Almond belongs to nuts, but can also be sorted with fruits like apples, pears, peaches, cherries, apricots and strawberries. Today there are a lot of products containing almond in traces – candies, bakery products, ice cream and even chewing gum can all pose a threat if you’re allergic to it.
Intensity of your allergy to almonds varies from a weak syndrome of oral allergy (itchiness in the oral cavity) up to difficult and potentially fatal systematic reactions – rashes, asthma, and anaphylactic shock just to name a few. The intensity of reaction highly depends on which protein found in almond is causing your allergy. Nuts are usually considered to be among the most dangerous groceries in terms of allergy reactions, but almond allergy is considered to be a bit unusual. There is no sufficient data on how many people are suffering from this allergy. In USA and UK there are about 0,2 and 0,5 % of people suffering from this allergy, both with children and adults. Nuts allergies can begin early in childhood, but in Mediterranean countries adults might develop an over sensitivity to proteins who are extremely resistant towards heat. Currently it’s not known if allergic people can become tolerant to it after a couple of years of avoiding the allergen.
Coping With Allergy
Allergic proteins responsible for this specific allergy are thermo stable and resistant to the effects of acids in the stomach. As a consequence of this, patients who react on these proteins might experience intensive allergic reactions. It’s important to know that strong reactions might appear with the first exposure to the almond fruit with patients allergic to some other nuts as well. Unfortunately, these cross reactions with nuts are very variable and can vary depending on the region and outside conditions. Because of this, it’s important that patients with a history of a serious allergic reaction to nuts avoid taking other nuts as well until there is a diagnosis which has undoubtedly proven the absence of any kind of negative reaction to almond.
Tests done on the skin with fresh ingredients are considered to be the best methods of discovering an allergy to nuts, even though commercial extracts can also prove this. Due to the intensity of allergic reactions caused by nuts, oral tests are rarely done and it’s best to avoid them. Almond can also be a hidden allergen in the commercial preparation of food – there are cases of anaphylaxis caused by almond due to consummation of curry. This, as well as many others cross effective ingredients is therefore best to be avoided, including hazelnuts, until the tolerance has been proven with reliable tests. Always read the label on any products you purchase because they will tell if you there are almonds found in traces – this is a legal obligation for food industry to provide you with this information so use it wisely; after all, it’s there to help you prevent any unwanted allergic reactions and health problems.