I’m not allergic to nuts, but they give me allergy-like problems. And, um, that’s all we can tell. Well, gee thanks, doc.
In the early 90s, I noticed a reaction I have when I eat tree nuts - walnuts and almonds and pecans mostly, but with other nuts also. A small amount of nut will cause painful canker-like sores in my mouth. More than a few nuts trigger sinus drainage, wheezing, itchy lungs, and a profound change in attitude (usually toward the person who offered me the food with hidden nuts.)
(Aside: Oddly enough, peanuts are just fine, as are cashews. I discovered the cashews last month to my great joy. Mmmmm, cashews, I haven’t tasted your sweet kiss in almost 15 years. It seems that the only nuts I have trouble with are true tree nuts.)
I have a much stronger reaction with mushrooms and various fungi like that found in bleu cheese. Immediate itchy lung and difficulty breathing. Immediate murderous thoughts to the person who swore up and down the spaghetti sauce doesn’t have mushrooms, and besides the package’s ingredients show just a small amount of mushrooms, and it’s never bothered them.
A series of appointments with an allergist has confirmed an allergy to molds and fungi, but the nuts tests came up negative. His opinion is that I have a hypersensitivity to some kinds of nuts, but it’s not an allergy, so he can’t help me there. I’m also starting to get blank stares from my GP when I ask for a referral to a specialist to help me track this down.
I’m currently at a loss as to what to do. I really like nuts, they seem to be in almost everything, and I want to know why I can’t eat them.
Incidentally, another food which gives me itchy lung is raw bananas. The allergist didn’t have a test for bananas, and doubted I was allergic to the actual fruit. I tried organically-grown bananas after someone suggested it might be pesticides, and what do you know, no itchy lung. I’m thinking I want to try this with organically-grown nuts some time, but not until after some more tests. If it runs the risk of closing up my lungs, then I want an Epipen on hand and an emergency room nearby, just in case.