Peanuts cause more severe food allergic reactions than other foods, followed by shellfish, fish, tree nuts and eggs. Although there is only a small percentage of the population that is allergic to peanuts, a peanut allergy can cause death.
Severe Allergic Reactions Require An Immediate Call To Emergency
Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction that can happen only minutes after eating only one small bite of a peanut butter sandwich or cookie. Breathing becomes difficult, the pulse rate increases and the person may have swelling of their mouth, tongue, and throat. Ultimately heart failure and death can occur. The only way to reverse the symptoms of anaphylaxis is with epinephrine or adrenaline. Hospital follow up is then required, even if a person shows some relief after the epinephrine.
Mild Reactions Can Be Treated At Home
There are many things that can be done to treat mild peanut allergy symptoms or reactions to another food. If a runny or stuffy nose appears after eating peanuts, along with a rash on the face, chest, back, or a small part of the body, over-the-counter antihistamines can be given to stop the body from overreacting to eating peanuts.
A Rash Can Be Treated with Hydrocortisone Cream
Rashes that develop from eating foods that cause allergic reactions can cause intense itching. Sometimes parents see a child rubbing the inside of their arm or scratching their face. This can be a sign of an allergy to peanuts, especially if this is a new food for a child. The parent needs to closely watch the child at this point to be sure that the allergic reaction does not worsen. If there is any doubt, or if the child shows signs of a serious reaction like having trouble breathing, 911 should be called immediately.
Your Doctor May Recommend Allergy Testing
If a food is suspected to be the cause of an allergic reaction, it should be completely avoided until allergy testing is completed. If a peanut allergy exists, only a very small amount of food could cause another reaction in the future.