Cashews, a tree nut, often prompt severe allergic reactions. While it is possible to have an allergy only to cashews, many people with this allergy are also allergic to pistachio and mango, since these are in the same tree nut family. Often, they experience similar reactions when eating these foods.
Other cashew allergy symptoms affect the skin, including itching, swelling, hives, and rashes. The rash is usually pink in color and warm to the touch. Skin rashes are particularly common when the cashews have come in contact with the skin, though hives can appear even when the cashews did not contact the skin.
Gastrointestinal symptoms are the most common effects of food allergies. After eating cashews, you may experience stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. Mild nausea is common in those with a mild cashew allergy.
Cashew allergies often prompt respiratory symptoms that mimic asthma, especially when the reaction is prompted by cashew dust that has been inhaled. Symptoms include itchy, watery eyes, difficulty breathing, a runny or stuffy nose, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.
Finally, some people with cashew allergies experience a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis. This reaction includes symptoms such as difficulty breathing, swelling in the throat and airways, lightheadedness, rapid pulse, and fainting or loss of consciousness. This reaction can occur even with the ingestion or inhalation of very small amounts of cashew. Epinephrine can reverse these symptoms, providing time to reach a hospital for medical attention.If untreated, this reaction can result in death.