A food allergy is described as an adverse reaction to food that is interceded by the immune system. Almond is a type of tree nut and considered as a one of the common triggers along with milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, shellfish and fish. Remember that food allergy among infants can be difficult to detect since infants are unable to express discomfort or explain the symptoms being experienced.
History of allergies
An allergy to almonds initially develops once an infant was given a food product that contains almonds. This leads to the formation of immunoglobulin E or IgE as a response to the almonds. The IgE is a type of protein that mediates the allergic reactions.
Once the infant is faced with almonds again, the IgE reacts to the protein present in the almonds and releases the inflammatory chemicals that trigger an allergic reaction. Even though infants are not usually given almonds directly, almonds are also present in several other products including salad dressings, salads, breading on meat, sauces, vegetarian burgers, pancakes, fish dishes, pasta, seasonings and pie crusts.
What are the types?
An obvious symptom of an almond allergy among infants includes skin issues. These include reactions such as redness or swelling of the skin or hives. Coughing, sneezing, wheezing and difficulty breathing are indications that an allergic reaction is progressing.
The infant might also vomit but this can be difficult to detect if the infant commonly spits up after meals. The cry of the infant is high-pitched or the tone of voice may change. This indicates that the airway is constricted as part of an allergic reaction. While only one or several of these symptoms can manifest, the reaction tends to occur minutes up to an hour after exposure to almonds.
What are the risk factors?
It is important to note that infants face the highest risk for developing the symptoms of almond allergy since food allergy is quite common among infants and toddlers. Other allergies such as to milk, peanuts, eggs, soy or other tree nuts, can also put an individual at risk for symptoms. In addition, if a family member has allergies or has eczema, the infant is at higher risk for developing almond allergy.
Diagnosing almond allergy
When a doctor is consulted, careful description of the symptoms can help the doctor determine whether he/she has almond allergy. In most cases, a skin prick test is performed to properly diagnose the condition. During this test, a small amount of the allergen is scratched on the skin surface. After 20 minutes, any reaction to the skin is noted. As for blood testing, it measures the level of IgE to almonds.
The indications of almond allergy can range from minor to life-threatening. Even if an initial reaction is minor, it is vital to bear in mind that a future reaction can be life-threatening. The first step in managing the allergy is complete avoidance of almonds including almonds in other food products. This requires reading carefully all food labels of products being bough.
The doctor might recommend the avoidance of introducing other possible allergenic foods until a late age, but this should be discussed with the doctor. In addition, an injectable epinephrine might be prescribed for use during accidental exposure to the allergen.