Food allergies affect millions of individuals all over the world. Almond allergy is a type of allergy that is triggered by an immune response against a particular protein present in almond. Even though almond is a tree nut that causes only a few cases of allergies, an individual can become highly sensitive against the proteins present in almond. Raw almond allergy can progress if the individual eats the nut and the immune system erroneously perceives the proteins as a threat to the body. The succeeding time the individual consumes almonds; the body recognizes the protein and initiates an allergic response.
It is important to note that the immune system has greatly evolved in order to protect the body against foreign particles such as viruses, bacteria and toxins. Once the body detects these particles, the immune system will destroy these invaders by engulfing them with white blood cells and eliminated by the antibodies.
The response to an immune action leads to the production of molecules that promote inflammation in order to clear out the invading particles. Even though most immune reactions are started as a response to harmful particles, the immune system can mistakenly identify a harmless particle such as protein in food as a threat to the body.
What are antibodies?
The antibodies are highly effective mediators of the immune response that identifies a specific molecule. The body can produce specific antibodies against foreign molecules. Once produced, these antibodies bind to the molecule such as protein and eliminates them with the help of the white blood cells. Immunoglobulin E antibodies are produced when it comes to allergies, particularly a raw almond allergy.
The IgE or immunoglobulin E antibodies are distinct due to their ability to activate certain white blood cells including the eosinophils, mast cells and basophils. Take note that the activation of the mast cells and the production of the immune mediators can initiate an allergic reaction. Once the body mistakenly identifies the proteins in almond as a threat, it produces specific Ige antibodies. These antibodies bind with the protein and activate the mast cells. The moment the mast cells start to secrete histamine, it leads to inflammation and other symptoms of an allergic reaction.
What is histamine?
Once histamine is released, it is responsible for increasing the local flow of blood, smooth muscle contraction and vascular permeability. If the individual eats almonds, it will only take seconds for the throat to swell and become inflamed due to the presence of histamine in the surrounding tissues.
In severe cases, the activation of the mast cells can result to systemic anaphylaxis that results to widespread vascular permeability which leads to an abrupt drop in the blood pressure, breathing difficulty and constriction of the airways. This is called as an anaphylactic reaction that must be treated right away. Individuals who are prone to severe raw almond allergy usually bring an EpiPen wherever they go. If you want to learn how to properly use an EpiPen, click here. This is an injectable form of epinephrine that must be administer right away in order to counteract the symptoms until the individual is taken to the hospital for further assessment and care.