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Cashews cause more severe reaction than peanuts

Posted on July 21st, 2007 by Alison Read 10 Comments - Add Your Own »

cashews.jpgA new study in the European medical journal Allergy found that children with cashew nut allergy had more severe reactions than children with peanut allergy. Wheezing and cardiovascular symptoms were reported more frequently in the cashew-allergic children.

I think this study is important, not to downplay peanut allergy, but to bring awareness to other nut allergies as well. When I say that my daughter is allergic to cashews, people are surprised. I still see peanut butter on the playground every time I go there, and wonder how we are going to ever solve the problem of the rise in nut allergies and the presence of nuts in our society. The best solution is to get rid of food allergies of course, and researchers are working on that (if you want to help, consider donating to food allergy research).

But until that happens, I just hope that society will become more aware and compassionate about food allergies – yes, they exist and no, we aren’t making it up, and yes, it’s really really hard and no, we don’t want to impose on you, but *sigh*, please try to understand!

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  1. Thanks for the reminder! My son LOVES Ritz Bits with PB. Recently I have started asking the kids playing around us and their parents if they are allergic to peanuts before taking them out and giving them to him. With my diagnosis Ive really started to understand more what people have to go through. Have patience with all of us, please!

  2. I completely understand. One day I gave my daughter some trail mix for a snack and shortly after that when on our way to a doctors appointment her hands ballooned, hives broke out, her face started swelling, she was having extreme white and red patches all over and started wheezing and no one could tell me why. They asked about nuts and I said she has eaten peanut butter with no problem. It wasn’t until we did an allergy test that I found out she was allergic to cashews and mesquite. So now we have an inhaler and epi pen jr for her. Come to find out cashews are everywhere and I never realized it. The next time you go to a grocery store look at all the bags/containers of trail mix and I can almost bet that everyone will have cashews listed as an ingredient. Now that we know she is allergic to mesquite it made since when we couldn’t figure out why after bbqing she would break out in white and red patches and would swell a little, well we would use mesquite wood in the bbq. Then we were recently at a steak house that offers a gluten-free menu but they use mesquite on everything and just walking in the place she started having allergic symptoms. So we just make trail mix ourselves so we know it is gluten free.

  3. Nikki,
    I have never heard of Mesquite allergy! What is happening to our children? 🙁
    What do you put in your trail mix?

  4. I have many food allergies, one of them is peanut. When the list of food allergies I have came back from the clinic last year I started reading labels on everything I eat. I found that the only cashews I can eat are raw cashews. Almost every “regular” bag/can of cashews at the store are roasted in peanut oil. It explained why I’ve previously had a minor reaction whenever I ate cashews. For me it was not the cashew nut, but the peanut oil they were roasted in.

  5. Hi Kristi,
    I didn’t know that cashews are roasted in peanut oil. I have seen a lot of sunflower seeds roasted in peanut oil. My daughter is allergic to the actual cashew.

  6. I couldn’t agree more. My son has a severe peanut allergy, and it honestly feels like a constant struggle. Having just moved to southern Georgia, it has been even more of an education process at his school. I love the commercials that have been airing regarding food allergies, and try to personally educate as many people as possible – in as non-confrontational a manner as possible. It isn’t easy.

  7. Hi Alison. I just ran across your website looking for “safe” Halloween candy for my son. He is 5 years old and diagnosed with Celiac disease at 2 years old, a severe isolated cashew allergy (his only true “allergy”), and after a year of vomiting, excruciating stomach pains, weight loss, and some OCD symptoms, as well as numerous gastroenterology visits, mom and dad figured out he was having an egg intolerance. After we cut eggs out of his diet, ALL of his symptoms IMMEDIATELY disappeared, and he gained 15lbs in one year! Thank you for all of your hard work on this website. I want you to know you are truly appreciated, and thank you for sharing your own story. I am in tears reading it, understanding what you went through. My husband and I don’t have any dietary problems nor allergies, so this whole thing was new to us. Thanks again. And good luck to any of you out there trying to figure out what’s making you sick! Don’t give up!!

  8. Hi Dawn,
    Thanks for your comment – wow, who would think an egg intolerance could cause all that. Good for you for figuring it out!

  9. I have an oak allergy but only have an oral allergy to cashews. This means that my allergy to cashews is not a true allergy but when I ingest cashews I go into anaphylactic shock. For those who have a cashew allergy, or have a child with it, be aware that the protein in cashews is very similar to the protein present in both oak and mangoes. If a person has an allergy to one of the three, they may have a sensitivity to the others as well. The reason for this is that, even though an allergy test may reveal no true allergy to the other two, when ingested our body may recognize the similarity in the protein structure and trigger an allergic response. Allergies are an amazing and complex thing… I also have a true wheat allergy and visit this site often. (Thanks Alison! You do amazing work!)

  10. Elizabeth,
    I didn’t know about the relation between oak and cashew. Interesting — will look into this further! Thanks.

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