Nut allergies can be dangerous because they have been known to cause a severe reaction called anaphylaxis more often then other allergens. In a normal allergic reaction, the body thinks nut protein or any allergen is a more harmful substance and releases histamine. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition that occurs when tissues in different parts of the body release histamines which cause swelling significant enough to block airways and cause other symptoms.
However, nuts are not the only allergen that can induce anaphylaxis. I personally have known people go into anaphylaxis from bee stings and peas. Any allergic reaction can increase in severity at any time. The current practice is to prescribe an epinephrine injection to anyone with an allergy to food or insect bites in case the reaction ever excalates to anaphylaxis in the future.
I think we hear more about nut allergies and have all probably been somewhere that peanuts or peanut butter (actually not a nut but that is another topic) was banned due to a fellow student or co-worker having a severe allergy. Additionally, shellfish can cause the same sorts of reactions that lead to swelling throats and imminent death if not treated immediately.
Another issue with nut allergies is that it is hard to avoid nuts. If you have an allergy to shellfish, for example, you can just avoid eating them. Nuts, on the other hand, are found in a lot of food products, and it’s not always obvious that they are an ingredient.
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