Peanut Allergies - Fighting Peanut Allergies With Peanuts

Peanuts are the most severe reason because of which allergic reactions happen. An allergic reaction because of peanuts happens when the immune system targets a harmless substance called peanut protein and identifies it as harmful. The body then releases antibodies specific to the food and releases chemicals, including histamine. One percent of the American population is allergic to peanuts, and annually nearly 125 Americans die due to harmful reactions to peanuts.

Nuts are of many types. Peanuts are not actually a true nut; they are a legume and belong to the same family as peas and lentils. But the proteins in peanuts are of the same kind as tree nuts. On these grounds, people who are allergic to peanuts can also be allergic to other kinds of nuts such as tree nuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamias, pistachios, pecans, and cashews. There are many types and some may cause allergy and some may not.

Nut allergy is a kind of food allergy. It is a hypersensitivity to dietary substances from tree nuts causing an overreaction in the immune system which leads to extreme physical symptoms for many people. Nut allergy is slightly different from peanut allergy because the types of nuts that cause the allergic reactions are not the same. Peanuts fall in the category of legumes whereas tree nuts are regarded as dry fruits. The symptoms of peanut allergy and nut allergy are the same, but a person with peanut allergies may not necessarily be allergic to tree nuts.

One other possible cause for the rise in peanut allergy cases can be that pregnant and nursing women who eat peanuts can pass peanut proteins to their infants, and this leads to an increased risk in the infants for peanut allergy.

There are three main problems that happen due to peanuts. On skin it can cause hives, eczema, red and swollen mouth; gastrointestinal tract such as stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting; and respiratory problem such as itchy, watery nose, sneezing, and symptoms related to asthma, like coughing and wheezing.

At the Duke Medical Center, a desensitization study found that after giving a small, quantity of peanut flour to children every day a dose that was slowly increased the children's sensitivity to peanut flour slowly disappeared. However, experts are against desensitization programs because they are extremely dangerous.

That means that evasion is, at present, the only established treatment in fighting peanut allergies. People with peanut allergies must avoid not only eating and touching peanuts, but foods include peanuts, plus peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies. They should also keep away from people who are eating peanuts. Checking labels carefully for peanut-based ingredients is also significant in reducing the danger of a reaction to peanuts.

Peanut reactions can be very harsh, even if a person is not exposed to much peanut protein. Specialist thinks this might be because the immune system recognizes peanut proteins more easily than other food proteins. Thus the best way is to avoid peanuts and not have them. We should be careful and read the ingredients while we buy food as well.