An allergy to peanuts is a serious condition and is usually a life-long proposition which may effect both children and adults. It is paramount that persons with a peanut or nut related allergy avoid all exposures which can create a life threatening reaction.
The most common symptom of peanut allergy is acute hives (urticaria) which usually occurs within minutes of exposure. However, many peanut allergy sufferers also develop severe angioedema, swelling of the face, bronchospasm and anaphylaxis following exposure. Some peanut and nut allergy sufferers are so sensitive that they will develop symptoms even when they are in the presence of someone who has eaten peanuts or has been in contact with peanuts.
Because peanut allergies are so prevalent, much research has been performed to understand the allergy better and possibly find a cure. There are studies currently being conducted at Duke University Medical Center, in North Carolina that is showing promise for all food allergy sufferers. Their study is called The Duke Food Allergy Initiative, which has been running several immunotherapy studies and intends to have some definitive results within the next few years.
Peanut Allergy Statistics
- Peanut and peanut related allergies are a serious problem that can become fatal in severe cases.
- Someone who suffers from chronic peanut allergies should always be prepared to seek immediate medical attention
- Epinephrine (adrenaline) is the best and most effective treatment available for a severe peanut allergy reaction and a EpiPen should be available immedaietly when out in public. Person in public with them should understand exactly how to use the EpiPen if you were to have a reaction.
- There are thousands of peanut-free foods and resources available to those with a peanut or other nut allergy.
- A peanut allergy is one of the “Big 8″ food allergens which account for 90% of allergies combined. (21 million in the US alone).
- More than 3 million people in the US are believed to be allergic to peanuts, tree nuts or both.
- About 1% of the U.S. population has a peanut peanut related allergy.
- Recent studies have shown that over 20% of patients with peanut allergy will outgrow it.
- A allergic reaction to a peanut or peanut related food is the most common cause of food related deaths.
About the author:
Benny Jacobson writes a column in the Allergy Journal and is considered to be an expert on peanut and other nut related allergies.
The Peanut Reaction