Does Product Size Affect The Likelihood Of An Allergic Reaction
Product size does not affect the likelihood of a reaction however, the same brand of product may be safe to consume for one product size but not another. This is because product formulation may vary between different product sizes of the same product or be produced in a different facility. Always read the ingredient lists carefully.
Other names for peanuts
In the past, some products have used other names for peanut on their labels. These names are not permitted without the word peanut also appearing on the label, based on the enhanced labelling requirements for food allergens, gluten sources and added sulphites. However, if you have a peanut allergy and see one of the following in the list of ingredients on a product you should not eat it.
- Arachis oil
- Mushroom growing medium
- Stuffing in toys
Note: These lists are not complete and may change. Food and food products purchased from other countries, through mail-order or the Internet, are not always produced using the same manufacturing and labelling standards as in Canada.
What Are Peanut And Tree Nut Allergies
Peanuts are among the most common allergy-causing foods, and they often find their way into things you wouldn’t expect. Take chili, for example: It may be thickened with ground peanuts.
Peanuts aren’t actually a true nut they’re a legume . But the proteins in peanuts are similar in structure to those in tree nuts. For this reason, people who are allergic to peanuts can also be allergic to tree nuts, such as almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, pecans, and cashews.
Sometimes people outgrow some food allergies over time , but peanut and tree nut allergies are lifelong in many people.
Unorthodox Allergy Tests Are Unproven
There are several methods of unorthodox tests for food allergy. Examples include cytotoxic food testing, Vega testing, kinesiology, allergy elimination techniques, iridology, pulse testing, Alcat testing, Rinkel’s intradermal skin testing, reflexology, hair analysis and IgG food antibody testing. These tests have no scientific basis, are unreliable and can’t be reproduced. ASCIA advises against the use of these tests. No Medicare rebate is available in Australia for these tests, and their use is not supported in New Zealand.
Adverse consequences may arise from unorthodox testing and treatments. Treatment based on inaccurate, false positive or clinically irrelevant results can lead to ineffective and expensive treatments, and delay more effective therapy. Sometimes harmful therapy may result, such as unnecessary dietary avoidance and risk of malnutrition, particularly in children.
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Several Ways To Come In Contact
Most people who are allergic have trouble when they have direct contact with peanuts — whether eating them by accident or not realizing they are part of a salad or recipe.
It can also happen through skin contact or by breathing in peanut dust or eating something made with gourmet or unrefined peanut oil.
But did you know that if you are very sensitive, indirect contact can trigger a reaction?
Its called cross-contact. For instance, a chef might be making a meal for you. It contains no peanuts, but they may have used their knife for an earlier task. If the knife touched peanuts and wasnt washed well, trace pieces could get into your dish.
Make sure any restaurant or dinner host is aware and taking care to avoid cross-contact.
What Is Food Intolerance
A food intolerance isn’t the same as a food allergy.
People with food intolerance may have symptoms such as diarrhoea, bloating and stomach cramps. This may be caused by difficulties digesting certain substances, such as lactose. However, no allergic reaction takes place.
Important differences between a food allergy and a food intolerance include:
- the symptoms of a food intolerance usually occur several hours after eating the food
- you need to eat a larger amount of food to trigger an intolerance than an allergy
- a food intolerance is never life threatening, unlike an allergy
Read more about food intolerance.
Page last reviewed: 15 April 2019 Next review due: 15 April 2022
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When Shouldnt I Give My Baby Allergens
If you have a history of food allergies in your family, you will likely be very afraid of introducing common allergens into your babys diet. The research however suggests that you still should. Speak with your doctor and someone who is knowledgeable about the studies and findings cited above for guidance. Many doctors do not know or are not advocating for early allergen introduction despite this current body of evidence. If you have other children with allergies, or a family history of food allergies, youre likely going to be quite cautious about this idea of feeding allergens to your baby. I know I would feel that way! What you need to know is that the safest time to introduce these foods to your child is when they are infants. if it were me and I had a new baby, I would be doing this under medical supervision and very cautiously with small amounts. Knowing what this research has taught us however is that babies have milder reactions and benefit from early exposure to PREVENT the development of allergies, so holding off on introducing them to these foods could in fact support the development of food allergies.
The contraindications for holding off on introducing these allergens are two things:
How Are Tree Nut Allergies Diagnosed
Tree nut allergies can be life-threatening. Thats why its so important to have a definitive diagnosis from an allergist. To diagnose your allergies, your allergist may conduct a skin prick test. During this test, your skin will be exposed to a variety of allergens. If youre allergic to one of the allergens, your skin will react and swell or turn red. Your doctor may also recommend blood tests depending on your age and other medical conditions you have.
