Peanut Allergy Symptoms
Peanut allergy symptoms can become severe and life threatening for individuals who are allergic. Even just small traces can trigger symptoms such as itching, redness, shortness of breath, wheezing, swelling, abdominal pain, and loss of consciousness. Even when just touching peanuts, the skin will react with hives that can spread over the entire body. People who have an intolerance to peanuts often have other nut allergies. Of all the allergic reactions that people suffer from a peanut intolerance can be the most severe to the point that it can cause death. Being highly allergic can be scary and put fear in a person's heart. God's word can give comfort and help to increase faith. "But unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall" (Malachi 4:2).
People who have an intolerance to nuts will not experience the severity of peanut allergy symptoms as those who are suffering from a severe immune response. They may have indigestion, heartburn, headache, and nausea but the immune system does not become involved so the severity is minimized. Those who have a full blown reaction should always have an EpiPen handy to prevent anaphylactic shock and death. An EpiPen is an injection of epinephrine that will help to stop the reaction so that the patient can seek medical attention.
Hives are one of the common symptoms associated with nut allergies; also known as urticaria. Urticaria appears as raised and red welts and may be accompanied by swelling of the eyes, throat, tongue, face, and airway. After swelling of the airway a person will experience difficulty breathing and afterwards may go into shock. Food allergies often cause digestive distress which often includes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In addition, the respiratory system may be affected and can become obvious when the patient starts coughing, wheezing, and has difficulty breathing. All of these are peanut allergy symptoms but people allergic to other substances can experience similar reactions.
People who have reactions to food may need quick treatment when they come in contact with the offending substance. The first thing to do during an attack is to call emergency services and then look for an auto-injector of epinephrine and administer it. If the person is able to swallow, an antihistamine should be taken orally as well. Nut allergies can be a scary thing for people who have them since the reactions can become so severe. Some people who are highly allergic to substances wear a bracelet or necklace at all times just in case they have a reaction and are unable to respond to others. The necklace or bracelet will help others understand what is causing the symptoms.
A child that suffers from allergies may outgrow them by the time they start to school. Peanut allergy symptoms may gradually decrease in some individuals as they age; however, some people remain allergic throughout their lifetime. In the future there may be a vaccine that can protect individuals from an allergic reaction to the protein found in peanuts. Some therapy that has been tried has been successful but researchers do not recommend a person trying this on their own. The therapy consists of ingesting a small amount of peanut flour every day slowly increasing the amount. This has helped to reduce some sensitivity in patients. This kind of therapy may provide the ground work for additional research and treatment for all kinds of food allergies.
Individuals who are allergic such check all labels before ingesting foods. Most labels will contain a warning that the product may contain traces of nuts if there is a danger. People who have nut allergies will need to be cautious about eating any processed foods. Peanut oil is used in some fast food establishments and restaurants. People who are highly allergic will have a reaction to any allergen they come into contact with even without ingesting it. The most common foods that cause severe reactions in people include peanuts, tree nuts including walnuts and pecans, shellfish, fish, milk, soy, wheat, and eggs. Symptoms that people experience with food allergies are not always severe and may happen periodically depending upon the amount of the offending food. These symptoms include a sudden feeling of weakness and fatigue, anxiety, flushing with redness to the skin, and an increased heart rate.
Some people have food intolerances rather than a full blown food allergy. With an allergic reaction the immune system is responding to the offending substance. When there is a food intolerance then another system in the body is reacting to the substance. Usually the reaction is caused in the digestive tract. Many people have an intolerance to the sugar in milk called lactose. When this happens it does not normally involve the immune system but instead occurs when the person lacks an enzyme that is needed in order to properly digest the substance. Food intolerances normally cause gas, bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
Tests can provide a diagnosis of substances that a person is allergic to including nut allergies. This can be done by injecting tiny amounts of the suspected allergen onto the person's skin. If a person is sensitive to the substance then there will be redness and swelling around the site on the skin. There is really no cure for food allergies. The only thing that a person can do is to try to avoid the substance and be prepared just in case a reaction occurs; being prepared means having an auto-injector of epinephrine and getting medical care immediately. A doctor may give additional epinephrine, steroids, antihistamines, and provide other treatment to help the patient recover. Prompt treatment is important for those people who have a severe life threatening reaction.