By Neepa Sevak
Nut allergy sets off immense anxiety among families affected, so it is exceptionally encouraging news that homeopathic treatment can have this stress lifted from them. Because of the aggressive antibodies that these people have already geared up against nuts, even a trace of nuts can activate an abrupt anaphylactic reaction.
People can be allergic to peanuts, other tree nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashew, sunflower, sesame seeds, etc. (peanut actually is not a nut, but it belongs to the legume family of peas, lentils and soybeans).
An allergic reaction crops up when a person’s immune system mistakenly believes that a harmless substance, such as a nut, is actually harmful to the body. The immune system creates antibodies called immunoglobulin E that trigger the release of chemicals like histamine which can cause symptoms. Some people may be so sensitive to nuts and peanuts that they get an allergic reaction just from being around them and breathing in small particles of that food, even if they don't touch them or consume them.
Causes of Nut Allergy
- Family history of nut allergy, asthma or eczema
- Skin exposure to nut proteins during infancy
- Nut oil exposure in children with broken or inflamed skin conditions
Symptoms of Nut Allergy
- Runny nose
- Itchy, watery eyes & sneezing
- A tingling feeling in the lips or mouth
- An itchy rash (urticaria, hives)
- Swelling on various parts of the body
- Swelling in the throat, causing difficulty in swallowing
- Difficulty breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Cramping pains in stomach
- Blue color to skin and nails
- Low blood pressure
- Death due to breathing obstruction or extreme low blood pressure (anaphylactic shock)
Homeopathic Approach to Nut Allergy
Homeopathy views nut allergy as an expression of a disturbance in the patient’s immune system. This system keeps all the tissues, organs, emotions and intellectual functioning at optimum level. Under stress, the immune system will cause certain symptoms, such as allergies. These symptoms are not a disease to be cured in themselves, but a reflection of an underlying, deeper malfunction. Homeopathic remedies treat the entire person with deep acting constitutional approach which will help desensitize, reinforce the immune system and also prevent the recurrence of the problem. Homeopathy seeks to naturally stimulate the body's natural defenses against nut allergy symptoms and situates the body in a position to react less and less to allergens. Homeopathic remedies are made from natural substances and include specific allergens to gently, safely expose the individual to their specific weak areas. This allows the natural defenses to properly adapt to the allergen and no longer react to it adversely. Although, proper diet and lifestyle is advised along with the homeopathic treatment, freedom to be able to eat anything and everything is the goal of homeopathic treatment.
Self Care Measures
- Avoid foods that may contain nuts.
- Always check food labels, even for products you know, as ingredients can change.
- Avoid foods with unknown ingredients.
- Avoid eating from self-serve buffets where people may put spoons in and out of different bowls, risking cross contamination.
- Make your own snacks and lunches to take to other people's houses, parties, school, and on field trips.
- Make sure friends, family and everyone at school know about your food allergy.
- Carry a list of foods to watch out for in your backpack or purse.
- Teach close friends to recognize the signs of anaphylaxis and show them how to help you.
- Avoid foods with the label Arachis as it is an alternative term for peanut.
- Avoid emulsified foods which could mean that the food was thickened with peanuts.
- Avoid nuts when you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Give your baby only breast milk for the first six months.
- Do not give nuts or food containing nuts to your child before the age of three.
- Be aware that if you have a peanut allergy you might also react to some vegetables, legumes like soy, green beans, kidney beans, baked beans and green peas because these foods contain similar allergens to peanuts.
- Be aware that alcohol can make an allergic reaction stronger.
Hence, homeopathy will help relieve the burden of fear that is caused by nut allergy and give you the freedom to be able to eat anything.