peanut vs. tree nut allergies

How similar are peanut and tree nut allergies? Do those who suffer from one generally suffer from the other? If so, why, considering a peanut is a pea, not a nut? Why don’t other types of peas cause such deadly reactions in some?

They are distinct allergies. While it may be possible to suffer both tree nut and peanut allergies, it’s definitely not a given. I have a peanut allergy, but no problems eating tree nuts at all. In fact, I often eat almond or cashew butter and jelly sandwiches. I also have a colleague who has a severe tree nut allergy, but she eats peanuts regularly with no ill effects.

Peanuts are a legume and I do actually have an allergic reaction to some other legumes. For instance, I can’t eat lentils without an itching/burning sensation in my mouth and throat. Green peas also cause a similar but much more mild reaction. Both of these reactions are much less than the reaction I have to peanuts however and many legumes cause no reaction at all. I’m not well enough versed in the biology to understand why there is a spectrum of reactions there.

It’s also not a given that a person allergic to one kind of tree nut will be allergic to other kinds. The category ‘tree nuts’ has no particular basis in biology -the various species of common nut aren’t generally closely related (with a few exceptions such as walnuts/pecans)

I’m allergic to several legumes, including peanuts, green peas, and lentils. The reason why peanuts are such an issue is that they’re in so many foods, snuck into them in a form that isn’t readily visible. Generally, if something has green peas in it you can see them. With peanut flour, ground peanuts, peanut butter, and so on they can be incorporated into foods in a manner where you can’t see them, in foods that traditionally might not include peanuts at all. This makes avoiding peanuts much more difficult than avoiding some other legumes.

Worse than a peanut allergy is a soy allergy - THAT stuff really is everywhere.

Or coeliac disease… Between soy lecitine, wheat flour and lactose, it’s hard to find a prepared meal (including items such as sausages or sauces, not just “TV dinners”) which doesn’t have one of the three.

Next question for the allergy sufferers: Have you always had the allergy? How/when did you learn you had it? If it developed later, do you miss peanuts?

I’ve had allergies all my life. Some I outgrew, but then I acquired others later in life. It’s all very annoying.

As I have multiple allergies it varies, but usually I find out when, just after I eat something, I develop a sudden all-over body itch that even extends into my ears and sinuses, mucus membranes start swelling up, hives appear, I start wheezing, etc. Things can get rapidly worse from there.


I love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate but, alas, I haven’t had any for nearly a decade now and probably never will again. I like lentils but the last time I had them I thought I was going to need a trip to the ER. I love barley and used to eat it as a side dish like rice but never again - and no more microbrews, stouts, or the like for me either.

About the only two foods I’m allergic to I really never liked at all are tomatoes and green peas.

However, no food tastes so wonderful I’m willing to risk my health or life to eat it.

I hope you tip your waiters generously. :slight_smile:

I’m allergic to both peanuts and tree nuts. It’s been that way all of my life. My peanut allergy became apparent when I was two years old and my parents gave me a cracker with peanut butter that caused my lips to immediately swell up. Fortunately, I didn’t ingest any. Allergy testing shortly thereafter further revealed I was allergic to tree nuts.

Odd thing though, I don’t have any trouble with anything made with peanut oil or any tree nut oil.

Do we know why this is so? Walnuts, cashews, pecans, and brazil nuts are all not true nuts I believe and only some are related. Chestnuts and hazelnuts/filberts are the only true nuts that most of us have encountered, as well as oak acorns. But most people report allergies to culinary nuts. Is it that people with allergies to all of them have a true allergy? Or that they are allergic to a few types, and avoid others out of caution? Or it’s a partially psychosomatic allergy?

I discovered that I was allergic to almonds when I was about 10, after eating a Christmas cookie at a party. Very scary, indeed. Couldn’t feel my lips, throat started to close, after only one bite.

I have no idea if I am allergic to any other tree nuts, I just avoid them all.

My favorite snack is barbecue peanuts, those are like crack to me.

Yes. Normally 20%. Our really super waitstaff that go the extra mile get 30%. I realize I’m a bit of a pain in the butt at times but I’m willing to compensate them for the effort of accommodating my needs. I will also sing their praises to management.

If it’s domestically produced, you should never have a problem with it. Our refining technology is sophisticated enough to remove every last trace of protein from it and render it a pure oil. Do not, however, make the same assumption about oils produced in say, Mexico or India. You’d be rolling the dice if you did.

I’m also allergic to both peanuts and tree nuts, and have been all my life. I had a lot of allergies as a child, but these are the only food allergies that survived into adulthood (for which I am grateful).

My allergy to peanuts is fairly mild, after all, which I found out from accidentally swallowing part of a peanut-based protein bar that I thought was another flavor.

My allergies to tree nuts run the gamut - walnuts and hazelnuts/filberts seem to be the worst (based on times I have accidentally eaten some) and almonds the least bad. Others I haven’t tried that may not even be nuts, like macadamias, but I don’t want to take the chance.

I’m not allergic to any other legumes than peanuts, as far as I have experienced any symptoms.

Those are my data points.

I react badly to all sorts of nuts: peanuts, cashews, almonds, filberts, walnuts, etc.

I couldn’t say for sure what the full extent of my allergy is because I just avoid anything that even remotely resembles a nut on general principle. What does seem to be certain is that I react to RAW nuts. I have never had a bad reaction to fully cooked nuts, that I know of (e.g. peanut butter). But then again it is not like I have experimented with it.

I developed it around age 6’ish. It was minor at first, but then got progressively worse, with exposure. My parents refused to believe I was allergic for years until one day my throat started to swell and then they quickly changed their minds. They had thought I was just telling stories to get attention or to avoid eating something I didn’t like.

By the time I was 10, I would have an almost instant reaction to nuts. Just a few seconds on my tongue makes my whole mouth burn and itch terribly.

I don’t really miss nuts because I cannot recall what they taste like. Its been almost thirty years since I last ate any. However, I really miss Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, which I never had a reaction to, but stopped eating just to be safe. Its also damn annoying to be very limited in my breakfast cereal choices since the majority seem to contain nuts of some sort.

Oddly enough I seem to have developed a psychological reaction to nuts. Even the smell of them or accidentally picking one up in my hands is enough to make me feel extremely nauseous. Its probably all in my head. Does that mean I’m nuts?:smiley: