Peanut Allergy Symptoms

Peanut Allergy Symptoms: Common Allergies and Symptoms Of A Food Allergy.

When we go to a Tampa Bay Ray's game I always need to get a couple bags of peanuts for $7 each.

Yeah they're expensive but when you're at a baseball game, it calls to you. Not so much for many people who are allergic to peanuts. Symptoms can range from uncomfortable to severe to lethal, all within a matter of minutes.

Peanuts are part of the "Big-8" allergens that include milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, wheat and soybean. Peanuts are part of the legume family. This means a peanut is a plant of the Fabaceae or Leguminosae family.

Peas, beans, lentils, and soybeans are some other well known legumes. Many times when one is allergic to peanuts there's a good change of an allergy to other types of legumes. 

What Is A Food Allergy?

Peanut allergy symptoms is your body's hyperactive state when it come into contact with something its allergic to. Your body starts to pump out chemicals to fight the invading allergen. For most people, a peanuts don't cuase an allergic reaction and consuming them is not serious. For those that are allergic to peanuts the signs and symptoms usually develop within a few minutes to hours after eating a food containing a peanut allergen. Some people can have an allergic reaction or intolerance to peanuts which causes unwanted symptoms and can vary from person to person. 

Peanut Allergy Symptoms

You can quickly show symptoms after you eat peanuts. Normally, it takes a few minutes but for some in can take a few hours. Many things can happen in that time so it make it more difficult to know exactly what caused the symptoms. Adverse effects can be dependent on the individual's immune system.

Here are the most common reactions to peanut allergy: 

  • Ear infections
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Hives
  • Hoarse voice
  • Insomnia
  • Nasal congestion
  • Nausea 
  • Red watery eyes
  • Skin itch
  • Stomach cramps
  • Tight throat
  • Vomiting

In severe cases the victim can get Anaphylaxis shock which is very dangerous. It's a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate medical attention. Many times those that are susceptible to Anaphylaxis shock will carry epinephrine, sometimes called an EpiPen. This gives the person a shot of adrenaline and offers enough time to get him to the emergency room. Anaphylaxis symptoms can include:

  • Difficulty in breathing. The victim may have a swollen throat or airway making it difficult to breathe.
  • Facial flush
  • Lightheaded
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Severe drop in blood pressure
  • Stomach pain

What Are Food Intolerance Symptoms vs Allergy?

Intolerance is a bit more difficult to nail down because symptoms may not be immediate.

It may take several hours before you have any kind of reaction which makes it harder to pinpoint the real issue. Some peanut allergy symptoms may be attributed to other foods. These symptoms can include: 

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Headaches
  • Rashes 
  • Stomach pain and cramps

Because so many people have had peanut allergy symptoms, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-282, Title II) (FALCPA) has mandated that all food products sold in the U.S. that contain peanuts must be clearly marked on the label in English as having peanuts. The law also states that ingredients in foods must be listed by their "common or usual name''.

You can find this law on the FDA.gov website. I highly recommend you thoroughly read every label on every package you buy. Never take the ingredients for granted. Sometimes the ingredients change so keep a close eye on the labels.

There are many foods that are exempt or aren't covered by the FDA allergen labeling laws. It's also written in the law that "many consumers may not realize the ingredient is derived from, or contains, a major food allergen" because some of the names food manufacturers use may be unfamiliar to consumers. 

Foods That Usually Contain Peanuts

  • Mixed nuts 
  • Peanut butter
  • Peanut flour
  • Peanut meal
  • Peanut oil
  • Peanut sauce
  • Peanut soup
  • Szechuan sauce (Asian sauce)

Some Foods That May Contain Peanuts or Peanut Oil

  • Baked goods (pies, cakes, donuts)
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Bars (granola, energy, protein, fruit)
  • Cake icing
  • Candy
  • Cereals
  • Chocolate bars
  • Cookies
  • Crackers 
  •  Dehydrated soup mixes
  • Desserts (ice cream, yogurt)
  • Egg rolls 
  • Flavored coffees
  • Fried foods
  • Hydrolyzed plant protein
  • Marzipan
  • Meat substitutes
  • Nougat
  • Pastries
  • Popcorn (peanut oil might be used)
  • Potato chips (peanut oil might be used)
  • Salad dressings (peanut oil)
  • Thai, Chinese, Indonesian, and Vietnamese food 

Nut Allergy Safe Snacks

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Cucumber
  • Grapes
  • Oranges
  • Organic Ranch Dressing
  • Peaches
  • Peas
  • Plums
  • Radish
  • Raisins
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Potato
  • Watermelon

Other Great Non-Peanut Snacks

  • Applesauce
  • Corn Chips
  • Frozen Desserts
  • Fruit Cups
  • Graham Crackers
  • Grain Cereal Bars
  • Granola/Trail Mixes
  • Muffins
  • Nilla Wafers
  • Organic Cereals
  • Popcorn 
  • Pretzels
  • Pudding Cups 
  • Rice Snacks/Cakes
  • Saltines
  • Sliced Cheese
  • String Cheese
  • Yogurt 
  • Zucchini Bread

If you think you or your child has peanut allergy symptoms or shows peanut intolerance symptoms it's best to talk to your doctor or allergist. These kinds of food allergy symptoms can be potentially life threatening due to Anaphylactic shock so it's best to get professional help.

The doctor or allergist can perform a series of tests to determine the root cause of the allergy and treat it accordingly.

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