Peanuts Shellfish Or Dairy Can Kill You: Know The Allergies Triggers Treatments And Preventive Measures
Case studies of patients and what doctors have to say about body’s immune reaction
Dust allergy, mite allergy, food allergy, drug allergythe list is endless, but do not take allergies lightly, because some can kill you.
Severe allergy cases are on the rise lately, said Dr Saied Al Habash, Consultant Otolaryngology, Medcare Hospital, Sharjah. Patients with Samters Triad, a chronic condition defined by asthma, sinus inflammation with recurring nasal polyps, can have severe reactions if they take pain killers, leading to even death, explained Dr Saied.
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, about 9 per cent of adults with asthma and 30 per cent of adults with both asthma and nasal polyps also have Samters Triad.
A brief look at some people in UAE who overcame allergies:
What Is A Peanut Allergy
Peanut allergy develops when the body’s immune system has an abnormal, hypersensitivity response to one or more of the peanut proteins. Peanut allergy is one of the most common food allergies in both children and adults. It receives particular attention because it is relatively common, typically lifelong, and can cause severe allergic reactions. Peanut allergy is the leading cause of anaphylaxis and death due to food allergy. It can lead to significant burden on patients and their families. Peanut is a common food ingredient making strict avoidance difficult. Therefore, there is a relatively high rate of accidental peanut ingestions for those trying to avoid peanuts. For all of the above reasons, peanut allergy has become an important public-health issue.
This prevalence of peanut allergy has increased significantly over the past decade, most notably in westernized countries. The prevalence of peanut allergy in westernized countries is approximately 0.5%, with the greatest prevalence in children under 3 years of age. This increase in prevalence has also occurred with other allergic conditions, such as eczema , asthma, and hay fever . Peanut allergy is much less common in underdeveloped areas of the world, such as Africa and Asia. Emerging literature suggests that the increasing rate of peanut allergy may be leveling off in many nations, including the United States.
What Can Trigger Allergies
Harmless substances known as allergens can provoke an overreaction from the human immune system, resulting in allergies. These allergens can be anything: pollen, food, medicines, latex , perfumes, gold, well, almost anything. It can be different things for different people. So the best way to prevent allergies is to steer clear of allergens.
Recommended Reading: Does Cetirizine 10 Mg Make You Sleepy
You May Experience An Allergic Reaction
Peanuts are not only a common allergy, but they also tend to be grown, processed, and stored in a way that makes them susceptible to mold andwait for itgoing rancid, Dr. Axe warns. This is mainly due to the fact that peanuts are grown on the ground, which causes them to become very moist, and a lot of them wind up containing mycotoxins, which are various types of mold.
“This is one contributing reason as to why so many kids today have food allergies or inflammatory immune reactions after eating peanuts,” says Dr. Axe.
For The Allergy Friendly Food Dye:
Ive been asked by many what food coloring I use. So, confession: I used Wiltons food coloring gels long before I was smart enough to check their label. I dont know why I didnt think food coloring might have something in it! I have called Wilton before, and the person I talked to said theyve added a may contain label if there is something in the same facility. So, weve used it and never had an issueBUTonly do what youre comfortable with for your own food allergies and go with what your allergist tells you. Ive heard that AmeriColor has allergy-friendly food gels.
Don’t Miss: Allergy Test Kaiser
Other Treatments For Peanut Allergies Being Researched
This isnt the only potential treatment for dangerous and deadly food allergies being researched.
Multiple treatments for peanut and other food allergies are currently under development. Sindher said many of these are designed to help children tolerate oral immunotherapy.
DBV Technologies has submitted an application to the FDA for an immunotherapy patch that delivers very small amounts of peanut to the skin micrograms, not milligrams.
Sanofi is working on an immunotherapy that is delivered under the tongue. In addition to the peanut protein, this includes a compound that may increase the immune systems tolerance to peanut allergens.
Another treatment being tested uses omalizumab the allergy medicine Xolair alongside immunotherapy. This drug blocks an antibody involved in the peanut allergic reaction.
Can Cats Be Allergic To Nuts
Cats can be allergic to nuts, even if nuts are technically not toxic to cats. So, that is something to seriously consider if you do give them peanut butter.
Now heres something I didnt know: cats can be allergic to nuts, just like humans. The symptoms present themselves in some of the same ways as humans, but your cat may not experience its throat closing .
Cats with a nut allergy will have intense itching on the head and ears and possibly sneezing. Other symptoms might include:
- Constant grooming
- Irritated ears
- Hair loss, most likely caused by excessive scratching
- Diarrhea or vomiting
You wouldnt think that your cats itching is due to a nut allergy. If you know your cat doesnt have fleas but is still itching, maybe you can think about seeing if your cat has a nut allergy.
Recommended Reading: Claritin Allergic Reaction
Research Decodes The Smallest Dose Of Peanuts That Can Trigger People With Mild Allergies
As delicious as peanuts taste, they also happen to be one of the common allergy-inducing nuts. This basically means that people with a peanut allergy have to stay away from this food for the sake of their health.
