Peanut allergy: symptoms and treatments

Peanut allergy: symptoms and treatments

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L'peanut allergy it is a form of allergy that can also have serious repercussions on the body. So let's get to know it better, starting from the symptoms to get to the most effective treatments.

The symptoms of allergy

There allergic reaction most serious at peanuts is theanaphylaxis, which is a potentially dangerous response of the body. Symptoms may include decreased breathing, swelling in the throat, a sudden drop in blood pressure, pale skin or blue lips, fainting and dizziness. Anaphylaxis must be treated immediately with epinephrine (adrenaline), typically administered in an auto-injector.

THE symptoms of a peanut allergy may include:

  • He retched
  • stomach cramps
  • indigestion
  • diarrhea
  • shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing
  • cough
  • hoarse voice
  • pale or blue skin discoloration
  • swelling, which may affect the tongue and / or lips
  • vertigo
  • confusion.

The diagnosis of allergy

There diagnosis of a peanut allergy it can be complicated. Symptoms can vary from person to person, and a single individual may not always experience the same symptoms during each reaction.

However, if you suspect you are allergic to peanuts, make an appointment with an allergist right away.

It is also good to keep a food diary before the appointment and track any reactions. If you have a reaction, take note of:

  • what (and how much) you ate
  • when symptoms started (after eating the suspicious food)
  • what did you do to relieve symptoms
  • how long did it take for symptoms to subside

The allergist might recommend a skin test or blood test to help diagnose if you actually have a peanut allergy or an allergy to another substance.

Read also: How to grow peanuts

Allergy treatment

To avoid the risk of anaphylactic shock, people allergic to peanuts need to be very careful with what they eat. Peanuts and peanut-based products can be found in candies, cereals, and baked goods like cookies and cakes. Therefore, if you eat away from home, it is always advisable to ask the restaurant staff what ingredients are used, and specify your allergy. It is also wise to be very careful when eating Asian and Mexican food, or other cuisines where peanuts are commonly used. Ice cream shops can also be a source of accidental exposure, as peanuts are a common ingredient.

Also, keep in mind that foods that don't contain peanuts as an ingredient may still have been contaminated by peanuts in the manufacturing process or during food preparation. Consequently, people who suffer from peanut allergy should avoid products that carry cautionary statements on the label, such as "they may contain peanuts" or "produced in a facility that uses peanut-based ingredients", and so on.

It is also true that many individuals who are allergic to peanuts can safely consume foods made with highly refined peanut oil, which has been purified, bleached and treated to remove peanut proteins from the oil. Unrefined peanut oil - often characterized as extruded, cold pressed, aromatic - still contains peanut proteins and should be avoided.

Finally, note that although some people report symptoms such as rashes or chest contractures when near peanut butter or smelling peanut butter, a placebo-controlled study of children exposed to open containers of peanut butter did not in fact no systemic reaction documented.

However, it cannot be excluded that food particles containing peanut proteins may be transported by the air during the grinding or pulverizing of peanuts, and the inhalation of peanut proteins in this type of situation could cause an allergic reaction. Furthermore, odors can cause conditioned physical responses, such as anxiety, a rash or a change in blood pressure.

Can peanut allergy be prevented?

According to the guidelines in force today, a newborn at high risk of developing a peanut allergy is a child with severe eczema and / or egg allergy. The guidelines recommend the introduction of foods containing peanuts as early as 4 to 6 months for high-risk infants who have started eating solid foods, after having established that it is safe to do so.

If your child is therefore identified to be at high risk, the guidelines recommend having him tested for peanut allergy. Of course, a positive test alone doesn't necessarily prove that the baby is allergic, and studies have shown that babies who have a sensitivity to peanuts aren't necessarily allergic.

For high-risk infants, if the skin test does not reveal a large amount of whey, the updated guidelines recommend that they be fed peanuts for the first time directly in the specialist's office.

However, if the skin test reaction is evident, then the guidelines recommend not pursuing an oral test, as the newborn is likely already allergic. Therefore, in this case, an allergist could decide not to let the child try the peanut at all if they already notice a very evident reaction to the skin test. Instead, she may advise the child to avoid peanuts entirely due to the strong possibility of a pre-existing peanut allergy.

Moderate-risk children - that is, those with mild to moderate eczema who have already started eating solid foods - do not need an assessment as above. Of course, in case of suspicion of allergy, it will be advisable to talk to the pediatrician and an allergist, in order to ascertain the condition.

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