More than 50 million people in the United States have allergies. Finding out what you are allergic to is an important first step to effective allergy treatment. Today allergy tests are more convenient and accurate than ever before. When combined with a detailed medical history, allergy testing can identify the specific things that trigger your allergic reactions.

I was always so perplexed by people who knew what they were allergic to. For whatever reason my parents just kind of threw caution to the wind and figured that we would find out along the way.

Its a good idea to have small children tested for allergies so as not to just magically find out through life and run the risk of your child developing anaphylaxis.

For many people, only some tree nuts test positive, while others test low or negative. Studies suggest about half of people with tree nut allergy are allergic to more than one nut. In children, the risk of being allergic to multiple tree nuts appears to increase with age.

Why are some people allergic to nuts and some not?

The body’s immune system normally fights infection. But, when someone is allergic to tree nuts or peanuts, the immune system overreacts to proteins in these foods. Every time the person eats (or, in some cases, handles) a peanut or tree nut, the body thinks the proteins are harmful invaders. The immune system responds by kicking into high gear to fend off the “invader.” This causes an allergic reaction, in which chemicals like histamine are released in the body.

A nut allergy may cause;

  • Itchy skin or hives, which can appear as small spots or large welts
  • An itching or tingling sensation in or around the mouth or throat
  • Nausea
  • A runny or congested nose
  • Anaphylaxis (less common), a potentially life-threatening reaction that impairs breathing and can send the body into shock