Tree Nut Allergies May Be Massively Overdiagnosed

Via Blend Images / Alamy
Via Blend Images / Alamy


The results of a new study on tree nut allergies…

Millions of Americans live in fear of the peanut. And for good reason: These humble legumes are associated with some of the most severe of all food-related allergic reactions, including life-threatening anaphylaxis. Moreover, studies show that peanut allergies in children have more than tripled from 1997 to 2008, leading to what the National Institutes of Health have deemed a “growing public health problem.”

It’s no wonder that the once-ubiquitous peanut butter and jelly sandwich has been quietly disappearing from school menus around the nation. But sadly for the peanut-allergic, the trouble often doesn’t end with PB&J. Many also know the frustration of having to studiously avoid chocolate chip cookies with walnuts, candy bars with almonds, ice cream with pistachios, or any other delicious treat made with tree nuts.

After all, as they’ve been warned by their doctors, skin and blood test results reveal that those with peanut allergies are also often allergic to tree nuts. Better safe than sorry, right?

Read on at Smithsonian Magazine.