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
Is There Currently A Cure For Peanut Allergy
There is no cure for peanut allergies. Palforzia is a type of oral immunotherapy that is approved for use in treating peanut allergies. It is a daily medication that may reduce symptoms in some people who have a peanut allergy.
If you or your child experience severe reactions, it’s important that you talk to your healthcare provider about whether you should have an EpiPen, and that you learn how to use it.
There are a number of small studies focusing on the use of oral immunotherapy for the treatment of peanut allergy. In one study, for example, participants were given increasing amounts of peanut flour to swallow on a daily basis, for a period of weeks to months. After this time period, an oral challenge to peanut was used to determine how much peanut the person could then tolerate without experiencing an allergic reaction.
Reported results of immunotherapy for treating peanut allergy:
- A few studies have shown that after children had undergone oral immunotherapy to peanut for many months, they could eat a large number of peanuts without experiencing an allergic reaction.
- It’s important to note that almost all of these children experienced some form of allergic reaction during the course of the oral peanut immunotherapy.
- There are a growing number of reports of children developing eosinophilic esophagitis as a side effect of oral immunotherapy.
If you are interested in immunotherapy, you can contact your allergist to weigh your risks and benefits.
Emergency Treatment For Severe Allergic Reactions
If you are at risk of a severe allergic reaction , carry an adrenaline autoinjector such as EpiPen® and a means of calling for medical assistance such as a mobile telephone. Emergency responses for a severe allergic reaction are:
- lay the person flat do not allow them to stand or walk
- administer adrenaline with an autoinjector
- always dial triple zero to call an ambulance in a medical emergency.
If you are at risk of a severe allergic reaction, make sure you:
- have a severe allergic reaction action plan
- carry an adrenaline autoinjector to treat a severe allergic reaction
- wear medical identification jewellery this increases the likelihood that adrenaline will be administered in an emergency
- avoid medication that may increase the severity of allergic reaction or complicate its treatment such as beta blockers
- seek medical advice.
Don’t Miss: How Can Type I Allergic Reactions Be Diagnosed
What Problems Can Peanuts Cause
Symptoms of an allergic response to peanuts will usually start within minutes of exposure, and they can include:
- Tightening in the throat
- Shortness of breath or wheezing
- Skin reaction such as hives or redness
- Tingling or itching in the mouth or throat
- Diarrhea, nausea, stomachcramps or vomiting
- A runny nose
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.
Read Also: Claratin Kids
How To Avoid A Reaction
If you know you have a severe peanut allergy, the best way to prevent anaphylaxis is to avoid them. Here are a few tips:
- Every time you shop, read food labels carefully. Packaged foods that contain peanuts are required to include them in the ingredients list.
- When you order food in restaurants, always let the server know that you have a peanut allergy. Ask for your food to be prepared without peanuts, peanut oil, and other peanut-based products.
- When traveling by plane, contact the airline and alert them to your allergy ahead of time. You can request that your flight be peanut-free and ask to have your seat cleaned.
As a precaution, always keep an epinephrine auto-injector nearby. This medication can reverse the symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction, but you have to use it quickly for it to be effective.
During a delayed reaction, you may need to administer a second and possibly third dose of epinephrine. See your allergist to learn how to use the auto-injector correctly.
After you inject epinephrine and your symptoms stabilize, go to an emergency room for treatment. Always get medical help to prevent another reaction.
How To Avoid Peanuts
Foods that contain peanuts have to say so on the label. Thats the law in the United States. Read all food labels every time, because ingredients can change. There might be nuts in something you didnt think had them. If you arent sure, check with the products maker.
There is no easy fix for the allergy. The only way to prevent a bad reaction is to avoid peanuts. But no matter how careful you are, you may still come into contact with them because theyre so common. It is important to know how to act fast in a life-threatening case.
Peanut allergies usually are lifelong for most people. But research finds that about 20% of children who have the allergy outgrow it eventually. For children at risk of peanut allergies, the recommendations to do allergy testing and introducing peanut products vary depending on the child’s risk.
