Do I have allergy to kola nut?

26 December 2014
Comments: 0
26 December 2014, Comments: 0

If an individual is allergic to nuts, an issue that might come into mind is if it is safe to consume kola nuts. The kola nut has been utilized for medical purposes as well as in cooking. This nut is available as an herbal supplement that aids in weight loss, depression, diarrhea, fatigue and migraines. Just like with any herb used in cooking or as a supplement, an individual might develop an allergic reaction to the substance after it was ingested. Take note that the kola nut is the seed of the kola plant that typically thrives in tropical regions. If an individual starts to experience adverse reactions after consuming kola nut, a doctor must be consulted.

Food allergy

It is important to note that kola nut is not included in the list of triggers of food allergies, but any food can instigate an allergic reaction. Kola nut is essentially a seed and not connected to any tree nut allergies. In case an individual is allergic to kola nut, the immune system wrongly identifies the substance as a threat.

The body responds as if it is under attack and starts to defend itself by producing antibodies along with histamine and other chemicals. These chemicals can cause inflammation in the soft tissues all over the body, resulting to the usual symptoms of food allergy. By enrolling in a class on first aid, you will learn the steps to manage an allergic reaction.

Kola nut

The individual might develop symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, cramping, upset stomach, facial swelling, abdominal pain, eczema, skin rashes, hives, runny nose, nasal congestion, difficulty breathing, sneezing and wheezing.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of a food allergy usually start within a few minutes and can range from minor to severe. The individual might develop symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, cramping, upset stomach, facial swelling, abdominal pain, eczema, skin rashes, hives, runny nose, nasal congestion, difficulty breathing, sneezing and wheezing. Once any of these symptoms become severe, bring the individual to the emergency department. Remember that food allergies can lead to a severe reaction known as anaphylaxis that can be fatal.

Testing and management

A doctor must be consulted for allergy testing to determine if the individual is allergic to kola nut. The skin and blood are used to observe how the immune system reacts to the proteins of kola nut. During a skin test, the doctor will introduce a small amount under the skin to check if irritation or inflammation develops. As for a blood test, a sample is taken to check if the blood produces antibodies once kola nut is introduced. If an individual is diagnosed with an allergy to kola nut, he/she must avoid consumption in its supplement form. Remember that kola nut can be used in some ethnic dishes.

Considerations to bear in mind

Take note that not all adverse reactions from kola nut are linked to a food allergy. The usual side effects not related to an allergy include nausea, stomach irritation, vomiting, headache as well as elevated heart rate, anxiety, ringing in the ears, nervousness, insomnia and restlessness. These symptoms are triggered by the caffeine content in kola nut. If the individual develops chest pain or erratic heartbeat, kola nut supplements should not be used. Most of these symptoms are strikingly similar to a food allergy and must be properly assessed by a doctor.

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