Definition of Cashew allergy
Cashew allergy: An allergic reaction to cashew nuts. Cashew allergy can be isolated, meaning that the individual is only allergic to cashews and not to other nuts, or the allergy may extend to other kinds of tree nuts such as walnuts and pistachios. Isolated cashew allergy can strike children or adults. No prior exposure to cashews is required for an allergic reaction to cashews.
In children the average age of their first allergic reaction to cashews is 2 years. One in every 5 children has previously eaten cashew nuts but, conversely, 4 out every 5 children have no known prior exposure to cashews.
The nature of the reaction to cashews is variable -- about 50% have skin symptoms like hives, 25% have respiratory signs such as difficulty breathing and 17% have an intestinal reaction to the cashews. The reaction can range from mild to life-threatening.
Almost one-third of children are also allergic to pistachios, which belong to the same botanical family of tree nuts as cashews.
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012
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