Pay attention to persistent itchy skin rashes, nasal congestion, diarrhoea and hives. These lesser allergy symptoms can be related to chronic exposure to the allergenic proteins in nuts but, if they occur within 2 to 4 hours of consumption, can be an indication that more severe symptoms may develop. 

Step 5 
Ask questions and read labels carefully. Many products have "hidden" nuts in them that can cause an allergic reaction. Be specifically cautious with candy, cookies and other deserts, donuts, granola bars, pesto sauces, suntan lotions, shampoos and flavoured coffees. 

Information sourced from ehow.com 

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Living With Nut Allergies

Living With Nut Allergies

The incidence of nut allergy is on the increase in Western societies, as is the attention it receives from the public and from the media, yet little research has been carried out on the impact of living with the condition. 

A University of Leicester, UK, research project is now to look at the views and experiences of children and their families living with nut allergy, which accounts for the majority of severe food-related allergic reactions. 

Peanut allergy, which currently affects around 1 per cent of children, is the most common food trigger of anaphylaxis. 

Funded by MAARA (Midlands Asthma and Allergy Research Association), Dr Emma Pitchforth, of the University`s Department of Health Sciences, is carrying out a qualitative study involving interviews with children and their parents. 

Depending on the age of the child, they may be interviewed separately or with their parents. 

The two-year research project is being carried out with colleagues Dr David Luyt and Dr Emilia Wawrzkowicz, consultant paediatricians involved in the management of childhood allergies. 

From these investigations, the team hope to understand better the impact on family and everyday life of living with these allergies. 

They will be looking at sources of information and strategies families use to cope. 

The interviews will be audio-recorded (with permission) and the resulting transcriptions will help the researchers to identify recurring themes. All data is anonymous and confidential. 

Dr Pitchforth commented: "First allergic reactions to nuts usually develop in children at a young age and do not resolve as they get older. This means that for those affected nut allergy is a permanent, potentially life-threatening condition. 

"Clinical management of nut allergy typically involves educating children and their families to avoid all products containing nuts. They need to learn to recognise early signs of allergic reaction and to administer self-injectable epinephrine when they need to. 

"The number of deaths resulting from nut allergy is extremely low, but it is a risk and patients are told to avoid all types of nuts and their traces, and to carry an `Epi-pen` at all times, in case they suffer an anaphylactic shock." 

Information sourced from medicalnewstoday.com

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Will peanut allergy soon be treatable?

Will peanut allergy soon be treatable?

NEW ORLEANS – Two studies presented at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) examine the use of oral immunotherapy in peanut allergic children and continue to add hope that a treatment may be on the horizon.

Both were completed by researchers at Duke University and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. In one, peanut allergic children were randomized to receive either the peanut oral immunotherapy or a placebo. The subjects went through initial escalation, build-up and maintenance dosing. This was then followed by an oral food challenge.

Twenty-three children reached the oral food challenge, 15 had received the oral immunotherapy and eight had received the placebo. During the oral food challenge, the median cumulative dose of peanut tolerated was only 315 mg for the placebo group compared to 5,000 mg (~15 peanuts) for the oral immunotherapy group. In addition, the oral immunotherapy group saw median titrated skin tests decrease from baseline to the oral food challenge.

Median peanut IgE and IgG4 levels were also measured. IgE levels did not change from baseline to the oral food challenge in either group, while IgG4 levels increased from baseline to the oral food challenge in the treatment group.

“We are encouraged by the results of this first blinded, placebo controlled study for oral peanut immunotherapy. The differences in the treatment and placebo group are significant and help guide us to the next studies,” said A. Wesley Burks, MD, FAAAAI, one of the study authors.

In the other study, the researchers looked to identify whether subjects who received the oral immunotherapy could safely ingest peanut after stopping the treatment.

Twelve peanut allergic children who completed all phases of oral immunotherapy, along with meeting certain clinical and laboratory criteria, participated in a final oral food challenge 4 weeks after they stopped receiving the oral immunotherapy. The amount of time the children received the oral immunotherapy ranged between 32 and 61 months.

