Q: Testing has confirmed that our 4-year-old is allergic to cashews and pistachios. (We visited an allergist after our daughter’s reaction to one cashew, in which her eye and lips became swollen and she got hives.) I’m unclear about what other foods she’ll need to avoid. While those are the only nuts she tested allergic to, I’ve read that cashews are in the sumac family, along with mangoes and peppercorns. Will she need to avoid those too?
Q: My grandson has been a very sick little boy who has suffered bouts of severe diarrhea and vomiting. At last his parents got a diagnosis for him — a type of allergy called FPIES, and they’re now avoiding several foods including milk and soy. It seems it’s not a “typical” food allergy. Could you… Read more »
Q: My 5-year-old is allergic to tree nuts, and I’d like to know more about shea (nut) butter, as it’s in so many products. Is it safe to use on her skin as a lotion? Are candies with it safe for her to eat? Dr. Sicherer: Shea nut butter or oil is derived from the seed of… Read more »
Q: Why does asthma put a child with food allergies at higher risk of anaphylaxis than other children with food allergies? Dr. Sicherer: Asthma is a condition in which the airways narrow, become inflamed and make extra mucus. There are many triggers of asthma including airborne allergens, exercise, infections, smoke, cold air, and others. Foods… Read more »
Q: Recently my mother was babysitting my son, who is 3 years old and peanut-allergic. She called me distressed; she had given my son a cookie she’d baked and he’d broken out in some hives on his face and began rubbing his nose.
Q. My younger child is allergic to peanuts and our family doctor recently said he should be avoid chickpeas (which he hasn’t tried) as well. She says there’s a high risk of reaction in peanut-allergic kids. Is this true?
Q: I’m a university student with food allergies. I’ve heard that if you accidentally eat a food with your allergen while also drinking alcohol, your allergic reaction will be worse. Why would that happen?
Q: I’m a chef and often serve food to allergic customers. Is it safe for those with shellfish allergies to consume sea salt? I’ve read that it can contain a microscopic type of shellfish. Dr. Sicherer: Sea salt differs from table salt primarily because sea salt is evaporated from seawater rather than refined from mined salt.… Read more »
Q: Why do we get hives in a food-allergic reaction? And will they always appear? Dr. Sicherer: Hives, also called urticaria, develop when allergy cells in the skin release chemicals, including histamine, that cause localized swelling, redness and itching. The response looks like a series of mosquito bites, often across an expanse of skin, but various… Read more »