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Peanut Allergies...Most Life Threatening Food Allergy

By Marilou Batul-Tayag

Well, what is Peanut Allergies? According to health studies Peanut Allergies can be defined as an allergic reaction to peanuts, which is the number one cause of anaphylaxis, popularly known as the most life threatening allergic reaction.

Peanut allergies are caused by the body’s hypersensitive response to a substance when one eats peanuts or peanut particles and oils. Some of these are peanut butter, expressed peanut oil, mixed nuts, arachis oil, groundnut oil, hydrolyzed plant and vegetable protein and natural flavoring. There are also many foods that contain peanut as their ingredient which include: breakfast cereals, crackers, biscuits, ice cream, desserts, nutrition and energy bars, curry sauce, candies, salad dressings, vegetarian dishes, soups and topical ointments.

Anyone can have peanut allergies. But according to health surveys it is more seen among children. There are several signs and symptoms on how to identify if one has peanut allergies. Symptoms of peanut allergies range from mild to severe. When one has a mild reaction to the said allergies the most common signs are you get stomachache, runny nose, a skin rash, hives or urticaria and if you feel thrilling sensation in your lips and tongue. On the other hand if you’re allergies become severe here are the most common symptoms. There is urinary frequency, hypotension or what we call low blood pressure, inflammation of the brain, flushed appearance, night blindness, sudden swelling of the neck , lips, face and throat, vomiting, erectile dysfunction and frequent itching all over your body, difficulty in breathing and swallowing, diarrhea, dizziness and loss of consciousness.

So when one feels any of these symptoms it’s very important to have an abrupt treatment. It’s better to be diagnosed by your family physician to be able to know if your allergies need a serious treatment. Usually, doctors always conduct a skin test to the patient by injecting a peanut extract to know if there will be swelling or redness which indicates allergic reaction. Afterwards the physician will conduct a blood test to identify antibodies which corresponds to a peanut allergy sample that can be found in the patients sample blood. And to make the diagnosis more effective the physician will conduct a blind food challenge tests which and determines the cause of the food allergy. Lastly is the elimination diet. It is a process wherein peanuts are removed from the patient’s diet for weeks. This method will help physicians to determine if allergic reactions continue and persist.

Now as an individual, it’s very important to have enough information on how to prevent peanut allergies. The most general prevention is avoidance of peanut in your diet. Make sure that when you buy anything that is eaten always to read the labels to be able to know if the products you buy are peanut free. Remember health is wealth!

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