Peanut allergy can be very serious. If the person suffering the allergy is very sensitive, consuming peanuts can be life threatening.
Since peanuts are included in so many foods and may cross-contaminate other nuts during processing and packaging, people can easily be exposed.
For some, just a little “whiff” of peanut dust can throw them into a full blown anaphylactic attack.
The immune system overreacts and releases chemicals, including histamine into the blood affecting different tissues in the body.
Why the peanuts have this effect on some people is not known.
Nowadays peanuts are, if not organic, a GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) food. It is planted between cotton plants, also GMO, and when the cotton is sprayed with herbicides and pesticides, the toxins run down to the peanut plants and make them so much more toxic
Symptoms will vary and can appear within a couple of hours. Among the most common are:
- Swelling of the face, lips, eyes or throat,
- Wheezing or difficult breathing,
- Sudden feeling of body warmth
- Itchy skin and or hives
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Abdominal cramps
- Sudden drop in blood pressure
- Feeling dizzy and/or fainting
There are cases where a patient having been treated for an anaphylactic shock in the ER suffers another severe attack hours later. This is called delayed anaphylactic reaction and is nothing to take lightly.
Read food labels. Be careful when you go to restaurants. Avoid sushi places; they are known for wide use of peanuts in their food preparation.
Some foods that may contain peanut are:
- Artificial flavorings
- Baked goods
- Chocolate and nougat
- Asian foods
- Graham crackers
- Hydrolyzed plant and vegetable protein
Peanuts and soybeans are in the legume family, which also includes beans and lentils. People with peanut allergy may also be allergic to other nuts. Lupine is also a legume that often cross-reacts with peanut and should be avoided by people with peanut allergies. Lupine can be found in seed and flour form.
The Allergy Kit can be a great tool when it comes to eliminating peanut allergy but there is a warning!
If you know you can have an anaphylactic reaction, you have to do the treatment with a surrogate. This means that you should not touch the vial yourself! Instead, have someone else help and hold the vial.
After treatment(s), you must get tested to be absolutely sure that you no longer are allergic before you consume peanuts. You do this treatment at your own risk!