Along with almond, walnut and other tree nuts, cashew allergy is considered as a common food allergy in both children and adults. Just like with peanut, cashew can trigger severe allergic reactions even if exposed to minute amounts.
It is important to note that cashew cross-reacts with pistachio which is why those who have cashew allergy have a tendency to develop an allergic reaction after eating pistachio. Cashew is also a hidden component in various common foods such as ice cream, Asian dishes and cakes. It is vital to seek immediate medical care if an individual is suspected with cashew allergy.
Swelling and hives
Swelling and hives are considered as the mildest symptoms linked with cashew allergy. Primarily, there might be itchiness or tingling sensation in or around the mouth within minutes of consuming or directly exposed to cashew or other foods that contain the ingredient. The red, elevated, itchy welts have varying sizes that can manifest at random on the skin. In most cases, the hives and swelling subsides within 1-2 days.
Individuals who have cashew allergy can experience abdominal cramps or vomiting as an attempt of the body to eliminate the offending food. The other severe symptoms include the following:
- Projectile vomiting
- Difficulty swallowing
- Swollen tongue or throat
An individual with cashew allergy can experience symptoms of asthma or hay fever once the airborne allergens are breathed in. The common symptoms include the following:
- Itchy eyes
- Runny or stuffed nose
- Itchy nose
- Itchiness on the roof of the mouth
The wheezing or whistle-like sound heard while exhaling is an indication of constricted airways. Other symptoms of an asthma attack due to cashew allergy can include shortness of breath, chest pain and tightness of the chest.
What is a severe allergic reaction?
Always bear in mind that cashew can trigger a severe allergic reaction called as anaphylaxis. This reaction can cause the following symptoms:
- Rapid pulse rate
- Swelling of the throat that disrupts normal breathing
- Constricted airways
- Loss of consciousness
Even ingesting a small amount or inhaling the nut can trigger an anaphylactic shock. Remember that this severe allergic reaction can develop abruptly and can be quickly dangerous, thus it is vital to seek immediate medical care once any of these symptoms are present.