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Category: Allergy Testing
When a person receives a positive lab test for a nut allergy, doctors urge them to stay away from the nut that triggers their symptoms. However, new evidence suggests that few individuals are able to identify they types of nuts to which they are allergic.
A team of researchers from Ohio State University set a variety tree nuts and peanuts in front of more than 1,100 adults and children, some of whom had nut allergies. The results showed that fewer than half of the participants were able to correctly identify the nut samples. The most surprising finding was that individuals with nut allergies did no better at identifying the samples than those without allergies.
The researchers said the findings indicate that doctors need to do a better job of educating their patients with allergies about the food products they need to avoid.
"When we ask patients to avoid peanuts and tree nuts, we shouldn’t assume patients know what they’re looking for, because they may not. It’s worthwhile to do some education about what a tree nut is, what a peanut is, and what they all look like," said Todd Hostetler, who led the study.
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