Nut Allergies | Allergy

Nut Allergies

by Allergy Guy

Here is some information about nut allergies. Many people worry about having a nut allergy because they hear about anaphylactic shock, a relatively rare symptom. Other symptoms are possible. I wouldn’t be too paranoid about it, but certainly be on the look-out if you suspect a nut allergy.

Nuts, beans and fruit pips are all related. In other words they are all seeds. People most often have allergies to the following:

  1. Cashew nuts
  2. Soybeans
  3. Brazil nuts
  4. Almonds
  5. Hazelnuts
  6. Peanuts

Note that peanuts are not really a nut although they are a kind of seed.

You may react to just one of the seeds, if you do there is a higher chance that you are allergic to one or more of the others. You may also be allergic to seeds that are less often allergens for example coffee or chocolate, both of which are produced from seeds.

Immediate onset allergy causing foods are most often peanuts and nuts. Tree nuts include almonds walnuts pecans and cashews among others. Many people are allergic to peanuts. A peanut is not a nut, it is a legume. Legumes include beans peas and lentils of these foods are less commonly allergens.

Unfortunately, children rarely outgrow allergies to nuts and peanuts. They are more likely to outgrow allergies to foods like milk, and eggs.

Nut Allergy Symptoms

Immediate onset allergic reactions to nuts can start as quite minor, for example a runny nose, a skin rash all over the body, or tingling tongue. Symptoms may stay the same but they may also become worse with multiple exposures. You may experience difficulty in breathing swelling of the throat or other parts of the body, dizziness or unconsciousness. This can lead to anaphylactic shock, a very serious condition.

Other symptoms you may encounter include hives, tightness of the throat, a hoarse voice, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and lightheadedness.

Keep in mind that although there is a lot of public attention around the fatal effective nuts, not everybody experiences the fatal allergic reaction to these foods.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Patrick August 9, 2015 at 09:46

Absolutely agreed, In my personal experience eating peanuts triggers:

An anxious fight/flight response, impaired cognition and impulse control, EXTREME mood swings (anger / depression)

It feels as if PFC functions were shut down temporarily.

A Constant electrical-like tingling in arms and legs.
Abdominal Pain.


2 Ol September 6, 2014 at 01:19

Oh, well… Thanx for the info, good to know.. I was hoping i still had nuts as a source of nutirents with my multiple allergies, but, alas, each time i eat them i get soo angry and irritable, it is such an obvoiuos change, that i have to conclude im allergic to them…


3 Allergy Guy September 8, 2014 at 18:15

Too bad – but good to notice the symptoms and adjust your diet accordingly!


4 Blair April 19, 2011 at 14:13

I am the same way with peanut butter and canker sores. It took me years to figure it out. I have also discovered that sodium laurel (sp) sulfate is a trigger for me. It is the foaming agent in most toothpastes. I hope this helps anyone reading this as I have suffered for 10+ years and all drs. I have been to never tried to treat the problem at the root cause.


5 Anonymous January 7, 2009 at 18:16

Canker sores and abdominal pain

My daughter has been suffering with abdominal pain for the past four months and we have not been able to determine a cause. We have been through CT-scans, abdominal ultrasounds, pelvic ultrasounds and a Hida scan and all were clear. She recently developed two enormous canker sores on her lower lip (1/2 inch). In talking to several individuals I am now starting to think that she is having an allergic reaction? Any ideas?


6 admin January 8, 2009 at 19:14

Test for celiac

These symptoms are consistent with $celiac$ disease.

Find a doctor who “gets it”, who understands celiac disease and can run tests for it.

This is not the only possibility, but is well worth investigating. Celiac is under-diagnosed even though nearly 0.8% of the population has this condition.


7 Anonymous November 29, 2008 at 07:38

nut allergy = canker sore

i have been plagued by digestive disorders for over 13 years. about 4 years ago i had to go the hospital for a heavily bleeding ulcer. since i didn’t have insurance i couldn’t continue my follow ups. aside from that i am more interested in a natural approach to healing. i have been discovering my food allergies. I am definitely at least sensitive to gluten (maybe even celiac). yesterday, i was surprised to notice that i got small canker sore in a part of my mouth, where i know i’ve got them in the past, and it was narrowed down to having just eaten a combination of tree nuts (almond, brazil, walnut, and peacan). i want to now what are the known links to this and what i should avoid.


8 admin November 30, 2008 at 10:57

nut allergy symptoms – track them

Thank you for your observations about the apparent connection between nuts and canker sores in your case.

This would not be considered a “classic” allergy symptom. If you find the connection is consistent, then in your case it is a delayed allergy symptom (also called a food sensitivity) that you experience. This does not mean to say that others experience the same symptoms, or that you can predict what other symptoms you may have. You just have to keep an eye out for them, and it sounds like you have been doing a good job of that so far.

There is also no way of knowing what other allergies you may have. Again, you have to keep an eye out for them.

Please read Self-Testing for Allergies for a more formal method of discovering other possible allergies and symptoms.

I hope this helps.


