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Peanut allergy: symptoms and causes

Information on Peanut Allergy

Peanuts can sometimes be associated with severe types of allergic reactions because they contain certain types of proteins which the human immune system identifies as harmless substances. The human body produces antibodies such as histamines in order to fight those proteins. 125 Americans die each year because of fatal allergic reactions to peanuts. The number of people affected by peanut allergies is constantly rising. Peanut allergies may not be associated to other allergies. If a person has a peanut allergy it is advised to avoid all types of tree nuts.

Peanut Allergy Symptoms

Symptoms of peanut allergies may vary from person to person but there are always three different categories for them. Skin symptoms of peanut allergies include hives, swollen mouth, redness of the mouth and eczema. Gastrointestinal symptoms of peanut allergies include stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea, while the symptoms which affect the respiratory tract may or may not include itchy nose, wheezing, runny nose, coughing and sneezing. Peanut allergies may also be associated with severe reactions. Anaphylaxis is a medical condition caused by a very severe reaction to an allergy and it may be fatal if left untreated. It commonly affects the skin, gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular system and the entire respiratory tract. It usually occurs a few minutes after the ingestion of the offensive food and it can be characterized by certain symptoms such as itchiness, asthma, metallic taste in the mouth, swollen throat, tingling sensations, swollen mouth, hives and sometimes even coma or heart failure. Anaphylaxis needs to be treated by an immediately with  Epinephrine. One needs to visit the hospital after the administration of the medication in order to prevent the allergic reactions from reoccurring. The fact that up to 20 percent of children commonly outgrow their peanut allergies is at least some consolation.

Causes of Peanut Allergies

It is still widely unknown what exactly causes peanut allergies. Some scientists believe that they are connected to certain genetic factors. Some others also claim that they may occur because of the delay in introducing peanuts along with all the other foods items. The allergy can be triggered by consuming peanuts, by inhaling the dust or by direct contact with any peanut product. One should always keep in mind that the peanut allergy is the most severe type of all different types of food allergies.

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