WebMD Medical Reference
Read Also: Is Claritin Good For Allergies
Living With Peanut Or Tree Nut Allergy
If allergy skin testing shows that you have 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 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 label. Manufacturers of foods sold in the United States must state on their labels whether 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”
People who are allergic to nuts should avoid foods with these statements on the label. Although these foods might not use nut ingredients, the warnings are there to let people know the food may contain small traces of nuts. That can happen through something called “cross-contamination.” This is 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:
Whats Involved With An Allergy Test
If you think you are allergic to peanuts, see an allergist. Start a food diary before the appointment and keep track of any reactions.
If youve never had a severe reaction, they might suggest whats called an elimination diet. You would cut out peanuts or other suspected foods for a week or longer. Then you would add them back in one at a time to see what might be causing you to react.
Your doctor may also do a skin test, placing a small amount of the food on you and then pricking it with a needle. If you are allergic to peanuts, you will develop a raised bump or reaction.
You may also need a blood test to check to see whether your immune system launches an allergic reaction to peanuts.
Recommended Reading: Allergies Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes
Severe Allergic Reaction Anaphylaxis
Peanuts and tree nuts are among the most common foods to cause severe allergic reactions. Severe allergic reaction is life threatening. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction include:
- difficult or noisy breathing
- persistent dizziness or collapse
- paleness and floppiness in young children.
If you, or a child in your care, have a severe allergic reaction , call triple zero for an ambulance. Do not stand or walk . Administer adrenaline via autoinjector , if available.
How Do You Know If You Re Allergic To Peanuts
Symptoms of an allergic response to peanuts will usually start within minutes of exposure, and they can include:
Read Also: Antihistamine Effect On Blood Pressure
Who Outgrew Nut Allergies
Most patients didn’t outgrow their tree-nut allergies.
But nearly one in 10 did, some of whom had had a severe reaction in the past to tree nuts, the study shows.
Kids were more likely to have outgrown their tree-nut allergy if they were no longer allergic to peanuts.
That finding should be tested further, write the researchers. They note that parents of kids who had outgrown peanut allergies may have been more willing to let those kids take the nut-allergy test.
The odds of outgrowing tree-nut allergies weren’t great for kids with allergies to more than one or two different tree nuts. Those children are “unlikely to eventually outgrow their allergy,” write Fleischer and colleagues.
Can A Peanut Allergy Go Away
Dr. Chacko Featured on the Cover ofAtlanta’s Top Doctor Magazine
Of the many food allergies affecting Atlanta children, a peanut allergy is one of the most concerning. If not carefully monitored and treated correctly, peanut allergies can lead to severe allergic reactions. Thankfully, some people will outgrow their allergies or respond positively to treatment. But how likely is it that your or your childs peanut allergy will go away?
Also Check: Ara H 9 Peanut Allergy
What Are The Symptoms Of A Peanut Allergy
Who has peanut allergies?
Peanuts are a common cause of serious allergic reactions. If youre allergic to them, a tiny amount can trigger a major reaction. Even just touching peanuts can bring on a reaction for some people.
Children are more likely than adults to have peanut allergies. While some grow out of it, others need to avoid peanuts for life.
You have a higher risk of developing food allergies, including to peanuts, if youve been diagnosed with another allergic condition. Family history of allergies also raises your risk for developing a peanut allergy.
Read on to learn what the signs and symptoms of a peanut allergy look like. Make an appointment with your doctor if you suspect that you might be allergic to peanuts. They can refer you to an allergist for testing.
In most cases, an allergic reaction will become obvious within minutes of contact with peanuts. Some signs and symptoms can be subtle. For example, you might develop one or more of the following:
- itchy skin
- hives, which can appear as small spots or large welts on your skin
- itching or tingling sensations in or around your mouth or throat
- runny or congested nose
In some cases, these mild symptoms are just the beginning of a reaction. It can become more serious, especially if you dont take steps to treat it early.
Who Gets Delayed Anaphylactic Reactions
A 2015 study found that 2 percent of people treated for an allergic reaction at hospital emergency rooms developed a second, late reaction. That delayed reaction occurred, on average, 15 hours after people were first treated. Another study found that about 15 percent of children had a second severe allergic reaction hours after their first reaction.
