A tree nut allergy is different from the other top nine food allergens identified by the FDA because it includes more than one food.

Tree nuts include a multitude of nuts grown on trees, including:

  • Almond
  • Walnut
  • Pecan
  • Cashew
  • Pistachio
  • Hazelnut
  • Brazil nut
  • Macadamia nut

And more. Some people are allergic to one tree nut, while others are allergic to multiple, and no matter the number, this food allergy comes with challenges and risks.

After ingesting a tree nut, an allergic person may experience mouth or throat itching, hives, facial swelling, upset stomach, wheezing, or a variety other symptoms. Like with other allergens, tree nuts can also cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction, so those with an identified allergy should always carry an epinephrine injector.

The first step to avoiding reactions is to avoid your problem tree nut. This can be difficult, though, as many are cross-reactive, manufactured in the same facility, and because it’s common to be allergic to more than one.

Providers at AAOL recommend treating the cause of the allergy safely with allergy drops following The La Crosse Method™ Protocol. The goal of this treatment is different depending on how severe the allergy is – some may be able to avoid life threatening reactions if accidentally exposed, and others are able to reintroduce tree nuts into their diet.

Treatment starts by completing an exam, history, and allergy testing via a blood test. These components come together to determine the specific level of sensitivity you have to tree nuts, and your allergy drop treatment is custom tailored to that level – to safely build tolerance to tree nuts, but not cause reactions.

Your provider may also recommend a Graded Oral Food Challenge at AAOL. Tree nuts are some of the most common challenges we do to safely answer questions about treatment progress, whether avoiding certain foods is necessary, or if a food can be safely reintroduced into the diet.

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