Many individuals suffer from different types of food allergies especially to peanuts especially in peanut butter. Peanut butter allergy is quite common and can likely manifest during the first years of a child. Even though some individuals can outgrow the allergy, many could not outgrow this type of allergy. Take note that peanut butter allergy is dangerous since it can trigger anaphylaxis which is a severe reaction.
What causes allergies to peanuts?
An allergy is basically the response of the body to the proteins that are present in certain food products. The immune system in a healthy state can fight off possible infections and deactivate these proteins that are present in most foods. On the other hand, if an individual is allergic to peanut butter, the immune system responds by generating a higher amount of immunoglobulin E antibodies. Understandably, these antibodies perceive proteins present in peanuts as a threat and gather in certain parts of the body such as the skin, lungs and intestines.
Symptoms of peanut butter allergy
An individual with peanut butter allergy can suffer from symptoms that are strikingly similar to asthma such as the following:
- Difficulty breathing
There are also symptoms that are similar to allergic rhinitis such as watery and itchy eyes and runny nose.
In most cases, an allergic reaction starts a few minutes or hours after peanut butter is eaten and it initially develops on the surface of the skin. The most common symptom of this allergy is hives which are red-colored, raised and itchy welts. Eczema is another symptom that can develop.
A peanut butter allergy can cause several disturbances in the stomach and include the following symptoms:
- Stomach cramps
In addition, itchiness and redness can also be noted around the mouth. There is even swelling, itching and tingling within the mouth and throat.
Individuals who are prone to develop a severe reaction to peanut butter will experience the stronger symptoms. Anaphylaxis can also occur which is life-threatening. The following symptoms during an anaphylaxis can develop:
- Abrupt drop in the blood pressure
- Rapid pulse
- Constriction of the airways which makes breathing difficult
- Dizziness or unconsciousness
For minor reactions to peanut butter, antihistamines can help relieve the symptoms but it is not strong enough for a severe reaction. If an individual suffers from an anaphylactic shock, it is best to take him/her to the emergency department at the nearest hospital so that the appropriate measures are provided. Individuals who have developed a severe peanut butter allergy should always bring an EpiPen all the time.
Preventing an allergic reaction to peanut butter
One way to avoid the symptoms of a peanut butter allergy is to avoid the food. You have to bear in mind that peanut products are commonly used in the food manufacturing industry. Individuals who are allergic to peanut butter should avoid the food. Just be careful that peanut butter is also used in other food products such as ice cream, cookies, candy bars and other treats. It is important to read the labels on food products carefully.