However, the findings of a recent study by a University of Cincinnati toxicologist suggests that finding an eliciting dose may help those who suffer mild or moderate allergic reactions to peanut.
The findings were published in the scholarly journal Food and Chemical Toxicology.
Even tiny amounts of peanut protein can lead to hives, itching, tingling in the mouth, shortness of breath or nausea within minutes for those who suffer from peanut allergies.
For individuals with severe peanut allergies, food-induced anaphylaxis can occur. Its a life-threatening emergency that requires treatment with an injection of epinephrine and a trip to the emergency room. Food labels offer warnings such as may contain peanuts or was processed in a facility that may process nuts.
Current allergy warnings on food labels are not enough
The warnings allow individuals with severe reactions to steer clear, but for consumers who may be able to tolerate a minimal amount of peanut protein without major incident the labels arent very useful, says Lynne Haber, PhD, a University of Cincinnati College of Medicine senior toxicologist.
But a new study that Haber has led may help change that situation.
This what the research on peanut allergies found
Can Peanut Allergy Be Prevented
In 2017, the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease issued new in order to define high, moderate and low-risk infants for developing peanut allergy. The guidelines also address how to proceed with introduction of peanut based on risk in order to prevent the development of peanut allergy.
The updated guidelines are a breakthrough for the prevention of peanut allergy. Peanut allergy has become much more common in recent years, and there is now a roadmap to prevent many new cases.
According to the new guidelines, an infant at high risk of developing peanut allergy is one with severe eczema and/or egg allergy. The guidelines recommend introduction of peanut-containing foods as early as 4-6 months for high-risk infants who have already started solid foods, after determining that it is safe to do so.
If your child is determined to be high risk, the guidelines recommend having them tested for peanut allergy. Your allergist may do this with a skin test or blood test. Depending on the results, they may recommend attempting to try peanut for the first time in the office. A positive test alone does not necessarily prove your child is allergic, and studies have shown infants who have a peanut sensitivity arent necessarily allergic.
Although parents want to do whats best for their children, determining what best means isnt always easy. So if your son or daughter is struggling with peanut allergies, take control of the situation and consult an allergist today.
Recommended Reading: Theraflu And Robitussin
Reality: Allergen Advisory Labels Like May Contain Peanuts Or Made On Shared Equipment With Peanuts Are Voluntary And Unregulated By Us Law Food Companies Are Not Required To Use Them
The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act requires that food companies list the top 8 most common food allergens milk, eggs, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, tree nuts and peanuts in clear language on labels if they are intentional ingredients. So, for example, a granola bar that contains peanut flour as an ingredient must say on the label that it contains peanuts or peanut flour the company that makes the granola bar is not allowed to call peanut flour something vague like vegetable protein flour or natural flavoring.
However, the FALCPA law only applies to packaged foods regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It does not apply to foods regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, like fresh meat, eggs and cheese. And FALCPA does not require that companies put an allergen advisory warning on products that may contain top 8 allergens . For example: if an ice cream manufacturer runs peanut butter ice cream through its ice cream making machine and then runs chocolate ice cream through the same machine immediately afterward, that company would not be required to put a warning label on the chocolate ice cream to let customers know that it may contain traces of peanuts.
Allergic Reaction To Peanut Residue Kills 22
Bruce Kelly avoided peanuts all his life because of allergies. But, with so many foods now containing nut warning labels, the 22-year-old Ramsey man had found he could eat many labeled foods without a reaction.
On Monday, chocolate packaged with that warning killed Kelly, even though he had already eaten several chocolates from the same package with no adverse effects.
“Nearly every chocolate bar you buy has the peanut warning on it,” Kelly’s father, Brian, said Thursday. “It’s like crying wolf too many times.” But Bruce and his twin brother, who also has a peanut allergy, had never had a reaction to such foods.
“But no more ignoring labels just because it didn’t bother them before,” said Brian Kelly, who wants to protect his surviving son, Ryan, from the same fate.
“There’s not going to be any more of that at my house,” he said, his voice cracking with grief. “That’s about all I can do. But I can’t stop everything he’s going to eat, because he’s 22.”
As many as 15 million Americans have food allergies, according to the Food Allergy Research & Education organization, based in Virginia. Every year, 200,000 visits are made to U.S. emergency rooms because of food allergy reactions, said Martha Hartz, a doctor of pediatric allergy and immunology at the Mayo Clinic.
But deaths from allergies are rare in the United States 150 to 200 a year, she said.
The number of people allergic to peanuts has tripled since 1997, Hartz said.
“It saves lives,” Hartz said.
Recommended Reading: Diphenhydramine Vs Pseudoephedrine
Reality: Airborne Peanut Dust Can Cause Sneezing Itchy Eyes Or Asthma
While the mere scent of peanuts has not been shown to cause allergic reactions , actual peanut particles in the air can cause airborne allergic reactions in people with peanut allergies. People with peanut allergies may be at risk for an airborne reaction when they are in an enclosed area where peanuts are being shelled, ground, roasted, baked or fried nearby.
