Health and MedicineDiseasesPeanut (peanut) allergy: everything you need to know about peanut allergy

Peanut (peanut) allergy: everything you need to know about peanut allergy

Peanut (or groundnut) allergy is more common than you think. Find out what the symptoms are and why it is a very serious allergy with serious consequences.

According to the World Health Organization, food allergies are adverse reactions to foods, which have an immune mechanism at their origin, and there are currently more than 70 foods that cause food allergies, being the only way to avoid them for those affected is not to eat these foods.

Generally, the foods most frequently implicated and those that cause the most severe reactions are cereals containing gluten, crustaceans, eggs, fish, soybeans, milk, peanuts and other types of nuts. In fact, did you know that peanut allergies are more common than you think?

Egg and milk allergies are the most common in children; shellfish allergy is the most common in adults, while peanut allergy is the same common in both age groups.

What are the symptoms of peanut allergies?

They usually start within an hour or two after eating the peanuts. Symptoms can sometimes begin many hours after the peanut has been consumed, and have even led to death.

The key elements of a food allergy are hives, hoarse voice, and breathe noise or wheezing. Other symptoms may occur, such as swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, and tongue; difficulty swallowing or breathing due to swelling of the throat; itching of the mouth, throat, eyes and skin, dizziness or fainting.

There are also oral allergies, which only affect the mouth and tongue after eating, with  itching and swelling. In strong reactions, it can present arterial hypotension and blockage in the respiratory tract.

Tests to determine peanut allergies

There are different tests to determine if a person is allergic, such as skin or blood tests.  There is also the double-blind test, in which the patient is exposed to food and thus determines which foods the patient is allergic to.

There are also elimination diets, in which suspect foods are avoided until symptoms reappear. After that, the food is eaten again to see if it has an allergic reaction.

Peanut allergy is not a game

Before, it was considered that this allergy lasted for life, but recent studies clarify that up to more than 20% of children who suffer from it, when they reach adulthood, outgrow it.

Peanut allergy is not a game, it can be so dangerous and cause the death of the person who suffers from it, as was the case of a Canadian woman who died after kissing her boyfriend, who had eaten a cream sandwich nine hours earlier of peanut

Currently, many studies have been done that have determined that children who consume peanuts or peanut butter from an early age, compared to those who consume it after the age of 5, are not allergic.

Useful tips that will help you

If you suspect an allergy to peanuts, check food labels before consuming them, they are usually included among processed and prepared foods.

If you have siblings, have them tested for peanut allergies before they try to eat them, as there is a suspicious genetic component.

There are people who have this type of allergy who can have a reaction just by smelling or touching a product with peanuts.

Not only does peanut allergy show itself physically or through discomfort such as itching or pain, it can also cause digestive discomfort such as diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting.

If you are allergic to peanuts, what should you avoid consuming?

  • African, Thai, Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese cuisine dishes or any ethnic dish, as they often use peanut butter in their dishes.
  • Sweets, cakes and baked goods with unknown ingredients.
  • Fruity breakfast cereals, as well as salty nut bars.
  • Energy bars or concentrated foods.
  • Chocolates and candy bars, ice creams and frozen yogurts and filled cookies.
  • Packaged chili or chili and spaghetti sauce, as they use peanut butter or flour as a thickening agent. In addition to the pesto sauce, which is created with dried fruits?
  • Typical Christmas products and foods such as nougat or marzipan.

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