Peanuts are nuts people all over the world love eating. Though predominantly used in the manufacture of peanut butter, peanuts are today one of the most allergenic foods available. They are today found in lots of food products directly or indirectly. Food labels labeled with ‘hydrolyzed vegetable protein’ or ‘groundnuts’ usually contain peanuts which can prove to be life threatening to those having allergic reactions to peanuts.
Sensitive people suffering from allergic reactions to peanuts should understand that this is a lifelong allergy where even small trace amounts of peanuts are sufficient to kill. Many sensitive people suffer from anaphylactic shock reaction which starts and proceeds rapidly in the body. It proves to become fatal in a matter of minutes and should be treated with epinephrine at the first signs of the reaction.
The most common and possible allergic reactions to peanuts include tightness in the mouth, chest or throat, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, pallor, loss of consciousness, coma, death or a sense of foreboding, fear or apprehension. Others also experience difficulty in breathing, drooling, swallowing, choking, coughing, dizziness, sudden fatigue, rapid heartbeat, chills and flushed face, swollen or itchy lips, eyes, mouth or tongue.
Many a times, allergic reactions to peanuts in an individual arises because of the failure of institutions in labeling their food and packages clearly. Sometimes peanuts are altered and sold as walnuts, pecans or almonds while it is not advisable to have peanut products in the home or school lunchroom of peanut sensitive people. This is because the mere sharing of foods or utensils or the tasting of food to check if it contains peanut is sufficient to trigger allergic reactions to peanuts in a person.
Even kissing or being kissed by someone who has eaten peanut products can trigger fatal allergic reactions to peanuts. It is important for peanut sensitive people to remember that even minimal amounts of peanut material can kill. Additionally, it is important that they speak out when a reaction occurs so that treatment can be administered immediately and accordingly.
Always wear a bracelet showing ‘Allergy to Peanut’ and carry an in-date epinephrine kit at all times if you are sensitive to peanuts. It is not sufficient to use just oral antihistamines alone for treating allergic reactions to peanuts. An epinephrine injection has to be given immediately, and if needed, a second dose has to be given to control allergic reactions to peanuts. Once this is done, you have to be taken to a nearby hospital to make sure that your allergic reactions to peanuts are brought under control.