Tree Nut Allergy

This food allergy is an immune system response linked to tree nuts. It happens when your immune system treats harmless nut proteins as if they're a danger to your body. Almonds, walnuts, pecans and cashews are tree nuts. So are Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pistachios and pine nuts. A person with this allergy may be allergic to one or more of them. Kids who have a tree nut allergy often don't grow out of it.


What happens when a person with this allergy is exposed to tree nuts? Well, they can have a wide range of reactions. Their face, lips, mouth or throat may swell. They may have red spots on their skin. They may itch and break out in hives. They may have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.


If the reaction is severe, they may have trouble breathing. They may go into shock and lose consciousness. We call this "anaphylaxis." It's an emergency. Get medical help as soon as possible.

Managing this allergy

To manage a tree nut allergy, avoid tree nuts and all foods that contain them. Read food labels carefully, and watch for tree nuts where you may not expect them. They can be used in baked goods, breading, sauces, mixes and as an ingredient in Asian dishes. For a full list, ask your doctor.

Other tips

And finally, even though peanuts are legumes and not technically a type of nut, a person with this allergy may also have a peanut allergy. So a person who has a tree nut allergy may need to avoid peanuts, too. For more info, talk to your doctor.