Peanut allergy is a particular type of food allergy that is caused by the proteins in peanuts. This food allergy affects the immune system of the body and, in severe cases, needs urgent treatment of epinephrine. People suffering from this allergy avoid whole peanuts, peanut particles and even peanut oil in their diet.
Causes This allergy is caused by various means, such as cross-contact, direct contact and through the air. The allergic person gets direct exposure with peanuts by eating peanut based diets or even through the skin. Cross-contact of the peanuts is unintentional but causes allergic reactions in the patients.
This basically happens through unclean utensils or other kitchenware used earlier for processing peanuts and then used for cooking other food products. This way the traces of peanuts get passed into other food items and, if eaten by allergic person, can cause an allergic reaction. Even when traces of peanut based aerosols, cooking oil and peanut flour are inhaled, it causes an allergic reaction in people. Symptoms and Signs of allergic reactions After eating a peanut based diet, or even inhaling peanut traces, the body shows certain allergic reaction symptoms and signs such as a stomach ache, itchy eyes, runny nose, tingling tongue or lips, and an itchy skin rash. In more severe cases, these symptoms can include a tightening of the throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, urticaria, angioedema and asthma.
Test and Diagnosis Peanut allergy is diagnosed either by a skin or a blood test. In the skin test, a small patch of skin is exposed to minute amounts of peanut proteins and if a hive develops then the test for the peanut allergy is positive. For the blood test, the immunoglobulin E antibodies levels that are specific to a peanut allergy are measured from a blood sample of the patient.
Treatment There are no approved treatments or therapies for a peanut allergy. But after exposure to peanut allergic reaction, people can take a dose of antihistamines. The allergic patients carry auto-injectable epinephrine for emergency conditions like anaphylaxis. By consuming TNX-901, allergic people become less prone to an allergic reaction, even after consuming peanuts in the diet. Foods to Avoid People suffering from a peanut allergy should avoid certain common food items such as peanut butter, peanut flour, cereals, ground or mixed nuts, granola, grain breads, sunflower seeds, energy bars and salad dressings. Even some sweets like cookies, pastries and ice creams can cause allergy due to direct as well as cross-contact.
Prevention of Allergy in Newborns If a pregnant woman has a peanut allergy, or there is a family history of allergies, then she should avoid all peanut based products during her pregnancy and during breastfeeding. The infant should also be kept away from peanut products until the age of three. Prevention of Allergies in Adults Those adults that are suffering from a peanut allergy should read labels on food products before buying. For children, parents should discourage them from sharing foods with others. In an emergency situation, one should wear a medical alert ID bracelet with his name, doctor's name and an emergency contact number. Peanut allergy is very common in the US as more than a million people suffer from it.
So, one should take the appropriate preventive measures.
The article is written by Nammy Mike. If you want to find out more useful articles, please visit Peanut Allergy and Skin Allergy