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Nut Allergy: The 4 golden rules to avoid a life-threatening attack
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If you have a nut allergy, there are four major things you need to do if you are to avoid a serious - and possibly fatal - reaction, especially if you are not eating at home

If you have a nut allergy, there are four major things you need to do if you are to avoid a serious - and possibly fatal - reaction, especially if you are not eating at home.

1. As an asthma attack is the single most common cause of death following an anaphylactic shock, it's important that you are fully prepared for an attack.

2. If you are dining at a friend's home or in a restaurant, phone ahead and tell them about your allergy.

3. Carry around a written anaphylaxis emergency plan together with an emergency kit, which should include adrenaline, a non-sedating anti-histamine, and oral corticosteroids.

4. Finally, and most important of all, you should always test the food beforehand by putting a very small sample on your outer lip. Tell-tale signs of a chilli-like reaction, or tingling, burning, or swelling, are enough to pass on the meal.

(Source: The Lancet, 2007; 370: 483).

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