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What Are the Signs of an Allergic Reaction to Almonds?

By Meshell Powell
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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An allergic reaction to almonds can cause a variety of symptoms, depending on the severity of the allergy. Mild symptoms may include watery eyes, a slight rash, or nasal congestion. More serious signs of an allergy may involve itching, hives, or difficulty breathing. A severe reaction can be life threatening and may include swelling of the face or throat, an inability to breathe, and a partial or total loss of consciousness. Any potential allergy symptoms should be treated as a medical emergency, as they can become fatal within a matter of minutes.

In most cases, an allergic reaction to almonds causes some sort of skin problem. This may involve the appearance of a rash that may or may not itch or redness around the mouth after consuming a product containing this culinary nut. A type of rash known as hives may develop and involves raised, reddened areas of skin that may itch or burn. Those with a mild allergy to almonds may develop a skin condition known as eczema.

A drop in blood pressure may also occur, causing the patient to feel dizzy or lightheaded. Gastrointestinal disturbances, such as nausea, cramping, or diarrhea, may occur as well. These symptoms may not be easily associated with an allergy to almonds unless a medical professional orders allergy tests or more severe symptoms develop.

People who are allergic to almonds often have respiratory symptoms as well. In milder cases, this may involve itchy, watery eyes or nasal congestion. A runny nose, sneezing, or a worsening of asthma symptoms may also occur. If breathing becomes difficult or painful, a more severe type of allergic reaction may be the cause, and emergency medical assistance is crucial.

Anaphylaxis is a medical term used to describe a severe and potentially life-threatening type of allergic reaction. Symptoms may begin with itching, a rash, and swelling of the lips. The tongue and throat may then begin to swell, causing breathing to become difficult or even impossible. Without immediate medical treatment, the loss of oxygen to the body can cause permanent brain damage or death within a matter of minutes. For this reason, those with a diagnosed allergy to almonds may be prescribed an injectible medication known as epinephrine, which is designed to be used as a life-saving emergency treatment in the event that anaphylaxis occurs.

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Discussion Comments

By anon998052 — On Apr 05, 2017

My reaction: swollen lips, tongue. throat is sore. skin all over is flush (red). itchy. I'm in my early '60's and I only became allergic in my middle '40's.

By candyquilt — On Mar 21, 2013

My daughter has anaphylaxis if she eats any type of nut. Her entire face swells up, it's very scary.

Of course, she does her best to avoid them but nuts and nut oils are found in so many processed foods. Even if they don't contain nuts, they are produced in facilities that also produce nuts, so there is always a risk.

Good thing she knows when it's coming and keeps some antihistamine medication with her at all times. She still makes a visit to the ER to make sure that the allergic reaction doesn't get out of control though.

By ysmina — On Mar 20, 2013

@simrin-- No, allergies can occur at any age and they can come about suddenly. It does sound like you have an allergy to almonds, you must avoid them.

By SteamLouis — On Mar 19, 2013

For the past several weeks, I've been experiencing a burning, inflamed throat and itching on my skin after eating almonds. I can't believe that I could be allergic because I love almonds and I've been eating them my whole life.

And don't allergies usually get diagnosed in childhood?

By KoiwiGal — On Mar 18, 2013

@pleonasm - The good thing is that allergies like ones for almonds responds very well to certain therapies and can basically be eliminated over time.

It's called immunotherapy and it involves getting the patient to ingest larger and larger amounts of the allergen over time, always making sure that they aren't about to have a reaction.

It can sometimes make them a little sick and often it has to happen for years at a time before they build up a tolerance for the allergen. But for people who live in deathly fear of a particular food type, it's a miracle cure, because it means they no longer have to worry about dying whenever they eat out.

By pleonasm — On Mar 17, 2013

@pastanaga - Well, what I find scary is how much allergy levels are rising in the population. No one is really sure why, although I think it's probably because of pollution levels.

There's a reason that a lot of schools now ban peanuts and other kinds of nuts altogether and it's not just because of being overly politically correct. There are now often several children in a given class who need to have their epinephrine on hand at all times, in case the worst happens and they come across an almond.

By pastanaga — On Mar 17, 2013

The annoying thing about something like an almond allergy is that it doesn't just happen when you're eating whole almonds. If you eat anything that's even come close to an almond then you're in trouble and a lot of things use almond oils or essences in order to get their flavor.

Then there are all the products that were simply processed in a factory that also processes almonds.

The amount of deaths from an allergy isn't all that high, but it's a never ending crisis for parents who have an allergic child, because they never know when they'll have to leap into action to save their life.

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