According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately four out of 100 children have a food allergy. With studies showing that the amount of children who live with peanut allergies have tripled between the years 1997 and 2008, many are incredibly curious about how this food allergy affects someone’s life.
Food Allergy Causes
A food allergy manifests due to the reaction of one’s immune system. Being allergic to peanuts means that the body has identified this particular nut as a harmful intruder when it comes in contact with the body. When the immune system is compromised, it works extra hard to remove the allergen from the body. Sending out defenses known as histamines against the allergen, the person can experience a variety of uncomfortable symptoms.
Symptoms of Peanut Allergies
Someone with peanut allergies may experience itchiness or tingling on their skin, eyes or throat. Hives can appear in small areas or large welts on their body. They may feel nauseated, need to vomit or have a stomachache. The person could have trouble breathing, begin to cough or experience a drop in blood pressure. A person with peanut allergies might begin to sneeze, develop a runny nose or have unexpected diarrhea. They may experience swelling around their eyes, face or lips. Some of these symptoms are mild whereas others are more severe.
Being exposed to peanuts can happen in several ways. It could be through direct contact, cross contact or inhalation. Direct contact means that the person is ingesting the peanut or peanut-type food by eating it or experiencing direct skin contact. Cross contact means that the person allergic to peanuts has been exposed indirectly through preparation methods. For example, if someone were to eat food prepared by an individual with peanut oil, butter or residue on their hands, they could have a reaction. Lastly, they can inhale sprays or dust that contains peanuts, like peanut oil cooking spray or peanut flour.
Children may not always know how to describe their specific reaction to their parent or guardian, but they will have some helpful complaints that will give them a clear warning that something is wrong. They might say their mouth feels funny or their lips feel tight. They may say their throat feels thick or their mouth itches. It’s important to take these concerns seriously and visit a doctor about these issues. Health providers can help parents develop effective peanut allergy action plans such as what foods to stay away from and what to do in a emergency.
Get Help With Peanut Allergies
Professional allergists, like our helpful team here at Asthma & Allergy Associates P.C., can help determine if someone is allergic to peanuts and help each individual steer clear of foods and items that contain peanuts in order to feel better each day. The professional allergists at AACOS can diagnose, treat and provide peanut allergy action plans for their patients. Just call us today to book an appointment!