Peanut allergy and nut allergy

Peanut allergy and nut allergy

The reaction often comes within a few minutes unless you can tolerate peanuts or nuts. Common symptoms are itching in the mouth and swelling around the eyes, lips, nose, and throat. If you find it difficult to breathe or get tired and pale after eating peanuts or nuts, you need immediate care.

There are different types of nut allergy

Genuine allergies to peanut or hazelnut, for example, mean that you have an allergy to proteins that are found in large quantities in each nut. Genuine allergies often occur early in life and can be very severe. You can also get genuine allergies to, for example, cashew and walnut.

Cross allergy to nuts you often get at school age. Up to 70 percent of all people who are allergic to birch pollen are also hypersensitive to other things, such as nuts. Birch pollen-like allergens are found in low amounts in the nuts and usually cause mild reactions, such as only itching in the mouth.

It is possible to determine if you have a cross allergy or true allergy.

symptoms

In the case of peanut and nut allergy, it is common for you to experience one or more of these symptoms

  • itching in the mouth
  • swelling of the lips and throat
  • swelling of the skin, especially around the eyes
  • hives  that come quickly
  • respiratory disorders
  • asthma.

Peanuts and nuts can sometimes, but it is unusual, cause a more severe allergic reaction. It is called anaphylaxis.  It is a serious reaction that comes very quickly and can be life threatening. Blood pressure drops, you become unconscious and can stop breathing. If there is an adrenaline pen at hand, it should be taken first, and then it is important to call emergency immediately to discuss further action.

What can I do for myself?

Avoid eating what you are allergic to.

Read the table of contents of the foods purchased. Manufacturers are required to state on the packaging if a food contains nuts or peanuts. For example, nuts are common in muesli, bread, cakes, chocolates, sweets, and ice cream. They can also be found in bread and in prepared dishes.

It can be good to get advice from a dietician, as traces of nuts and peanuts are found in many different foods. Food oils that have been extracted from nuts can also contain protein residues that can in some cases cause reactions.

You who have severe genuine allergies should also be careful about loose candy. That’s because the bucket you take the candy with earlier may have been in a container where there is candy with nuts in it.

You who have cross allergy usually don’t react to traces of nuts.

You who have severe real allergies can sometimes even react when others eat peanuts. This reaction usually causes as much trouble as when you have eaten peanuts yourself.

Even if you are careful, you may accidentally eat something you cannot tolerate. If you are severely allergic, you may have medicines prescribed by doctors so that they are always available.

Seek care

Seek treatment at a health care center if you suspect you have peanut or nut allergy. You can seek care at any healthcare center you want throughout the country.

If you have eaten peanuts or nuts that you cannot tolerate and you have emergency medicine at home, take it first and then call on emergency numbers.

Call on the emergency at once and request an ambulance if you find it difficult to breathe or get tired and pale. It can be a severe allergic reaction and you need immediate care.

Investigation

It is usually easy for a doctor to determine if you have a peanut or nut allergy if you can tell what you have eaten or been in contact with before you got symptoms. Often you may also have a blood test or a spot test done on the skin.

Treatment

How to treat symptoms of nut allergy depends on whether you have mild or severe problems.

Here’s how to treat mild allergic disorders:

  • Take antihistamines that are available to buy in prescription in tablet or liquid form.
  • Pay attention to symptoms for a few hours.
  • If symptoms do not release after treatment and get worse, contact your health care provider.

Here’s how to deal with severe allergic disorders:

  • Take adrenaline as a pen. This can be repeated after 10 minutes.
  • Take bronchodilator asthma drugs. It can also be repeated after 10 minutes.
  • Create peace and quiet.
  • Take an antihistamine tablet.

You can give yourself adrenaline with an adrenaline pen

If you are at risk of severe allergy, you will usually be given an injection pen with adrenaline. You usually get two pencils printed on prescriptions in case the treatment needs to be repeated.

It is important that you know in advance how to use the pen so that you know how to do it if you have a severe allergic reaction. Read the instructions for use that come with the package of medicines carefully in advance and ask a healthcare professional or pharmacist if you are unsure.

It is also important that relatives and, for example, school staff know how the drug is used.

Some may receive cortisone tablets as a supplement to the adrenaline pen

In the case of more severe problems, you can sometimes get cortisone tablets printed, which can be good to take as a supplement to the adrenaline pen. It takes a few hours for the tablets to reach full effect and therefore the adrenaline pen should be taken first in case of severe allergic disorders.

Children who have peanut or nut allergy

Children with severe allergies usually take the adrenaline pen themselves. For the youngest children, an adult gives the pen. It is important that you as an adult get trained on giving the pen so that you know how to do if the child gets a severe allergic reaction.

If the child has a peanut or nut allergy, it is important that the school or preschool and relatives who care for the child are informed about the allergy and how to do it in a severe reaction. Read the instructions for use that come with the medicine package carefully in advance and ask a healthcare professional or pharmacist if you as an adult feel unsafe.

You should receive information on your terms

Ask questions if you don’t understand. You can also ask to have the information written down so that you can read it peacefully.

Children should be involved

There is no age limit for when a child is allowed to participate in a care situation. The child’s right to decide for himself is related to the child’s maturity. The older the child, the more important it is for them to be involved in their care.

In order to be active in the care and to make decisions, it is important that the child understands the information.

What is nut allergy?

Being allergic to peanuts or nuts means you can’t tolerate eating them. 

Peanuts and nuts are not related to each other. The peanut is a pea and belongs to the same plant family as legumes, peas, and soybeans. Nuts include hazelnut, cashew nut, bacon, walnut, and pecan. Almonds are usually counted as nuts but are really a seed.

You may be allergic to several different types of nuts or to just one variety. Therefore, if you are allergic to peanuts, you do not have to be nut-allergic or vice versa.

Peanut allergy is one of the most common food allergies in children and adolescents. The proportion of peanut-allergic children increases with age. Genuine peanut allergy is often left well into adulthood. About five out of a hundred children between the ages of 4 and 18 are allergic to peanuts or nuts.

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