02 September, 2011
Allergy to Almonds & Sunflower Oil
From the almond to the lychee, nuts come in all shapes and sizes. If you have a severe allergy to tree nuts, including almonds, you may have to avoid all nuts. Tree nuts' proteins are similar to those in sunflower seeds; as such, people with an allergy to almonds may be unable to tolerate sunflower seeds or sunflower oil. Rarely, a severe allergic reaction to nuts or seeds can cause anaphylaxis, a condition that can constrict airways and requires emergency medical attention.
Peanut and Almond Allergy
Along with shellfish and peanuts, allergies to tree nuts are one of the most common food allergies. Frequently, allergies to nuts are life-long; less than 10 percent of people with nut allergy symptoms outgrow them, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Peanuts are actually legumes, not nuts; still, the proteins in nuts -- including almonds -- are similar to those in peanuts. Thus, people with almond allergies should avoid peanuts as well. As of publication, 28 to 50 percent of people allergic to peanuts also react to at least one tree nut, according to the college.
Nuts and Seeds
Allergic reactions to tree nuts are among the leading causes of fatal and near-fatal reactions to foods, according to the Allergic Child website. Tree nuts include walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios and Brazil nuts, among others. If you have an almond allergy, you may react to other tree nuts. If you have an allergy to sunflower seeds, this may require you to avoid other seeds and their products including sunflower oil, sesame seeds and sesame oil.
If you have an allergy to both almonds and sunflower oil, your doctor may advise you to read labels carefully and avoid all nuts and seeds. This includes avoiding oil processed from nuts and seeds. You can find nuts and seeds used as garnishes in salads, as ingredients in Asian and Indian dishes and as ice cream toppings. Since it is difficult to determine what kind of oil is used in a certain dish, ask whether your food was cooked in sunflower or peanut oil. Nuts can also be "hidden" in barbecue sauce, chicken breading, pancakes, pasta, pesto, piecrust and baked goods. They may also be found in baking mixes, sauces and cookies.
Since a nut or seed allergy can lead to serious health consequences, consult an allergist who can arrange a blood or skin test to determine your allergies. Your allergist may suggest an antihistamine medication to use in case of a mild reaction. Rescue inhalers and injections that you can carry in case of emergencies are examples of other common treatment options.
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