Peanut & Nut Allergies - Causes, Symptoms, Treatments & Natural Remedies
While peanuts have been everyday snack items over the years, the recent resistance issues and intolerance to nuts have become a common concern. When your bodily systems overreact to the proteins present in nuts, you might face severe allergic reactions. People who have such allergic conditions can suffer even from the smell of peanuts.
Are you suffering from a peanut allergy and trying to find an effective remedy? This article will help you analyse the causes, symptoms and treatment remedies for such allergies!
What Is Peanut Allergy?
As the name reveals, a peanut allergy occurs in people who have developed an intolerance to peanuts. It mainly happens when your body identifies peanuts as harmful substances. Your immune system is responsible for fighting against all toxic substances and keeping your physical systems healthy. Unfortunately, this system overreacts every time you come in contact with peanuts, generating a severe response if you have a peanut allergy.
Such allergies are more common in children than adults. While growing up, children either grow out of it or avoid consuming nuts for life. This allergy, in general, affects about 1.1% of the global population every year. Individuals with other allergies are more prone to having a peanut allergy. Moreover, if you have a family history of similar allergies, you should be cautious of it.
What Are the Symptoms of Peanut Allergies?
While learning more about such allergies, you should be aware of the various symptoms of peanut allergy. Usually, the following mild symptoms are common for this type of allergy.
- Skin rashes or reactions, including hives, swelling or redness
- Digestion issues, including diarrhoea, nausea, stomach cramps or vomiting
- Swelling in the lips or eyes
- Tingling or itching sensation in mouth or throat
- Tight feeling in the throat
- Runny nose
- Shortness of breath
- Blood pressure fall
- Coughing, sneezing or hoarseness
If you ever find similar symptoms of nut allergy, visit your physician immediately to determine if you are having such allergic reactions.
What Are the Causes of Peanut Allergies?
Now that you have a basic understanding of such allergies, you must be wondering "what causes peanut allergy?” Usually, nuts contain tiny proteins, which remain intact even after cooking or processing. Some people are sensitive to such proteins since the antibodies in their system fight them. Therefore, it might trigger the immune system to release histamine, causing allergic reactions.
Apart from peanuts, such allergies can also affect you from consuming tree nuts, including almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, etc. However, exposure to nuts mainly causes nut allergy, which can occur in the following cases.
- Direct contact or consumption: If you are allergic to peanuts or tree nuts, consuming them will trigger your immune system, causing an overreaction to the proteins present in them. Moreover, direct skin contact with nuts might trigger similar allergic reactions in certain individuals.
- Inhalation: In case of certain allergic conditions, even inhaling dust or aerosols that contain peanuts can result in severe allergic reactions. In particular, peanut flour or peanut oil cooking spray can trigger such responses.
- Cross-contact: If you are allergic to peanuts but accidentally consume some food items that contain peanuts without knowing about them, such contact might trigger your allergic reactions. This type of peanut allergy can also affect you when you consume food items exposed to peanuts while processing.
How to Treat Peanut Allergies?
If you are prone to having peanut and tree nut allergy issues, you will go through its common symptoms, which can be life-threatening in rare cases. Thus, it is advisable to seek treatment for peanut allergies every time you face an allergic reaction. Usually, doctors suggest medication as a form of therapy. Medicines in Epinephrine, Antihistamines and Corticosteroids are commonly prescribed for treating such allergies.
Moreover, after recent healthcare research, peanut immunotherapy drops have significantly contributed to treating peanut allergy. Even for one-year-olds, keeping such drops under the tongue can effectively deal with allergic effects from peanuts.
Apart from that, if you have sudden allergic reactions after consuming something with nuts in them, instantly lie down on your back and take epinephrine within five minutes if the symptoms do not get better. Furthermore, it is also suggested that individuals should carry two epinephrine auto-injectors (Auvi-Q, Symjepi, EpiPen) at all times if they suffer from such allergies.
How Can You Prevent Peanut Allergies?
If you face reactions from peanut allergy, you should take measures to prevent their occurrence. The best way to do that is by avoiding consuming nuts or such food items that might contain nuts. Usually, the following types of food items often include nuts, and you should avoid these if you have a nut allergy.
- Baked items including cookies, pastries, pie crusts
- Chocolates and other candies
- Ice cream, frozen yoghurt, puddings and other sweet items
- Granola, cereals and trail mixes
- Soups, sauces and salads
However, there are chances that food items which do not contain nuts can also be contaminated if these are processed somewhere near food items containing nuts. Mainly, it can happen in restaurants. Thus, it is always safe to ask the server before purchasing food items.
According to the new National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) guidelines, a peanut allergy can develop in high, moderate and low-risk infants at different levels. According to these guidelines, infants with an increased risk of developing this allergy might come with eczema and/or egg allergy. Thus, high-risk infants ageing 4-6 months should avoid peanut-containing foods.
While purchasing a food product, you should always check the label to identify the ingredients. It is essential since the makers might change their recipes. Apart from food items, you should also check other household items such as lotions, shampoo and pet food, as these can also contain nuts.
Therefore, you now know that a peanut allergy can affect you anytime, and its allergic reactions might be overwhelming at times. These can occur from consuming food items containing nuts, inhaling or even touching these food items. Thus, it is advisable to stay away from such things and visit a physician as soon as possible if you face such allergic reactions.