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Nutmeg Allergy-Causes, Symptoms, And Cure

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Nutmeg allergy has nothing to do with nuts as the sweet smelling spice does not fall in the category despite its name. The incidence of allergies to nutmegs is quite rare though; a pleasing fact in itself but it will certainly not harm to learn something about the condition. Read on to find out more…


Reasons for Nutmeg Allergy

The seeds of the nutmeg plant are usually ground into spices which are added to enhance the taste and flavor of certain dishes. However, your body may rebel at accepting the nutmeg protein that enters your body after you ingest it. The chemical called histamine is secreted with the intention of removing the allergen from your body while IgE, an antibody is created specifically to fight with the offensive protein.

Mere touching of the nutmeg powder or seeds may cause contact dermatitis in some cases.


Nutmeg Allergy Symptoms

The reactions occur within minutes of the nutmeg allergen entering your body. The commonest symptoms associated with this type of allergy include:-

  • Persistent sneezing and a runny nose that remains clogged
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Skin hives and eczema
  • Swelling of the mouth, oral cavity and lips
  • Asthma like symptoms occur causing shortness of breath and wheezing which includes coughing continuously.
  • Dizziness and fainting spells.


Diagnosis of Nutmeg Allergy

The following tests are conducted to confirm the allergy.

  • Skin prick test- A small amount of the allergen is injected beneath the skin and the reactions noted by the allergist.
  • Blood Tests- The blood from the patient is examined for presence of IgE which is created when allergy occurs.
  • Skin Patch test- A portion of the skin is tested to see if reactions occur on touching nutmeg.


Treating Nutmeg Allergy Symptoms

  • Anti histamine drugs can control the runny nose and oral allergic symptoms like itching around the mouth and lips.
  • Washing the affected area properly with soap and water before applying corticosteroids can get rid of the contact dermatitis.
  • Asthma like symptoms are treated with  drugs meant for treating respiratory distress.
  • Epinephrine injections are administered when the reactions become severe.
  • Avoiding nutmeg in all forms is the only way to prevent recurrence of allergic reactions.


Nutmeg allergy is not a common occurrence and the spice can be consumed safely by nut allergy patients. However, it is better to keep yourself informed in order to prevent untoward incidences over which you have no control.


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Nutmeg Allergy-Causes, Symptoms, And Cure