NEW Health Peanut Allergy Information – NorthEndWaterfront.com

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by Mary Wright, RN, Health Educator at North End Waterfront Health

Peanut allergy is the most common of all food allergies. People with peanut allergies are allergic to peanut protein, even in small amounts. This type of allergy lasts a lifetime, no child will get too big.

Exposure to peanuts can occur in different ways:

  • Direct contact. It is the most common cause of an allergic reaction to peanuts and occurs when peanuts or foods containing peanuts are eaten. It can also happen when peanuts come in direct contact with the skin.
  • Cross contact. This is the unintentional introduction of peanuts during food processing or production.
  • Inhalation. This reaction occurs if you inhale dust or aerosols containing
    peanuts.

The allergic reaction to peanuts usually occurs within minutes of exposure. Symptoms can range from mild to severe. They understand:

  • Skin reactions, such as hives, redness or swelling
  • Itching or tingling around the throat and mouth
  • Digestive problems, such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or stomach cramps
  • Throat tightening
  • Shortness of breath and wheezing
  • Runny nose

Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.

The symptoms of anaphylaxis are:

  • The above symptoms plus
  • Airway constriction
  • Swelling of the throat, which makes it difficult to breathe
  • A severe drop in blood pressure
  • Rapid pulse
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or loss of consciousness

If any of these symptoms appear, treatment with an epi-pen is necessary. Dial 911 for additional emergency treatment.


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