Peanut allergy: how to identify and what to do

In case of a small allergic reaction to peanuts, which can cause itching and tingling of the skin or red eyes and itchy nose, it is recommended to take an antihistamine such as Loratadine, for example, but always under medical advice. 

When there is an intense allergic reaction and the person has swollen lips or starts to have difficulty breathing, go to the emergency room as soon as possible, without taking any medication beforehand. In this case, the reaction can be so severe that it prevents the passage of air, having to put a tube in the throat to be able to breathe, and this can only be done by the rescuer or doctor at the hospital.

Main symptoms of allergy

Peanut allergy is usually discovered in childhood, and it particularly affects babies and children who have other allergies such as asthma, rhinitis, or sinusitis, for example.

The signs and symptoms of peanut allergy can appear moments or up to 2 hours after consuming the peanut itself, a sweet like paçoca, or even small traces of peanuts that may be present in the packaging of a cookie. Symptoms can be:

Mild or moderate allergySevere allergy
Itching, tingling, redness and heat on the skinSwelling of the lips, tongue, ears or eyes
Stuffy and runny nose, itchy noseFeeling of discomfort in the throat
Red, itchy eyesShortness of breath and difficulty breathing, chest tightness, sharp sounds when breathing
Abdominal pain and excess gasCardiac arrhythmia, palpitations, dizziness, chest pain

Generally, severe allergic reactions that cause anaphylaxis and inability to breathe appear within 20 minutes of consuming peanuts and preventing allergy attacks in the future is the key to living with a severe peanut allergy. Know what anaphylaxis is and what to do .

How to confirm if you are allergic to peanuts

The best way to find out if your baby is allergic to peanuts is to offer a minimal amount of peanut powder for him to taste. This can be done with 6-month-old babies or according to the pediatrician’s guidance, but it is important to be aware of the first signs of allergy such as irritability, itchy mouth or swollen lips, for example.

For babies who are at high risk of being allergic to peanuts because it has already been proven that they are allergic to eggs or because they have frequent skin allergies, the pediatrician can advise that the first test is done in the office or hospital to ensure the baby’s safety .

If these symptoms are present, the baby should be taken to the pediatrician because blood tests may be performed to prove the allergy. However, anyone who has never tasted peanuts will have an exam without any changes, so it is always necessary to expose the child to peanuts before taking the exam.

How to live with allergy 

The allergist doctor will be able to indicate what needs to be done to control peanut allergy, avoiding its consumption or even constantly consuming small doses daily so that the immune system gets used to the presence of peanuts and does not overreact.

Thus, consumption of 1/2 peanuts per day is more useful to prevent an overreaction of the body when consuming peanuts than simply excluding peanuts from the diet. In most cases, with the complete exclusion of peanuts from the diet when consuming even small amounts, the body reacts very intensely, which is serious and can cause death by suffocation.

List of foods to avoid

In addition to the peanut itself, anyone who is allergic to this food also needs to avoid consuming anything that may contain peanuts, such as:

  • Crackers;
  • Peanut candy;
  • Creamy paçoquita;
  • Torrone;
  • Boy’s foot;
  • Peanut butter;
  • Breakfast cereals or granola;
  • Cereal bar;
  • Chocolate;
  • M&Ms;
  • Dried fruit cocktail.

For those who are going through the adaptation period, to avoid an anaphylactic reaction, small amounts of peanuts should be consumed daily, so you should read the label of all processed foods to identify if you have peanuts or traces of peanuts to better control the amount of grain you consume per day.

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