Walnut allergy basically occurs once the body releases histamines as a reaction to a protein that is present in the walnut. Take note that this protein is present in nuts and nut products. An individual with walnut allergy can also be allergic to other tree nuts such as hazelnut, cashew and pecan. An allergic reaction can also develop to peanuts which are not actually tree nuts but comprised of the similar proteins. The symptoms of a tree nut allergy can range from mild to life-threatening depending on the individual and can affect the entire body.
Signs and symptoms on the skin
The reactions on the skin are the most common symptom of food allergies. The individual can experience mild itchiness and swelling around the mouth. There is also itchiness on the gums, tongue and the throat. Take note that the area surrounding the eyes can swell and itch while the eyes can become watery and irritated. Additionally, hives, eczema and swelling in other parts of the body can also occur.
An individual with a walnut allergy can suffer coughing, sneezing and wheezing due to the swelling that is triggered by the histamines. Chest and sinus congestion can also manifest along with a runny nose. An allergic reaction can trigger an asthma attack among individuals who have asthma.
Those who have walnut allergy can experience mild stomach and intestinal cramping, bloating and gas. In some cases, there is also vomiting and diarrhea. Some can confuse an allergic reaction with food poisoning. In most cases, an individual with walnut allergy can show gastrointestinal symptoms along with the respiratory and skin reactions.
What are the life-threating signs and symptoms?
In severe cases of walnut allergy, the throat, tongue and lung structures of the individual can swell up to the point in which the difficulty in breathing is experienced. Take note that this life-threatening condition or anaphylaxis requires emergency care. Always bear in mind that anaphylaxis can abruptly manifest and occurs along with other symptoms. Once the individual is taken to the hospital, epinephrine is administered to counteract the symptoms of the reaction. If the individual has an EpiPen, you can deliver a shot to ease the symptoms until medical care can be provided.
Misleading signs and symptoms to be familiar with
Some individuals experience very mild reactions to walnuts and can continue to eat them since the symptoms are not bothersome. Nevertheless, with an allergic reaction, it is possible for the individual to experience a mild reaction after several exposures and then suddenly experience a severe or even life-threatening reaction. In addition, it is also possible that the individual will develop an allergy at any time, not just during childhood. If you suspect a walnut allergy, he/she must avoid eating walnuts and other tree nuts. It is best to consult a healthcare professional so that proper testing can be carried out.