All About Peanut Butter Allergy
Among food allergies, peanut allergy is the most deadly – affecting several people and sending them to emergency rooms each year. Moreover, all the kids who love peanut butter at great risk due to peanut allergy. Just touching the peanut butter can trigger an allergic reaction. But the good news is that through proper vigilance and prevention, kids can be safe from peanut butter allergy.
Parents should remember that although it is possible to prevent peanut butter allergy through vigilance, there are chances that kids may come into contact with it. Hence, they should always carry an injectable epinephrine, which can be used to stop a severe allergic reaction. An estimated number of 1.5 millions of Americans reported to suffer from peanut butter allergy. This allergy accounts for three fourths of all deaths due to food allergies every year.
Causes of Peanut Butter Allergy
Peanut butter is made by roasting peanuts and mixing them vegetable oil to form a paste. Peanuts which are used in this product are the reason behind peanut butter allergies.
Peanut Butter Allergy is caused when the immune system wrongly perceives the protein present in peanut as harmful to the body and fights against it. It releases histamine to fight against the protein, which triggers a number of allergic symptoms.
Symptoms of Peanut Butter Allergy
The immune system of the body becomes highly sensitive to the foreign protein and responds by producing immunoglobulin E antibodies. These antibodies get collect in some body parts such as intestines, lungs and skin. Thus, mostly the symptoms of peanut allergy are found in these areas of the body. These symptoms can appear within a few minutes of eating peanut butter or after a few hours. Some common symptoms of peanut butter allergy are as follows:
• Disturbed gastrointestinal tract
• Stomach cramps
The symptoms of eating peanut butter will appear first on the skin surface.
• Itchy and raised hives can be seen
A person having peanut allergy have the following symptoms similar to asthma –
• Runny nose
• Breathing trouble
• Watery and itchy eyes
People highly allergic to peanut butter can experience some intense symptoms. Severe response to peanut butter can make a sensitive person experience anaphylaxis, that can be very dangerous. Its symptoms can include the following:
• Sudden fall in blood pressure
• airway constriction
• Rapid pulse
How Parents Can Avoid Peanut Butter Allergy In Kids?
Certain kids are at high risk of peanut butter allergy. They are:
• Kids having family members with allergies
• Kids having other food allergies
• Kids having hay fever and other allergies
Such kids should avoid consumption of peanuts until the age of 3. This may prevent peanut and peanut butter allergies. To reduce the risk of peanut allergy in kids, mothers should feed the baby with breastmilk till 12 months of age and they should avoid peanuts when pregnant and while breastfeeding.s
Prevention of Peanut Butter Allergy
To prevent peanut butter allergy, avoidance of all forms of peanut butter is the only way. Here are a few tips:
• Peanut butter should be strictly avoided, even touching it can trigger allergies
• Using of the same knife, utensils which are used for serving peanut butter can trigger allergies and should be avoided
• Be careful of cross-contamination i.e. the mix up of peanut butter while cooking or handling food
• Kids should be asked not to share lunch boxes in order to avoid peanut allergy
Once peanut butter allergy is detected, the symptoms can be controlled by epinephrine. Hence, people having peanut allergy, especially kids, should always carry a self-injectable epinephrine always.
Peanut butter allergy reaction can be treated by using anti-histamines. One can get tested for peanut allergies using a blood test or a skin test.