How Are Peanut Allergies Managed What Is The Treatment For A Peanut Allergy
Strict avoidance of peanuts and prompt treatment of accidental ingestions are the mainstays of management of peanut allergy. The goals of treatment are to minimize the risk of accidental ingestion while maintaining adequate nutrition and an acceptable quality of life.
Although there is significant research focused on oral immunotherapy and desensitization protocols for peanut allergy, these treatment options are still not ready for widespread clinical use. There is also significant research involving a peanut patch, also known as epi-cutaneous immunotherapy.
Early studies of this patch have shown that by applying a patch containing peanut protein to the skin, it may be possible to make peanut allergic individuals less sensitive to peanut protein and it may protect certain peanut-allergic individuals from experiencing a reaction to an accidental peanut exposure. There are still many questions regarding this possible form of therapy and it is still not ready for widespread clinical use.
Peanut is a common food in the Unites States, and strict avoidance requires constant awareness of food labels and food ingredients. United States legislation requires all food companies to identify on labels whether their products contain the most common food allergens, including peanuts.
Read Also: Adult Claritin
The Common Thread In All Three Patients
The common factor in all the three cases were a family history of allergy, and they were young, said the Dubai-based ENT specialist. Allergy is a disorder of the young and symptoms tend to become less intense when people grow older. Allergic rhinitis if treated properly can decrease the chances of developing asthma.
Managing Food Allergies When There Is No Cure
Her friend, Josh, frantically rifled through her purse to find her EpiPen. Apparently, there were traces of peanuts in the curry. As her throat continued to swell, her eyes started watering.
I dont want to die, she gasped.
Just then, Josh stabbed the EpiPen deep into her thigh mercilessly.
There is currently no complete cure for food allergies the only way to prevent a reaction is to avoid the allergen altogether.
When Tasha Lee was younger, her schools took her allergies very seriously and even provided a special table for kids with allergies to eat during lunch. The school also made the classrooms nut-free and had a supply of her meds in the medical office.
However, as children get older, there is less support from the schools.
A study by the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology noted that elementary schools were more likely than middle schools and high schools to adopt policies prohibiting or restricting peanuts. For example, 97.9% of middle schools and high schools allowed students to bring peanuts from home, compared to 85.5% of elementary schools.
Starting in middle school, it was Tashas responsibility to carry several EpiPens and Benadryl at all times in a medical bag she keeps in her purse or backpack. She never leaves the house without them.
Aside from taking personal precautions, Kristen Lee said food labeling laws have also made it much easier for her daughter to stay safe.
Don’t Miss: Are There Peanuts In Twix
‘i Avoid Kissing As My Peanut Allergy Could Kill Me’
BBC Newsbeat reporters
There are lots of reasons to dread moving in for that first kiss – dying isn’t normally one of them.
But for Oli Weatherall it’s a major concern along with going on flights and eating out.
The 22-year-old from Surrey has a severe peanut allergy.
When he was a child a reaction to peanut butter left him in hospital. He says his saliva thickened so much he could barely breathe.
Since then his life has changed forever and after recent high-profile cases surrounding food allergies, Oli’s been telling Radio 1 Newsbeat how he copes.
Oli describes the first time he was rushed to hospital after eating that peanut butter as his scariest experience.
He had no idea what was happening to his body as his skin broke out in hives .
It’s not just a simple case of avoiding eating peanuts. Even kissing a girl on a night out could be risky.
If she’d eaten a peanut or it had even been used as an ingredient in a meal, that trace could be enough.
“People have died from it,” Oli explains.
“It’s quite a real risk, which people wouldn’t think about if you didn’t have allergies.
“Unless you know someone close to you who’s got an allergy, you don’t really need to think about areas like foreign holidays, flying, or romantic relationships.
“You quite often get people having a curry, then going to the pub and then going out, so it’s not just having physically eaten a peanut, it’s ‘have you had an Indian? Have you had a kebab?’
Eating anywhere other than at home is a problem.
A Treatment In Three Years
While this immunotherapy treatment is mainly limited to medical trials, Dr Nadeau believes it will not be long until it is more widely available. I predict that in the next three to four years, youll have something for yourself, she says.
Oral immunotherapy drugs such as Palforzia, the first treatment approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and known to reduce the severity of allergic reactions to peanuts, may also be rolled out soon. The researchers at Stanford helped to trial them but although the FDA has approved them, it may be some time before they receive clearance in Europe and the UK.
Immunotherapy treatment is expensive and time-consuming, but drugs such as Palforzia signal a new, democratic era in food allergy treatment, where patients will have access via the NHS rather than footing the bill for private treatment. It is an important step forward given that food allergies are on the rise globally, with prevalence increasing by 5.1 per cent between 2009 and 2011 in the US alone. In the UK, allergies in children are increasing. In the early 1990s, 16 out of every 1 million children were admitted to hospital for food allergies every year. By 2003, that figure was 107 in every million.
You May Like: Is Claritin Good For Itchy Skin