Youre more likely to have a delayed reaction if you:
- have a severe peanut allergy
- dont get treated with epinephrine quickly enough
- dont get a large enough dose of epinephrine
- dont respond quickly to epinephrine
- have low blood pressure during your first reaction
- have a history of delayed anaphylaxis
Also Check: Can Allergies Make You Throw Up
How Are Medications Used In Peanut Allergy Treatment
If you have a peanut allergy, your healthcare provider may prescribe medications to reduce the symptoms of an allergic reaction. You may take:
- Epinephrine : This is a lifesaving emergency medication that immediately begins reversing anaphylaxis symptoms.
- Antihistamines: These are medicines that reduce congestion or itching.
- Corticosteroids: These medications reduce swelling if you have an allergic reaction.
What Is Peanut Allergy
Peanut allergy is the most common food allergy in children under age 18 and the second-most common food allergy in adults. Peanut allergy is usually lifelong: only about 20 percent of children with peanut allergy outgrow it over time.¹
When a person with a peanut allergy is exposed to peanut, proteins in the peanut bind to specific IgE antibodies made by the persons immune system. Subsequent exposure to peanut protein, typically by oral ingestion, triggers the persons immune defenses, leading to reaction symptoms that can be mild or very severe.
Allergy to peanut is the only food allergy for which a treatment has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Palforzia. There are other treatment protocols currently being used to improve an individuals tolerance to the peanut protein, such as peanut oral immunotherapy, but these are non-FDA approved.
Peanuts are not the same as tree nuts , which grow on trees. ² Peanuts grow underground and are part of a different plant family, the legumes. Other examples of legumes include beans, peas, lentils and soybeans. Being allergic to peanuts does not mean you have a greater chance of being allergic to another legume. However, allergy to lupine, another legume commonly used in vegan cooking, can occur in patients with peanut allergy.
Peanut allergies affect up to 2% of pediatric population, and many will carry this allergy into adulthood.³
You May Like: Blistered Lips Allergic Reaction
How To Get Tested
A food allergy will usually cause some sort of reaction every time the trigger food is eaten. Symptoms can vary from person to person, and you may not always experience the same symptoms during every reaction. Allergic reactions to food can affect the skin, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract and cardiovascular system. It is impossible to predict how severe the next reaction might be, and all patients with food allergies should be carefully counseled about the risk of anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal reaction that is treated with epinephrine .
While food allergies may develop at any age, most appear in early childhood. If you suspect a food allergy, see an allergist, who will take your family and medical history, decide which tests to perform and use this information to determine if a food allergy exists.
To make a diagnosis, allergists ask detailed questions about your medical history and your symptoms. Be prepared to answer questions about:
- What and how much you ate
- How long it took for symptoms to develop
- What symptoms you experienced and how long they lasted.
After taking your history, your allergist may order skin tests and/or blood tests, which indicate whether food-specific immunoglobulin E antibodies are present in your body:
Your allergist will use the results of these tests in making a diagnosis. A positive result does not necessarily indicate that there is an allergy, though a negative result is useful in ruling one out.
Proteins And Peanut Allergy
Your allergy to peanuts actually is an allergy to the specific proteins found in peanuts. These proteins are present in the peanuts themselves, and in foods made with the whole peanut.
The proteins aren’t present in purified peanut oil, which is fat, not protein. That’s why most people who are allergic to peanuts can consume peanut oil without a reaction.
Those specific proteins also aren’t present in the airborne compounds that create the odor of peanuts. The smell is contained in smaller organic compounds that aren’t peanut protein.
You inhale and potentially ingest these flavor and aroma compounds when you smell peanuts, but since they don’t contain the problematic proteins, you won’t react to them.
Recommended Reading: Allergic To Zyrtec
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 Are The Symptoms Of A Food Allergy Reaction
An allergic reaction to food can have many different symptoms, and a single person can experience different symptoms from one reaction to the next. Many reactions start with skin symptoms, like hives or a rash, but some do not. More serious symptoms like a drop in blood pressure and trouble breathing can be life-threatening. Talk to your allergist and work with them to fill out a Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan to be prepared in an emergency. A complete list of symptoms of a food allergy reaction is available here.
Recommended Reading: Loratadine Allergic Reactions