Among the most common of all food allergies are peanut allergies. These are allergies in which the individual is allergic to the specific member of the legume family called the peanut. This allergy, which starts in childhood, is also one of the deadliest of all allergies. It is not an allergy which can be grown out of. The only hope for those who suffer from this allergy is to control their exposure to peanuts.
Those who do not suffer from a peanut allergy do not realize just how difficult it is to avoid peanuts. Many of the foods that you eat which do not even contain peanuts have been manufactured in an environment with machines which have been used to handle foods with peanuts. Just getting some residual dust of peanuts onto food is enough to allow an individual to get sick and have a major reaction.
Always read the package as most companies will mention if processed foods have been produced on machines which have handled peanuts. This will help to make sure that you are able to avoid peanuts.
Symptoms and Treatment
Those who are allergic to peanuts will have severe reactions which include:
- Tightness in Chest or Throat
- Running Nose
- Inability to Breathe
- Loss of Consciousness
- Swelling (Inflammation)
- Change of Voice
These kinds of reactions can happen instantaneously or within hours of exposure to peanuts and peanut products.
Those with extreme allergies will need to make sure that they are carrying an anaphylactic shot with them. This is because the amount of time in which they will go from exposure to an inability to breathe is almost instantaneous. The sooner that they will be able to get the shot, the sooner that anaphylactic shock can be stopped.
It is important to keep in mind that there is no permanent treatment for peanut allergies. There is also no way to prevent a reaction from exposure. Only by avoiding peanuts and by getting treatment after exposure can you control your allergy.
Talking with your doctor about your allergy and your options will help you to understand better what you will need to do. This is especially important for those who will need to have a shot of Epinephrine whenever they come into contact with peanuts to stop anaphylactic shock. Always discuss with your doctor whenever you have had exposure so that they will be able to get the right after treatment.