Peanut Allergy - What You Need To Know

The Peanut Problem
Peanuts, a cheap source of dietary protein predominantly ingested as peanut butter, have indeed become one of the world's most allergenic foods. They are, unfortunately, progressively finding their way into more and more food products either directly, or by indirect contamination of food products during the manufacturing process. Peanut may be designated on a food label in a less easily recognized term such as "hydrolysed vegetable protein" or "groundnuts". It is important to realize that for the sensitive person, this is a lifelong allergy, and that even trace amounts can kill. Sensitization may possible occur during a pregnancy when the mother overindulges in or perhaps even just eats peanut products, and peanut proteins have even been found in breast milk.

The Allergic (Anaphylactic) Shock Reaction This reaction can begin and proceed rapidly, occasionally proving fatal within minutes. It must be treated with epinephrine immediately at the first signs of reaction, and the reaction may recur after initial therapy so that ongoing observation and care are required. Possible symptoms of reaction to peanuts may include (not necessarily in this order):

  • ense of foreboding, fear, or apprehension
  • lushed face, hives, swollen or itchy lips, mouth, eyes, or tongue
  • ightness in mouth, chest or throat
  • ifficulty breathing or swallowing, drooling, wheezing, choking, coughing
  • unning nose, voice change
  • omiting, nausea, diarrhea, stomach pains
  • izziness, unsteadiness, sudden fatigue, rapid heartbeat, chills
  • allor, loss of consciousness, coma, death

Other names for peanuts:

  • Arachis oil
  • Beer nuts
  • Goober nuts, and goober peas
  • Ground nuts
  • Kernels
  • Mandelonas, Nu-Nuts
  • Nut meats
  • Valencias

Food and products that contain or often contain peanuts:

  • Ethnic foods, such as satay, Thai (for example, curries), Vietnamese (for example, crushed peanut as a topping, spring rolls) or Chinese (for example, Szechuan sauce, egg rolls)
  • Hydrolyzed plant protein and vegetable protein
  • Nut substitutes
  • Peanut butter
  • Peanut oil
  • Vegetarian meat substitutes

Other possible sources of peanuts:

  • Almond & hazelnut paste, marzipan, nougat
  • Baked goods
  • Chili
  • Cereals
  • Desserts
  • Dried salad dressings and soup mixes
  • Icing, glazes
  • Snack foods, for example, trail mixes

Peanut / Nut-Free Treats
Allermates - Allergy Education Center

For more information about food allergies:

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