- by Dt Silky Mahajan
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- Feb 03 2018
WHAT IS A PEANUT ALLERGY?
Peanut allergy is one of the most common causes of severe allergy attacks.
Peanut allergy occurs when the immune system mistakenly identifies peanuts proteins as a foreign invader and a potential threat, thus releasing antibodies to create allergens in the bloodstream.
Exposure to peanuts can occur in different ways:
1.DIRECT CONTACT: The most common form of peanut allergy happens when you directly consume peanuts or peanut containing food substances. At times,direct skin contact with peanuts can also trigger an allergic reaction.
2.CROSS CONTACT: This occurs when a food is unintentionally exposed to peanuts during processing or handling.
3.INHALATION: You can develop an allergy if you mistakenly inhale dust or aerosols that contain peanuts from sources such as peanut flour or peanut oil cooking spray.
Although peanut allergy can happen to anyone, there are certain factors that may put you at a greater risk than others.
•Children and infants are more prone prone to developing allergies as there digestive system is not fully developed.
•A past allergy to peanuts.
•If you have other allergies, you are more likely to develop another food allergy.
•Family members with allergies.
Although the symptoms of a peanut allergy varies from person to person, anaphylaxis is the most life threatening, severe allergic reaction that can cause impaired breathing, swelling in the throat, a sudden drop in blood pressure, pale skin or blue lips, fainting and dizziness.
The other less common symptoms include:
•Itchiness, hives, redness, rashes
•A tingling or tightening sensation in the mouth or throat
•Runny or congested nose
•Shortness of breath or wheezing
•Diarrhoea and stomach cramps
It can be quite complicated to diagnose a peanut allergy as the symptoms vary from person to person. Your doctor will check for past history and physical symptoms. Skin tests and blood tests may not be able to give a correct diagnosis. In some cases, a food elimination diet and oral food challenge approach could be adopted to check for peanut allergy.
Like most allergies, there is no cure or definitive treatment for peanut allergy. The best way to ensure safety is to avoid peanuts and peanut based food products altogether. However, in case of a severe allergic reaction, an epinephrine shot and medications are typically administered.
The only way to prevent a reaction is to avoid peanuts and peanut products altogether. But peanuts are common, and despite your best efforts, you're likely to come into contact with peanuts at some point.
Peanuts are a common ingredient in most food products so despite your best efforts, you may not be able to completely avoid coming in contact with it. Not just peanuts but the following products can also cause an allergic reaction:
•Almonds, cashews, Brazilian nuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, walnuts
•Baked goods, like, cookies, pastry
•Ice cream, sweets and desserts
•Sauces and gravies
•Cereals and granola
•Salads and salad dressings
•Peanut oil and flour
Other ways to practice safety measures are:
1.Always check for food labels.
2.Ask your server about the ingredients.
3.Nuts can also be present in lotions and other skin and hair care products.
4.Try carrying emergency medications that you would take during an allergic reaction.
If you are allergic to peanuts, it is best to avoid all forms of peanut and peanut containing food products. Consult your doctor for a tailor made diet that suits your condition.
Note We at Medikoe provide you with the best healthcare articles written and endorsed by experts of the healthcare industry to boost you knowledge. However, we strongly recommend that users consult a doctor or concerned service provider for expert diagnosis before acting on this information.