I’m Allergic to Peanuts; What Should I Look Out For?

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Peanut Allergy


Peanuts are an all-time snack favorite all over the world. Everyone loves its unique and savory taste. Whether you boil them, roast them, or eat them straight up, they rarely disappoint. On the other hand, peanuts are potentially dangerous to people with a nut allergy. Symptoms of peanut allergies may appear shortly after consumption. It can happen to children and adults alike without warning. 

Although the severity of the reaction differs from one person to another, it is still vital to know what to do in emergency cases. This article will highlight the causes, symptoms, and treatment of nut allergy. We’ll provide you with helpful tips on dealing with mild to severe peanut allergic reactions. If you have an allergy to nuts, you might find this post helpful.


What is Peanut Allergy

This type of allergy occurs when your immune system identifies the proteins from peanuts as harmful components. Peanut allergy can be specific to peanuts, or it might include other nuts and seeds, such as tree nuts (such as walnuts and almonds) and legumes (such as soybeans).

 Your immune system’s initial reaction is to release chemicals such as histamine, a wide range of symptoms that can range from mild to severe. It depends on how your body reacts to peanut exposure. Some cases typically last for a few minutes, while others are more critical. 


What are the Signs and Symptoms of Peanut Allergy?

 Accidental consumption of peanuts may lead to allergic reactions like

  • Skin redness, swelling, and hives
  • Itching and tingling sensation around the mouth and throat
  • Throat tightening
  • Difficulty breathing, wheezing, and shortness of breath
  • Runny nose
  • Stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, or nausea

The symptoms listed above can range from mild to moderate. However, severe cases may lead to a life-threatening condition called anaphylaxis. 


What is Anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is the most severe allergic reaction that typically requires immediate medical attention. It has the potential to affect several parts of your body simultaneously, which can be deadly. Peanut is one of the most common causes of this allergic reaction. 

Symptoms of Anaphylaxis

  • Constriction of airways making it difficult to breathe
  • A sudden and significant drop in blood pressure (shock)
  • Rapid pulse (palpitations)
  • Feinting spell, dizziness, and lightheadedness

If you experience any of the symptoms of anaphylaxis, contact your doctor or dial 911 immediately. The typical treatment for this allergic reaction is an epinephrine (adrenaline) injector, like

  • Auvi-Q
  • EpiPen
  • Symjepi
  • A generic version of the auto-injector 

If not treated with epinephrine, the person might even end up in an emergency room. That’s how critical the situation can be with an anaphylaxis attack. Thus, it’s important to have two EpiPens with you all the time.


What are the Causes of Peanut Allergy?

Exposure to peanuts, nuts, or even peanut butter. Those are the main factors. Here are examples


  • Direct Contact. The most common exposure is eating peanuts, whether by choice or accidental. These include peanut butter of all kinds. Skin contact may also induce an allergic reaction. 
  • Indirect Contact. Cross contact could also cause an allergic reaction. Consuming food that is exposed to peanuts before processing causes allergic reactions.
  • Through Inhalation. Accidental inhalation of peanut-based aerosols may trigger allergic reactions. It could come from peanut oil or peanut flour. 

What are the Risk Factors?

We don’t have sufficient data on why people develop allergies to peanuts. However, health professionals identified the risk factors of developing them. These include

Age. Peanut allergies often occur in children. It is more likely that their immune systems are not yet fully developed. As you grow older, your immune system adjusts to allergic reactions better. 

Past Allergy. Previous allergies to peanuts are known to reoccur in adults. Peanut consumption may trigger allergic reactions even after outgrowing the condition.

Allergies to Other Food. Having allergic reactions to other food groups may increase peanut allergy risks. 

Hereditary. If your parents or other family members have a peanut allergy, it’s more likely that you’ll develop one as well. 

Eczema. People with eczema are often at risk of developing peanut allergies. 


Essential Tips to Prevent Peanut Allergy Reactions


Read food labels. Make reading food labels a habit if you have allergies. Manufacturers include information about the ingredients they use in their products. They also put warnings for people that have peanut allergies. Also, food manufacturers often change their ingredients. The new components may include peanuts as added flavor. 

When cooking food, make sure that the dish you’re preparing is peanut-free. Always remember that cross-contamination has a high potential for triggering allergic reactions. 

Be cautious when eating at diners or restaurants. Always inform the food servers that you have peanut allergies. Some chefs include peanut sauce or peanut butter in their recipes for texture and flavor enhancements. Accidental consumption of these ingredients may lead to allergic reactions.

Keeping a record of food with peanuts also helps. You can store the information on your mobile phone to keep it handy when you need it. Foods that may contain nuts include:

  • Baked goods or cookies
  • Candies.
  • Ice-Cream. 
  • Asian Cuisine. 
  • Sauces. 

 It is best to prepare food yourself if you have a peanut allergy to lessen all the risks.

Ask your doctor for a medical ID bracelet. Your ID should include relevant information about your allergies. 

Always Bring OTC or prescribed meds. Carrying 1 or 2 EpiPens may come in handy in emergency cases. Never leave home without them. 


OTC for Peanut Allergies

Over-the-counter medicine is effective against mild allergic reactions. You can try taking these pills when you’re unable to go to your doctor. Here are some of the OTC meds you can try

  • Loratadine
  • Diphenhydramine

Follow the dosage suggestions to prevent overdose. Antihistamines usually induce drowsiness. It may also be ideal if you have trouble sleeping. No-drowse types are also available. Both types are highly effective.  


The Newest FDA Approved Medication for Peanut Allergy

Palforzia is the latest drug approved by the FDA for peanut allergies. It has a high efficacy rate to manage anaphylaxis. The three phases of Palforzia treatment are initial dose escalation, up-dosing, and maintenance. Doctors can administer palforzia powders depending on the severity of the condition. The palforzia treatment is safe for children four years old up to seventeen. 

Note: People under treatment of palforzia should continue to avoid eating peanuts. 


Live A Healthier Life Without Allergies

At Brazos Valley Allergy and Asthma Clinics, we specialize in allergy treatment to help you live life to the fullest. Our Allergists are the most sought-after in College Station and Brazos Valley. All our procedures are safe and effective for you and your children. 

So, if you want to achieve a healthier lifestyle free of allergies, give us a quick call today, and let’s talk about your health!

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