Allergy, peanut

Other names: Peanut allergy

DEFINITION

Peanut allergy is a common cause of severe allergic reactions. Symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening, requiring immediate medical attention.

SYMPTOMS

Symptoms of peanut allergy can include runny nose, skin reactions, itching in the mouth and throat, digestive issues, and more severe symptoms like tightening of the throat and difficulty breathing.

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Anaphylaxis: A life-threatening reaction Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can be triggered by peanuts. Symptoms include airway constriction, swelling of the throat, low blood pressure, rapid pulse, dizziness, and loss of consciousness.

# WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR

If you suspect you have a peanut allergy or experience severe symptoms after exposure to peanuts, seek medical help immediately.

CAUSES

Peanut allergy occurs when the immune system mistakenly identifies peanut proteins as harmful and releases chemicals that cause allergic reactions. Exposure can happen through direct contact, cross-contact, or inhalation.

RISK FACTORS

Risk factors for developing peanut allergy include age (more common in children), past allergies to peanuts, other allergies, family history of allergies, and conditions like atopic dermatitis.

COMPLICATIONS

Complications of peanut allergy can include anaphylaxis, especially in individuals with severe allergies.

PREPARING FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT

Before your doctor's appointment for a suspected peanut allergy, keep a food diary, list medications you take, bring a family member or friend for support, and prepare questions for your doctor about your symptoms and treatment options.

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Sample questions: 1. Are my symptoms likely caused by Peanut allergy? 2. What tests do I need? 3. What's the best treatment? 4. Should I see a specialist? 5. Do I need to carry an epinephrine autoinjector?

TESTS AND DIAGNOSIS

Diagnosis of peanut allergy may involve a food diary, elimination diet, skin tests, and blood tests to measure allergic responses.

TREATMENTS AND DRUGS

There is no definitive treatment for peanut allergy, but desensitization therapy is being researched. Avoiding peanuts and knowing how to respond to severe reactions are key parts of managing the condition.

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Being prepared for a reaction Carrying an epinephrine autoinjector at all times and knowing how to use it is crucial for individuals with peanut allergies.

LIFESTYLE AND HOME REMEDIES

To prevent allergic reactions, avoid foods containing peanuts by reading labels carefully and being cautious when dining out or attending social events where peanuts may be present.

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Coping and support For children with peanut allergies, involving caregivers, having an emergency plan in place, discouraging food sharing, ensuring availability of epinephrine injectors, and working with schools on allergy management are essential steps for safety.

For individuals with peanut allergies:


QUESTIONS

  1. What is peanut allergy?

Peanut allergy is a common cause of severe allergic reactions triggered by peanuts.

  1. What are the symptoms of peanut allergy?

Symptoms can include skin reactions, digestive problems, tightening of the throat, and difficulty breathing.

  1. How is anaphylaxis related to peanut allergy?

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening reaction that can be caused by peanut allergy.

  1. What are some risk factors for developing peanut allergy?

Risk factors include age (more common in children), past allergies to peanuts, family history of allergies.

  1. How can one prepare for a doctor's appointment regarding suspected peanut allergy?

By keeping a food diary, listing medications taken, bringing support persons along, and preparing questions for the doctor.

  1. What are some common tests used to diagnose peanut allergy?

Skin tests and blood tests are commonly used to diagnose peanut allergies.

  1. Is there a definitive treatment for peanut allergy?

Currently, there is no definitive treatment for peanut allergy.

  1. What should individuals with peanut allergies do to prevent reactions?

They should avoid foods containing peanuts and carry an epinephrine autoinjector at all times.

  1. How can caregivers help children with peanut allergies stay safe?

By recognizing signs of allergic reactions, having an emergency plan in place, discouraging food sharing.

  1. What lifestyle measures can help manage peanut allergies?

Reading food labels carefully to avoid peanuts and being cautious when dining out or attending social events where peanuts may be present.