Tree nuts are one of the primary food allergens responsible for most allergic reactions worldwide. However, while many people in our area are wary of eating nuts due to fear of a reaction, relatively few actually seek out tree nut allergy treatment from an Atlanta allergist. Tree nut allergies include a wide range of nuts, so it’s not surprising there is some confusion. To stay safe, it’s absolutely essential to understand both the nature of tree nuts and the treatments available to those who experience issues with them.
What Are Tree Nuts?
Tree nuts are fruits with a hard shell exterior and an edible interior. Each of the various types of nuts grow on fruit-bearing trees – unlike peanuts (which are actually legumes) that grow underground. However, unlike softer fruits such as apples and peaches, people eat only the seeds found inside the tree nut’s shell.
The Main Types of Tree Nuts
There are many varieties of tree nuts, and each has the potential to cause an allergic reaction. Some nuts are incredibly popular and most will be familiar with them. Nuts that include the following are often used as ingredients in food products.
- Brazil nuts
- Macadamia nuts
These tree nuts fall under one of the eight categories listed in the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA). This means they’re among the foods most likely to cause allergic reactions in adults and children. Fortunately, labeling regulation makes it easier for consumers to access information about products containing nuts.
Popular Foods Containing Tree Nuts
Tree nuts are a popular food source. Nuts add fiber, protein, vitamins and other nutrients – along with improved flavor, added crunch and extra thickness – to recipes. Tree nuts are found in the following:
- Chocolate – often includes almonds and hazelnuts.
- Cookies and pastries can feature almonds, macadamia nuts or others.
- Cereals may include various nuts such as walnuts and pecans.
- Barbecue sauce may contain tree nuts.
- Almond milk is a popular replacement for cow’s milk.
- Bread may feature nuts to enhance the taste.
- Snacks may contain Brazil nuts, pistachios and so on.
- Vegan recipes often rely on tree nuts.
Are There Any Treatments for Tree Nut Allergies?
Because proteins in tree nuts carry the risk of anaphylaxis, many people in our world can benefit from a food allergy treatment. Dr. Chacko helps these patients become desensitized to tree nuts using oral immunotherapy treatment (OIT).
In cases where OIT is not appropriate, medications such as antihistamines and corticosteroids can also prove effective. Are you concerned about a potential tree nut allergy? Then the first step in the process is to schedule food allergy testing with a professional allergist.
Best Atlanta Tree Nut Allergy Testing and Treatment
Chacko Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Center provides tree nut allergy testing and treatment services. For help with a food allergy, visit one of our treatment centers in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Duluth and Johns Creek. To contact us, call (678) 668-4688 or request an appointment now.