Almond Intolerance: Do you have one?
Sometimes you know that certain foods just don’t sit well with you. Other times, you have no clue as to why you feel miserable with frequent headaches, gastrointestinal distress, abdominal pains, rashes, fatigue and/or headaches. Despite what you may think, these symptoms do not have to be your “normal!”
While you can have a food intolerance to any food, some people may have a food intolerance to almonds specifically. In this article, we will focus on possible reactions someone can have to almonds. As you read through the article and think about if you experience issues when consuming almonds.
Do I have an almond allergy?
If you think you have an allergy to almonds, then you are not alone. Almonds are a type of tree nut, and tree nuts are one of the top 8 allergens. Chances are, if you are allergic to one type of tree nut, then you may have allergies to other types of tree nuts.
Food allergies, like almond food allergies, can be life threatening in some people. If you notice that you have any of the following symptoms when you consume almonds or almond-containing food products, seek medical attention right away:
• Hives or excessive itching
• Throat closure
• Swelling of the lips, tongue or throat
• Difficulty breathing
• Loss of consciousness
• Anaphylactic shock
Luckily there have been some improvements in public environments and how they accommodate people with food allergies. For example, many schools have a “no-nut” policy to protect those with nut allergies. On many airlines, snacks containing allergens have been pulled permanently or whenever someone onboard has an allergy. However, don’t rely on others to successfully eliminate your allergens!
Do I have an almond intolerance?
Food intolerances may not present as immediate reactions to a food. If you have an almond intolerance, you may not be able to pinpoint ambiguous symptoms related to eating that food.
Can almonds be hidden in foods?
Aside from almonds in their natural form, you can find almonds as ingredients in other food products. If you typically have an adverse reaction to almonds, you may need to avoid foods with hidden remnants of almonds:
• Plain and/or flavored almonds (whole, sliced, crushed)
• Almond flour
• Almond extract
• Almond milk
• Certain baked goods that have almonds toppings, crusts or almond additives
• Almond-crusted meats (i.e. almond-crusted salmon)
How do I manage my issues with almonds?
Above all, if you are concerned that you have an allergy or intolerance to almonds, then it is time to see a registered dietitian and your doctor. These clinicians can help you determine if, indeed, almonds are trigger foods for you. There are several things that your clinicians can do to determine and/or confirm if you have an adverse reaction to almonds:
• Elimination diet (under the supervision of a dietitian)
• Food recall (performed by a dietitian)
• Food intolerance testing (at the discretion of your doctor)
• Food and symptom journal (analyzed by a dietitian)
• Skin prick test (performed for suspected almond allergies)