Do I have nutmeg allergy?

Nutmeg allergy is considered as an uncommon type of food allergy. Nutmeg is usually confused as a nut but it is not included in the family of nuts and does not contain any nut proteins. With this in mind, it is generally safe for consumption by those who have nut allergy.

Nevertheless, generalized allergic reactions, contact dermatitis and asthma can occur in some individuals after direct exposure or ingesting nutmeg. If the individual experiences any symptoms after being in contact with nutmeg, a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible. In rare circumstances, nutmeg can also trigger a severe allergic reaction.

Am I allergic to nutmeg?

Cases of nutmeg allergy are considered uncommon. It is triggered by hypersensitivity to the proteins present in the spice. Nutmeg is made from the seed that is grounded up and commonly added to various beverages and baked goods.

If an individual is highly sensitive to the proteins of the plant, the body can react after ingestion by producing various chemicals to protect the body. Histamine and immunoglobulin E antibodies (IgE) are produced and trigger inflammation of the soft tissues which results to the manifestation of the common symptoms of nutmeg allergy.

What are the generalized reactions?

Nutmeg allergy

The individual can feel a lump in the throat along with wheezing, chest pain as well as shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and coughing.

The generalized allergic reactions can occur in just a matter of minutes after ingesting nutmeg. The common symptoms that can occur include the following:

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Stomach pain
  • Swollen lips, face or tongue
  • Hives
  • Eczema

Can asthma develop?

Asthma can also develop after ingesting nutmeg. The histamine that is released in the tissues that form the lungs can cause swelling and inflammation that can disrupt with normal breathing. The individual can feel a lump in the throat along with wheezing, chest pain as well as shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and coughing.

Always bear in mind that asthma might be an indication of a serious allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention. If the individual starts to feel dizzy, wobbly or dazed, seek immediate medical attention right away.

Why contact dermatitis develops?

Contact dermatitis is an allergic skin condition that develops after direct exposure to nutmeg. The reaction that occurs is localized to the area of skin that was exposed to the allergen. This skin condition is managed by cleansing the localized area using water and soap and the application of hydrocortisone. In addition, contact dermatitis that develops from nutmeg allergy can be prevented by avoiding direct exposure to the spice.


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