Peanut Allergy Symptoms and Treatment

Did you know that the most common food allergy in all children is peanut allergy?

Many schools across South Africa have declared themselves nut free. This means they no longer serve peanut butter, an old school lunch staple. The reason for this is that peanuts can trigger life-threatening reactions in allergic children.

How common is a peanut allergy?

Peanut allergy affects 2% of the general population. But 7-14% of children go to the hospital because of a peanut allergy. A third to a half may develop anaphylaxis, although deaths are rare.

“It takes a lot to minimize accidental exposure to peanuts. Peanut allergic patients may need emergency treatment (adrenaline). In addition, their families and caregivers have a lot of work to do. They carry the burden of symptom management,” said Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.

Peanut allergy is one of the leading causes of severe allergic reactions. For some allergic patients, even a small serving of peanut triggers anaphylaxis.

In children, peanut allergy has increased. Your child may have had only a mild allergic reaction to peanuts. But it is crucial to consult a doctor. There is always a possibility of more serious reactions in the future.

What are the sSigns and Symptoms of Peanut Allergy?

Often, an allergic reaction to peanuts begins within minutes of exposure.

Here are some examples of peanut allergy symptoms:

  • Skin responses, urticaria (chronic urticaria), erythemaWhere edema.
  • Itching or tingling in the mouth and throat.
  • Digestive problems including diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting.
  • Constriction of the throat.
  • Shortness of breath and wheezing.
  • Runny nose.
  • Rapid impulse.
  • vertigofainting or unconsciousness.

See your doctor any time your child has symptoms of peanut allergy.

What causes peanut allergy?

Peanut allergy is caused by an error in the immune system. Your immune system identifies peanut proteins as dangerous. Contact with peanuts, whether direct or indirect, is a trigger. This makes the immune system Release substances causing symptoms in the circulation.

Peanut allergy can occur in several ways:


Eating or drinking anything that contains peanuts can be harmful. Direct skin contact with peanuts can also cause an allergic reaction.

Cross contact

It is the accidental presence of peanuts in a product. This often occurs after exposure to peanuts during production or handling.


Breathing dust or aerosols containing peanuts from sources such as:

Who is most at risk for peanut allergy?

It’s unclear why some people have allergies while others don’t. But several risk factors increase the likelihood of developing peanut allergies.

Here are some of the risk factors for peanut allergy:

Age: Food allergies are more common in young children, especially toddlers and babies. As you age, your digestive system matures. Your body becomes less inclined to react to allergenic foods.

Peanut allergy in the past: Some children outgrow their sensitivity to peanuts. But even if your child has outgrown the peanut allergy, it can come back.

Other allergies: If you are allergic to one food, you may be more likely to develop an allergy to another. Also, other allergies, such as hay fever, increase the risk of food allergy cases.

Allergic family members: You are more likely to develop a peanut allergy in your family.

How to prevent a peanut allergy?

Exposing at-risk infants to peanuts as early as four to six months of age can help. This can reduce their chances of up to 80% develop food allergies. Infants with mild to severe eczema, egg allergy, or both are at risk for peanut allergy. Before introducing peanuts to your baby, please consult your doctor.

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