9 Anonymous January 3, 2009 at 18:02

canker sores and nuts

Your right on the money…for years I ate peanut butter like it was the bread of life and suffered miserably from mouth ulcers and bleeding from the colon at one time. Out of trial and error I stopped eating peanut butter that is only made with hydrogenated oils and Whalah!
the mouth ulcers stopped. I can still eat peanut butter but it has to be organic or just made out of peanuts. I have since just about eliminated all the hydrogenated oils from my diet and I feel much much better. Be careful what kind of fuel you put into the engine ….Hope this helps Jim V.


10 Anonymous October 4, 2008 at 03:20


There have been two instances, both beginning with eating nuts on a relatively empty stomach, in which something—possibly tree nuts—has caused me to vomit repeatedly, beginning about three hours after ingestion. The first was four or five years ago when I was on a church trip and was so hungry that despite hating the smell and taste of nuts, I ate an entire snack-sized packet of cashews before dinner. By the time we reached our dinner destination, a soup kitchen at which we were to volunteer, I was feeling overheated and nauseous to the point that I couldn’t do an ounce of work and I had to run to the bathroom retching and expecting to throw up at any moment. I had about twelve hours of vomiting—nothing, not even Pepto Bismol would stay down.
I hadn’t thought anything more about that—except that it confirmed my dislike of nuts—until this past year. My mom randomly brought me a piece of baklava (which was very good, by the way) and we went to sing in our church choir for a special service. Sure enough, in the middle of the sermon, I felt overheated and the queasiness in my stomach made me start hyperventilating. I had to run out through the balcony and barely made it to the bathroom in time to throw up. I had to hurl again on the way home and throughout the evening, but the next day I was good as new, though a bit hungry. Then, at a high school graduation party, and once in a Greek restaurant, I tried baklava again, and it didn’t bother me at all. I was wondering if maybe what I have is more of an intolerance than an allergy, as I don’t have any immediate reactions. I find it interesting that the very thought of the smell or taste of nuts makes my stomach twinge, as though a natural warning to me.
However, I have never had any problem with finely chopped nuts in cookies (although I wish they’d leave them off) or nuts in chocolate bars (again, just personal preference). I just want to know what it is that triggers the vomiting attacks–a specific nut, or the combination of an empty stomach and the high concentration of nuts, or something completely different.


11 admin October 11, 2008 at 21:56

EpiPen might be a good idea

It doesn’t sounds like you are very sensitive to nuts, and that is a good sign.

Obviously you will want to avoid them in medium to large quantities.

I suggest you talk to your doctor about it. If it got worse you could really be in trouble. You may want to get an epinephrine (adrenaline) auto injector (e.g. EpiPen) just in case – that would be the main thing you would want to discuss with your doctor.


12 Anonymous January 4, 2008 at 13:34

Brain/Behavioral reactions

I was doing a bit of searching on allergies as my 18 month old daughter has food allergies that we are trying to discover by way of an elimination diet.

I made some homemade hummus several times over the holidays and ate plenty of it myself, and fed it to her, and she had some of the worst reactions she’s had so far. After doing a lot of reading I am assuming it is mostly coming from sesame seeds (the tahini paste) but possibly the garbanzo beans as well.

I just wanted to chime in with the mood swing revelation – most of my daughter’s allergic reactions are behavioral. She does have others (respiratory, gastrointestinal, skin) but, by far, her most severe and obvious reactions are behavioral.

From the information I have found, the medical community has only recently begun to acknowledge that allergic reactions can be behavioral (the allergic reaction occurs in the brain, causing chemical changes which result in behavioral reactions).

So if you feel like something you eat changes the way you feel, think, behave, etc., even if someone tells you you’re not allergic to it or that’s not an indication of an allergy, trust your instincts.

If you want to be sure, you should do two or three trials where you intentionally try something and then keep track of how you respond, or ask someone to help you. After two or three times of intentional ingestion and observation, you should have a really good idea about it.


13 Dave November 7, 2007 at 10:19

Mood Swings from Peanuts?

I have found that eating peanuts (or peanut butter or foods containing peanut oil) will cause me to be exceptionally moody; I feel angry about everything, and any little thing can set me off. Generally I’m a pretty even-keel kinda guy, but peanuts seem to bring out the Mr. Hyde in me. Is that a common allergic reaction?


14 admin November 7, 2007 at 22:42

Mood Swings a Common Allergy Symptom

Hi Dave,

Yes, mood swings are a common allergy symptom for sure. This is the number two reason I avoid wheat (the number one reason is brain-fog).


15 Julie November 29, 2007 at 12:30

Mood Swings from Peanuts

Wow, I thought I was the only one. Yes! This is true for me as well. Any kind of nut like almonds, peanuts, walnuts, etc. cause heavy mood swings for me too. It usually happens an hour or two after eating and has even been triggered by using lotions containing almond oils. I become very emotional, easily angered, and sometime break down and cry…. then I’m perfectly fine again and it goes back and forth from angry, happy, etc. until the allergy has subsided. I went to a doctor when I was in my teens to do food allergy tests and found nuts to be the cause. You are not alone my friend! It is hard to find information on this specific allergic reaction because nuts are usually associated with hives, or more severe physical reactions. I’ve never met anyone else with this problem until I read your post.


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