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Relief for nut allergy sufferers: Other types of nuts are often unproblematic
If people have an allergy to peanuts, hazelnuts or walnuts, it is often advised to avoid nuts in general. In many cases, however, this is not necessary, according to the results of a US study.
If the patient has not yet clearly responded to food, the oral provocation test is the safest method to detect an allergy. The smallest amounts of the allergenic food, which are increased at certain intervals, are given under clinical conditions. This test may only be performed under the supervision of a medical professional who will then observe the patient for a few hours. Depending on the body's reaction, it can intervene and decide when the test is to be ended. Often, however, only a prick test is carried out, in which standardized allergen solutions are applied to the skin.
However, this method is not reliable enough for a diagnosis. Another way to test an allergy is to use the IgE test. Blood is drawn to measure the amount of immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies are formed if they are predisposed to react to contact with allergens.
The scientists evaluated the oral provocation tests of 109 patients who, after being diagnosed with a tree nut allergy (almonds, pecans, etc.), had skin tests or IgE positive for other types of nuts. So far, they had not reacted to the food. In more than every second case, the suspicion of an additional nut allergy could not be confirmed. 44 patients with a peanut allergy and a positive skin and IgE test for other types of nut also passed the oral provocation test to 96 percent. Accordingly, these patients also did not suffer from a secondary allergy, and there was no need to avoid other types of nut, the scientists write in the journal "Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology". Heike Kreutz, respectively