Nutting it out
Nuts are high in nutrients and extremely versatile in recipes, which makes them a very popular cooking ingredient. For the those with a nut reaction, however, contact with even the tiniest trace of nuts can cause a severe reaction.
Approximately one in every 200 people in the UK are allergic to the proteins found in peanuts. These proteins are not destroyed by cooking or heating so it is important to understand that both fresh and cooked nuts can cause a serious allergic reaction.
Nut allergies are more common in people who have other allergic conditions such as asthma, hay fever and eczema and with allergies to other foods or who have family with these conditions. The majority of people who are allergic to peanuts are also allergic to other nuts too. The food industry has begun to label foods according to suitability for nut sufferers.
- tingling on lips, tongue or roof of mouth
- facial swelling
- difficulty in breathing due to swelling of the mouth and throat. This is called anaphylaxis and may require a shot of adrenalin to decrease the swelling
A reaction which occurs within six hours of consuming peanuts is likely to be peanut induced. The doctor can diagnose this by carrying out a blood test.
There is no current cure for peanut allergy so people with a nut allergy should avoid nuts completely. Nuts and nut products are often hidden in ingredients in what seems the most unlikely foods, so if in any doubt the food should be avoided completely.