If the results of your tests are inconclusive, your doctor may request a food challenge. For this test, you will be exposed to the allergen in increasing doses over several hours. Your doctor will supervise this test in case there is an allergic reaction. Emergency medication and services should be at hand during the test.
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Peanut Allergy: What You Should Know
Peanuts were once a snack-time staple, but these days, they are largely off-limits for a growing number of kids and adults. Its common now not to serve certain foods at birthday parties or school to keep kids with peanut allergies safe.
It can seem scary how much damage a little piece of food can do, but you can lower the risk of having a severe reaction if you learn how to spot your symptoms and avoid peanuts.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of A Peanut Allergy
A peanut allergy may be mild or severe. Any of the following can develop minutes to hours after you eat peanut. Your reaction may change each time you are exposed.
- A rash, hives, or itching
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or blood in the bowel movements
- A runny or stuffy nose, cough, wheezing, or trouble breathing
- Itchy or watery eyes, swelling, or a hoarse voice
- Feeling lightheaded, or feeling that you may faint
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Living With Peanut Or Tree Nut Allergy
If allergy skin testing shows that your child has a peanut or tree nut allergy, an will provide guidelines on what to do.
The best way to prevent a reaction is to avoid peanuts and tree nuts. Avoiding these nuts means more than just not eating them. It also means not eating any foods that might contain tree nuts or peanuts as ingredients.
The best way to be sure a food is nut-free is to read the food label. Manufacturers of foods sold in the United States must state on their labels whether the foods contain peanuts or tree nuts. Check the ingredients list first.
After checking the ingredients list, look on the label for phrases like these:
- “may contain tree nuts”
- “produced on shared equipment with tree nuts or peanuts”
Although these foods might not use nut ingredients, the warnings are there to let people know they might contain traces of nuts. That can happen through “cross-contamination,” when nuts get into a food product because it is made or served in a place that uses nuts in other foods. Manufacturers are not required to list peanuts or tree nuts on the label when there might be accidental cross-contamination, but many do.
Some of the highest-risk foods for people with peanut or tree nut allergy include:
Eating Peanuts During Pregnancy
For expectant mothers, limited evidence suggests that eating peanuts during pregnancy may help to reduce the risk of a peanut allergy in the child. The Growing Up Today Study examined 10,907 children whose mothers provided dietary information while they were pregnant and within one year of pregnancy. Peanut allergies were significantly lower in the children of 8059 nonallergic mothers who consumed more peanuts than those who did not. More evidence is needed in this area. Maternal peanut consumption during pregnancy or lactation had no effect on developing allergy in one study, nor did duration of breastfeeding.
Why Are Peanut Allergies So Dangerous
Any food allergy can be a source of concern, but severe peanut allergies seem to be especially dangerous for a number of reasons. Peanuts and products derived from peanuts are very popular among consumers, which makes eliminating all traces of peanut protein from a specific area nearly impossible. Those afflicted with the most severe form of allergies can have reactions simply by touching a phone or doorknob with even the slightest trace of peanut residue. Peanut dust carried in the air can also trigger a violent allergic reaction.
The exceptionally small amount of peanut material needed to trigger an allergic reaction is one reason such allergies are considered dangerous. Not everyone who suffers from peanut allergies is so sensitive, but those who are can suddenly go into anaphylactic shock within minutes of exposure to peanut products. They can also have an outbreak of hives, a painful irritation triggered by allergens. Anaphylactic shock or anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction which can cause the tissues around the upper airway to swell. This often creates a life-threatening inability to breath normally.
Fact No : There Are New Treatment Options Available To Lessen The Severity Of Allergic Reactions From Peanuts
Over the past 10 years, allergists started doing something called Oral Induction Tolerance . During this in-office treatment, patients are given tiny, gradually increasing amounts of an allergenic food with the hope of desensitizing the patient to that food allergy. In January 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first OIT therapy for kids ages 4 through 17 with a confirmed peanut allergy diagnosis.
The goal of the treatment is to increase the dose until a child gets the equivalent of one or two peanuts because we know that most accidental exposures involve about one half of a peanut, says Dr. Holbreich. The idea is that if we can get children to tolerate a therapeutic dose of one or two peanuts, theyll be better able to handle exposure in an emergency setting. When he hears from worried parents with children who have peanut allergies, he points to this new treatment and urges them to remain hopeful.
If you have a young child with a food allergy, I believe theres a good chance that there will be even more treatments available for her by the time she goes off to college, he says. In the next 10 to 15 years, I think well have several options for people with peanut allergies as well as a number of other food allergies.
