Peanut Allergy – The Facts

  • Sara 

Questions & Answers On Peanut Allergies

What is A Peanut Allergy?

It is a reaction that can be mild to severe, that happens when your body identifies a protein in the peanuts as harmful. The body’s immune system then kicks in by releasing histamines, which causes your allergic reaction.

What Reaction Can A Peanut Allergy Cause?

In its mildest form, you can expect –

  • Wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Itching & tingling in your mouth  
  • Itching & tightening of the throat
  • Runny nose or a blocked one
  • Nausea
  • Your skin can itch, or even hives can appear

In its severest form, peanut allergy can cause food-related anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can lead to death; in fact, peanuts are the #1 cause of death by food-induced anaphylaxis. Symptoms, like in many allergies, include swelling of the mouth, shortness of breath with impaired breathing, caused by swelling in the throat. The symptoms can then progress to a rapid drop in blood pressure, tachycardia, pale skin, blue lips, dizziness and fainting.

If not treated quickly, anaphylaxis caused by peanut allergy can lead to death. While anaphylaxis is a very serious medical condition, it is relatively rare.

What Treatment Is Available For Peanut Induced Anaphylaxis?

#Prevention is the number one option for someone with a peanut allergy. You can now be tested for the particular protein that triggers your allergy, which will help indicate how severe your reactions might be.

#It is vital to know you have a severe reaction to peanuts and that you carry ID to indicate this. 

#Carry an auto-injector like an Epipen, Auvi-Q or Twinje; all contain epinephrine, that is, adrenaline, to counteract the severe allergic reactions. 

#Avoid the obvious like peanuts and their derivatives, like peanut oil. But you also have to be aware of any peanut components in the food you are eating. Peanuts are often a hidden component in many foods and found in many commercial and restaurant marinades. Eastern and Asian cuisine often contain peanuts, as does vegetarian food Sauces such as chilli, pesto gravy can contain peanuts. 

#It is essential to check food-content labels and ask at food outlets.