National Nut Day

Did you know that National Nut Day was last week?  If you or your child is allergic to nuts, you know how frightening a reaction can be. Though some people may react only mildly (with hives, asthma, a tingling sensation in the mouth, gastrointestinal upset), many react with full-blown anaphylaxis. They may stop breathing or pass out or experience a massive drop in blood pressure.


Peanuts tend to produce some of the most severe reactions, but it should be noted that peanuts aren’t actually nuts. They are legumes that have a very similar chemical composition to tree nuts (like walnuts, cashews, macadamias, etc.)

With this being National Nut Day, it’s worth noting that nut/peanut allergies are on the rise. In fact, here in the U.S., peanut allergies tripled between 1997 and 2008. While no one knows exactly why, doctors are hard at work trying to figure out a solution.

A number of studies are underway to desensitize people to peanuts using allergy immunotherapy. With immunotherapy, the body is exposed to traces of peanut proteins until it gradually learns to accept them and stop overreacting to them in ways that lead to troubling symptoms. In these studies, the peanut proteins are ingested (oral immunotherapy) or mixed into a liquid saline solution and dissolved under the tongue (sublingual immunotherapy).

AllergyEasy does not yet offer treatment for peanut allergies, but they do offer sublingual immunotherapy for a variety of fruits and vegetables, rice, wheat, soy, eggs, milk, etc.

Finally, there’s hope beyond simply avoiding allergy-causing foods!

About The Author

Stuart H. Agren, M.D.

Stuart H. Agren, M.D. completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah and went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1974. He completed additional training at L.D.S. Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah and then established his private medical practice starting in 1975. Dr. Agren completed a mini-residency in Industrial Medicine at the Robert Johnson School of Medicine at Rutgers University and also completed training to become a certified Medical Review Officer.

Dr. Agren was the Medical Director at TRW and McDonnell Douglas in Mesa, Arizona and at Stauffer Chemical and Kennecott Copper in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University.

In his private medical practice, Dr. Agren specialized in family practice and allergy. In his work as a private practice allergist, he was one of the first doctors in the country to prescribe sublingual immunotherapy to his patients as an alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy shots). He has also been a trailblazer in the field of food allergy treatment and research, developing a program to treat multiple food allergies simultaneously using sublingual immunotherapy. Dr. Agren has been featured on local CBS, NBC, and ABC news affiliates and won the peer-nominated “Top Doc” award from Phoenix Magazine.

After 20 years in private practice, Dr. Agren became the Founder and President of AllergyEasy, which helps primary care physicians around the country offer allergy testing and sublingual immunotherapy treatment to their patients. Over 200 physicians in over 32 states use the AllergyEasy program to help their patients overcome environmental and food allergies and asthma.