Facts About Peanut Allergies

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Peanut allergies are among the most common Las Vegas allergies. Peanut allergies frequently develop in childhood, although they can first appear in adulthood. Food allergies affect many people, accounting for about 10,000 hospital visits annually. A peanut allergy is a serious allergy, so if you think you may be allergic to peanuts, it’s best to visit an allergy specialist for a diagnosis and treatment plan.

Who Gets Peanut Allergies?
Anyone can be affected by a peanut allergy. It’s a relatively common allergy that affects up to 2.5 percent of children in the US. At this rate, peanut allergies are one of the most common allergies in children and the second most common in adults. A peanut allergy is one allergy that people don’t generally outgrow. Only about 20 percent of children diagnosed with a peanut allergy ever outgrow their allergy as adults.

If you or a child is diagnosed with this allergy, it’s essential to learn how to manage the allergy and your symptoms to avoid allergy-related problems down the road. One of the most important steps you can take to manage your allergies at home is knowing where peanuts may appear. In addition to being consumed as a standalone nut, peanuts are often incorporated into other foods, which makes the likelihood of an allergic reaction higher if you are not careful.

Peanut Allergy Symptoms

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A peanut allergy tends to produce severe symptoms that may affect the cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal (GI) systems, and skin.

The following list includes symptoms that have been reported with peanut allergies:

  • Vomiting and stomach pain
  • Hives
  • Wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath
  • Hoarseness, tight, or itchy throat
  • Pale skin or cyanosis
  • Swelling of the tongue, lips, and throat
  • Itchy ears
  • Weak pulse
  • Dizziness

Along with the symptoms above, peanut allergies can cause an anaphylactic reaction, which is the most dangerous reaction. Anaphylaxis is potentially life-threatening. This reaction can include a drop in blood pressure and an increase in heart rate. It can also cause breathing problems and eventually unconsciousness. Anaphylaxis can occur within minutes of consuming peanuts or peanut products. If you are with someone who is experiencing an anaphylactic reaction, seek medical help right away.

Where are Peanuts?
It might sound like a simple question, but the answer is not so simple. Peanuts may be added to many popular foods, so it’s imperative to read labels before consuming foods containing peanuts. Peanuts are frequently added to baked goods, crumb toppings, candy, and artificial flavoring. They are sometimes added to spicy foods such as chili and enchilada sauces as well. Fried food may have peanuts, along with graham crackers, plant protein, and vegetable protein. Many cuisines use peanuts in their dishes, too. Peanuts are commonly used in Thai, Mexican, Vietnamese, African, Indian, Filipino, and Chinese dishes.

Peanut protein can also cause a reaction in people allergic to peanuts. Peanut protein may exist in Arachis and arachis oil, beer nuts, artificial nuts, earth nuts, goober peas, mixed nuts, monkey nuts, nut butter, nut meat, and nut pieces. Cold-pressed nut oil can contain peanut protein and peanut-based flour, sauce, paste, and syrup.

Can I Have a Reaction if I Don’t Eat Peanuts?
A common myth of food allergies is that a person will have an allergic reaction only if they consume the allergen directly. However, some people don’t even have to eat the food they are allergic to in order to react. If peanut protein or peanut particles become airborne, a person who has a peanut allergy may have a reaction. Peanut protein can also cause allergies if it becomes airborne during pulverization and grinding processes.

Should I Avoid All Nuts?
Many people who are allergic to peanuts wonder if they need to avoid all nuts to avoid problems with a peanut allergy. If you are concerned about cross-contamination, you should speak with a Las Vegas allergist to learn more. About a third of patients with a peanut allergy can also be allergic to tree nuts.

While it is not technically a peanut, a substance called lupine is making headlines as a potential threat to people who suffer from peanut allergies. Lupine has been used as a food ingredient for some time in Europe, and it is a relatively new food ingredient in the US, but it has been linked with adverse reactions in people with a peanut allergy. Lupine, which is also called “lupinus albus,” is commonly used in gluten-free foods, and lupine appears most often in bean, seed, and flour forms. If you know that you are allergic to peanuts, you should also check food labels or ask the wait staff if you are out dining if the foods you intend to consume contain lupine.

Should I Watch Out For Other Allergies?

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People who are allergic to peanuts may wonder if they should be wary of other foods that might cause an allergic reaction. Peanut allergy sufferers can have an adverse reaction if they consume other foods that may seem unrelated. This phenomenon is called cross-reactivity; allergy testing can determine if an allergy exists. Cross-reactivity happens when your body identifies the proteins or other structures in an unrelated food as being similar to or biologically related to peanuts. Even if you’re not technically allergic to the food in question, your body will still react as if the allergens are identical. The symptoms of a cross-reactive reaction may also be the same as a peanut allergy. IIf you experience any of these symptoms after consuming a food you didn’t suspect you were allergic to, book an appointment for allergy testing as soon as possible.

How Are Allergies Diagnosed?

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Food allergies are diagnosed in several different ways. One of the most common allergy tests is a skin prick test. Blood tests may also be performed. If an allergist doesn’t think your allergy is too severe, they may perform a food challenge. With a skin prick test, the allergist will apply a tiny amount of a suspected allergen onto your skin to see if a reaction occurs. The allergic reaction will likely happen in about 10-15 minutes if it does. If you have an allergic reaction, your doctor may prescribe medications you can take to mitigate symptoms and teach you how to live an allergy-free lifestyle. A blood test can also be performed to check for Las Vegas allergies. If you’ve only had mild symptoms in the past, an allergist may have you partake in a food challenge where you consume tiny amounts of the allergen in a controlled medical environment while your doctor watches for any sign of a reaction.

If you want to know “Where can I find an allergist near me?”, rest assured that you can make an appointment at Tottori Allergy and Asthma by calling (702) 240 4233 or by scheduling an appointment online.

las vegas allergies
las vegas allergies