Nine of the 12 subjects passed this final oral food challenge and now have peanut in their diets.

“We are now trying to identify characteristics in those subjects who were able to stop the therapy to better understand who might be a good candidate for this treatment,” commented Burks.

Over the course of the treatment, peanut IgE levels decreased from the baseline with IgG4 levels increasing. Titrated skin prick tests also decreased from the baseline. These immunologic changes support the development of tolerance.

The AAAAI (www.aaaai.org) represents allergists, asthma specialists, clinical immunologists, allied health professionals and others with a special interest in the research and treatment of allergic and immunologic diseases. Established in 1943, the AAAAI has nearly 6,500 members in the United States, Canada and 60 other countries. If you believe you may have a food allergy, consult with an allergist/immunologist. To find one in your area, visit www.aaaai.org/physref.

Editor’s notes:

  • These studies were presented during the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) on February 26-March 2 in New Orleans. However, they do not necessarily reflect the policies or the opinions of the AAAAI.
  • A link to all abstracts presented at the Annual Meeting is available at annualmeeting.aaaai.org

 

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Some unexpected sources of peanuts

Some unexpected sources of peanuts

Be ware that some ordinary everyday foods can contain peanuts…

  • Sauces such as chili sauce, hot sauce, pesto, gravy, mole  sauce, and salad dressing
  • Sweets such as pudding, cookies, and hot chocolate
  • Egg rolls
  • Potato pancakes
  • Pet food
  • Specialty pizzas
  • Asian and Mexican dishes
  • Some vegetarian food products, especially those advertised as meat substitutes
  • Foods that contain extruded, cold-pressed, or expelled peanut oil, which may contain peanut protein
  • Glazes and marinades

To source some great nut free products go to the pantries of What Can I Eat and use the allergen filter to find products that will suit you.

For more great information about peanut allergy go to Foodallergy.org

 

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Tree Nuts Are Hiding

Tree Nuts Are Hiding

Rhonda Lewis is the parent of an allergic child and allergic herself so she “gets” food allergies.

As a mum of kids with food allergies and having lived with a nut allergy myself for over 30 years, I’m pretty good at thinking about hidden sources for nuts. I often share these insights with friends (and strangers) who are newly diagnosed with food allergies and call me to ask for help. So many labels make finding tree nuts or peanuts difficult as the labelling might be poor, or the nuts called different names. This is particularly challenging for tree nuts as there are so many that a manufacturer might say “tree nuts” on a label, or might simply say “almond” for example which is just one of the tree nuts. Often, people allergic to a few tree nuts avoid all tree nuts but that is a personal and individual decision which can be made in conjunction with your allergist. Here’s a tree nuts list I have compiled and want to share…

  • Artificial nuts (some have a peanut/tree nut-based flavouring)
  • Baked goods and baking mixes
  • Bean bags
  • Bird seed and pet food
  • Cereals
  • Coffee grinders used to grind nut flavoured coffee
  • Cosmetics (hair products and skin care products, lotions, soap, sunscreens)
  • Crackers
  • Dressings
  • Gianduja (a creamy mixture of chocolate and chopped nuts found in premium or imported chocolate and ice cream)
  • Granola bars
  • Gravy, sauces and marinades
  • Household items (some toys and beanbags may be filled with stuffing made from crushed nut shells)
  • Kick sacks / hacky sacks
  • Main course dishes (for example, almond chicken)
  • Mandelonas (which are peanuts soaked in almond flavouring)
  • Marzipan Cake (marzipan is an almond paste)
  • Massage oils
  • Mortadella (smoked sausage made of pork, beef, wine and spices may contain pistachio nuts)
  • Muesli and other breakfast cereals
  • Natural and artificial flavourings and extracts (for example, pure almond extract)
  • Nougat
  • Pesto Sauce or crushed nuts in other sauces
  • Salads (for example, Waldorf salad)
  • Snack foods (including candy, chips, chocolate, popcorn, snack mixes, trail mixes, crackers)
  • Spreads
  • Sundae toppings
  • Trail mixes
  • Vegetarian dishes

To read more tips from this blogger go to Allergysense.com

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