What are the symptoms of a peanut allergy?
Symptoms of a peanut allergy can vary greatly from person to person and even from incident to incident. You may experience:
- Swelling of the lips, tongue, and or throat
- Vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Wheezing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
- Repetitive cough
- Weak pulse, sweating, pale or blue skin, lightheadedness
Even trace amounts of peanuts or peanut oil left behind on a baking pan can cause a severe allergic reaction in some individuals.
What are some myths about peanut allergies?
There are many inaccuracies floating around regarding peanuts and allergies. Peanuts, for instance, are not nuts. They’re part of the legume family and so share their space on the food chart with peas, soybeans, and lentils.
It’s also interesting to note that despite the rumors that you can’t “outgrow” a peanut allergy, research has shown that about 20% of individuals diagnosed with a peanut allergy eventually do grow beyond it.
Also, with the alarming rise in children being diagnosed with peanut allergies, a 20% increase from 2010 to 2017, you may believe it’s time to ban peanuts altogether. However, studies are showing that introducing children to peanuts at an early age may help prevent peanut allergies by desensitizing their immune system to the threat. That said, always talk to your health care provider before exposing your children to peanuts.
How do I find out if I truly have a peanut allergy?
If you have a history of peanut allergies or your child appears at risk for the same, seek care from a board-certified allergist. A thorough evaluation and closely monitored testing can shed light on whether you have a true allergy.
Testing may include skin and blood tests. In certain cases, an oral food challenge can resolve the issue. You consume tiny amounts of peanut-based products and are supervised closely for a reaction.
High-risk infants and those with severe eczema and/or egg allergy can also benefit from peanut allergy testing. Depending on the results of the testing, they may also be candidates for a food challenge. Because of the severe medical consequences associated with peanut allergies, however, it’s never recommended you try this at home.
Schedule a visit at Advanced Allergy & Asthma today for more information regarding peanut allergies and how to avoid exposure if you are allergic. Call the office or book your appointment online.