Peanut Allergy

Did You Know This About Peanut Allergies?

The peanut allergy is the most common food allergy and is one of the most common allergy to cause severe symptoms. The tiniest exposure to peanuts for some people can cause serious reactions (sometimes life-threatening!). 

Peanut proteins bind to IgE antibodies in someone's immune system. When the body is exposed to the protein, the immune system is triggered and causes a reaction. Peanut allergies are most seen in children and continues to increase. Allergic responses can come about within minutes after being exposed that range in mild to severe symptoms. 

Symptoms of Peanut Allergy:

This specific allergy can appear in all ages from infant to adult but is most common to those under 18 years old. Many can also outgrow this allergy. Mild to severe immediate symptoms include:

  • Hives

  • Red, itchy skin

  • Swelling

  • Digestive problems 

  • Throat tightening

  • Shortness of breath

If you are near anaphylactic shock, look out for the following symptoms:

  • Swelling of the throat 

  • Unable to breathe 

  • Drop in blood pressure

  • Dizziness or nausea

  • Unconsciousness

 

Peanuts often trigger very severe reactions, so it's highly recommended to have a epinephrine autoinjector like an EpiPen. Call 911 or head to the emergency room if needed. 

 

Causes of a Peanut Allergy:

When the immune system mistakes the peanut protein as something harmful, that's when the peanut allergy occurs. Exposure to peanuts can be direct or indirect. These include:

  • Direct contact or consumption. Having peanuts touch the skin or consuming peanuts will trigger some form of reaction.

  • Mixed contact. Many products are processed and handled around peanuts, so a food can be exposed to peanuts, and if someone is highly sensitive, a reaction occurs. Many do not realize this, but it is often labeled on a product if it was produced in a factory that contained peanuts.

  • Inhalation. Similar to when one inhales dust or pollen, inhaling peanuts especially from peanut oil or flour can cause someone to be exposed.

Preventing a Peanut Allergy:

With any allergic reaction, it’s best to avoid the trigger that is causing your skin or body to break out. You may need to avoid certain products.

 

Avoid these foods:

  • Mixed nuts

  • Peanut butter

  • Peanut oil

  • Lupin

  • Peanut flour

 

Foods that may often have mixed contact with peanuts include:

  • Candy

  • Egg rolls

  • Granola

  • Ice creams

  • Nougat

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Sweets (bakery goods, pies, cookies, cake)

  • Trail mix

 

Reach out to your doctor for solid and direct testing and results. Take necessary precautions, and take care of your body!

Image by AmirAli Ghorbankhani