How Is An Allergic Reaction Treated
A nut allergy sometimes can cause a severe reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis might start with some of the same symptoms as a less severe reaction, but can quickly get worse. The person may have trouble breathing or pass out. More than one part of the body might be involved. If it isn’t treated, anaphylaxis can be life-threatening.
If your child has a peanut or tree nut allergy , the doctor will want him or her to carry an epinephrine auto-injector in case of an emergency.
An epinephrine auto-injector is a prescription medicine that comes in a small, easy-to-carry container. It’s easy to use. Your doctor will show you how. Kids who are old enough can be taught how to give themselves the injection. If they carry the epinephrine, it should be nearby, not left in a locker or in the nurse’s office.
Wherever your child is, caregivers should always know where the epinephrine is, have easy access to it, and know how to give the shot. Staff at your child’s school should know about the allergy and have an action plan in place. Your child’s medicines should be accessible at all times.
Unproven Methods To Test For Allergies
A number of methods claim to test for allergies but have not been medically or scientifically proven. They can be costly and could lead to dangerous avoidance of certain foods. The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy , the organisation representing allergists in Australia, recommends that you do not use certain methods to have potential allergies tested. These methods include:
- cytotoxic food testing
- Vega testing.
Always speak with your doctor if you are thinking of using a complementary medicine or therapy to test for allergies.
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Avoid Nuts Wherever Possible
Preventing an allergic reaction from happening in the first place is a key part of living with a nut allergy. So, learn to recognise foods that may contain nuts and avoid them. You may be referred to a dietician to help with this. Advice may include:
1. Check the ingredients:
- Always check food labels, even for products you know, as ingredients can change.
- Avoiding whole nuts is relatively easy. What is more difficult is avoiding nuts in processed foods. Nuts are not always obviously listed on ingredient labels. For example, peanut can be listed as groundnut, earth nut, monkey nut, mixed nuts, peanut butter, peanut oil, arachis oil and groundnut oil.
- Nuts and nut oils are used as ingredients in a wide range of foods. Take care with biscuits, cakes, pastries, desserts, ice cream, breakfast cereals, cereal bars, nut butters and spreads, confectionery, vegetarian dishes and salad dressings.
- Chinese, Thai and Indonesian dishes often use nuts and nut oil, particularly peanuts or peanut oil.
- Get a list of nut-free foods from your local supermarket.
2. Take care when you are not preparing your food:
Treatment For Nut Allergies
The only treatment for food allergies is to avoid the food that causes your allergy. Even if you are careful, it is difficult to avoid all contact with a specific food. If you are at risk of a severe allergic reaction and you have been prescribed an adrenaline autoinjector , ASCIA recommends that you have an action plan for anaphylaxis. If you are not at high risk and have not been prescribed an adrenaline autoinjector, ASCIA recommends that you have an ASCIA action plan for allergic reactions. To assist with food avoidance, people with food allergies need to become familiar and comfortable with reading food labels. ASCIA has fact sheets to help you understand how to read food labels and what to avoid if you have a peanut, tree nut or seed allergy. Inaccurate diagnosis can lead to expensive and ineffective treatments, and unnecessary food avoidance, which can lead to malnutrition and food aversion, especially in children. Always speak to your doctor about your food allergy diagnosis and treatment options.
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Understanding Tree Nut Allergies: Symptoms Treatment And More
What is a tree nut allergy?
A tree nut allergy is one of the most common food allergies in both adults and children. Allergic reactions to tree nuts can range from mild to life-threatening. You may be allergic to just one type of tree nut, or you could be allergic to several. Examples of tree nuts include:
- pine nuts
- lychee nuts
Being allergic to one type increases your risk for being allergic to others. Until your allergies are tested by your allergist-immunologist , you may be asked to avoid all tree nuts.
What Causes A Peanut Allergy And Allergic Reactions To Peanuts
The science is not clear as to what causes peanut allergy. Both genetic and environmental factors appear to be involved. The groundbreaking LEAP Study found that the introduction of peanuts into an infants diet, prior to 11-months old, reduced the prevalence of peanut allergy significantly. As a result of the LEAP study, new guidelines have been released to encourage early introduction of peanut foods. Research has shown that introducing peanut foods early to those infants who are at high risk reduced rates of developing peanut allergies by up to 86%. Implementing early introduction will hopefully reduce the prevalence of peanut allergies for future generations.
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Should I Feed My Baby Common Allergens
The short answer is yes. Now this goes against everything that was dictated at the time when my babies were infants . At that time, doctors advocated against introduction of common allergens for the FIRST THREE YEARS of life! Unfortunately, this was not the best advice for our children and could have unnecessarily caused the development of food allergies in many children.