People with cashew allergies are asked to strictly keep away from cashews. The onset of cashew allergy in children is seen when they attain about 2 years of age. This allergy is caused because the immune system mistakes the proteins present in the cashews as harmful foreign bodies and begins to fight it by producing antibodies. Chemicals are released in the process and it is these chemicals that conduce to various allergic symptoms seen.
The severity of the symptoms vary from person to person. The reaction of the body towards cashew nut can range from mild to life-threatening. The milder form may comprise symptoms like hives, rashes, etc. They appear pink in color with slight swelling. They can also be itchy and hot to touch. Patients with this allergy experience itching on the roof of their mouths, their eyes, throat, etc. Moreover, intake of cashews can also lead to problems like vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, etc., in some people.
On the other hand, severe cases of cashew allergy rashes exhibit swelling. The rashes situated around the throat or face can cause the face to swell quite a bit. The swelling is not dangerous, however, if the swelling continues, it is capable of blocking airways, thereby preventing the person from breathing. This can become dangerous and can lead to other grave situations like asthma attacks, wheezing, extreme anxiety, etc. If this condition is not treated immediately, the person will be unable to breathe. This will lower the blood pressure, and cause the person to enter an anaphylactic shock, which is a fatal condition.
The cliché, ‘prevention is better than cure’ is relevant here. The best way to keep oneself safe is by avoiding cashew nut consumption. Since the allergy conduced by cashews is far severe than any of the other tree nut allergies, it is better to be extra cautious. Check labels of various products for the ingredients before purchasing them. However, we live in a world of uncertainty, wherein, we don’t know what’s in store for us around the corner. We may accidentally happen to consume cashews in parties, etc. In such situations, we need to be aware of the treatment measures.
The movie ‘Game Plan’ featured the little eight-year old with nut allergy, wherein accidental consumption of nuts in the dessert caused her lips and face to swell. Her father, Dwayne Johnson had to rush her to the hospital immediately. Well, this can happen in not just reel, but real life as well. Immediate treatment is required when accidentally consumed. The treatment will depend on the kind of symptom exhibited. For example, for hives and gastrointestinal reactions, antihistamines will be administered. For hives or dermatitis issues topical creams are enough. Wheezing and shortness of breath with require bronchodilators to widen the airways. In case of inflammation, corticosteroids are given while epinephrine injections are given in cases of anaphylaxis.
This allergy affects people irrespective of caste, creed, religion, age, or gender. Since this allergy can have fatal impacts, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately after onset of mild symptoms. If you are doubtful about your allergy, take the skin prick test which will help you identify if you are allergic to cashews.
Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.