According to a recent study, few patients who have been diagnosed with an allergy to nuts can identify the types of nuts that cause symptoms. Typically, doctors will urge those diagnosed with nut allergies to stay away from specific types of nuts that trigger their symptoms. However, according to aPrivate MD Health Newsreview of a recent research study, few people can actually identify the types of nuts.

A team of researchers with Ohio State University placed a variety of peanuts and tree nuts in front of more than 1,100 adults and children, including many who had been diagnosed with nut allergies. According to the study, less than half of the participants could correctly identify the types of nuts. Those who had been diagnosed with nut allergies seemed no more knowledgeable about identifying nuts than people without allergies.

The research team concluded that doctors should focus on educating patients with food allergies about the specific foods they must avoid to prevent symptoms. Todd Hostetler, study author, wrote “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.”

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