Nutmeg is generally safe for consumption for those with nut allergy. It is important to note that nutmeg is often confused with a nut but it is not part of the nut family and does not contain any nut proteins.
Remember though that generalized allergic reactions, contact dermatitis and asthma have been reported in some individuals who directly handle or ingest nutmeg. Any symptoms that arise after exposure should be reported to a doctor. In rare instances, nutmeg might trigger a severe allergic reaction.
Do I have nutmeg allergy?
Nutmeg allergy is not considered as a common form of food allergy. It is typically brought about by hypersensitivity to proteins present in the spice.
Nutmeg is made from a seed that is crushed and added to beverages and baked products. If an individual is sensitive to the proteins of the plant, the body might respond by producing chemicals to protect itself.
Immunoglobulin E antibodies and histamine are released and triggers inflammation in the soft tissues which leads to the common allergy symptoms.
What are the generalized reactions?
The general reactions typically arise in a few minutes after consumption of nutmeg. Some of the usual reactions include:
- Runny nose, sneezing and nasal congestion
- Sinus headaches, postnasal drip and facial pressure
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Gas, bloating and abdominal pain or cramps
- Swelling in the lips, face or tongue with itchiness
- Hives and eczema
In most cases, asthma might develop after ingesting nutmeg. The histamine released in the tissue that form in the lungs triggers swelling and inflammation that disrupts with breathing.
There is also a lump in the throat, difficulty breathing, chest pain, wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing.
It is important to note that asthma might be an indication of a severe reaction that requires immediate medical attention. If the individual feels dizzy, lightheaded or about to faint, call for emergency assistance right away.
Contact dermatitis is a skin condition that arises if in contact with nutmeg. This is localized to the skin that was exposed to the allergen. The skin condition can be managed by cleansing the site with water and soap followed by the application of hydrocortisone.