Allergy, Peanut

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Age group

7 years & above

Peanuts are legumes comprising numerous health benefits due to the presence of protein, fibre, and other critical vitamins and minerals. These edible food items can be roasted, salted, or used in oils.

Peanut seeds can also be consumed raw. Not only are they believed to promote heart health due to the presence of unsaturated fats, but they are also linked to weight loss due to their protein content.

Usually, individuals worldwide ingest peanuts seeds since they offer similar nutritional benefits as more expensive nuts like almonds or cashews, albeit at a lower cost. However, intake of peanuts may be harmful to some individuals, especially those suffering from a peanut allergy. In severe cases, an allergic reaction to peanuts may lead to anaphylaxis, a condition that narrows the body's airways and rapidly lowers blood pressure. It may also result in the death of an individual.

A peanut allergy occurs when the immune system mistakes the proteins present in peanuts as foreign bodies and recognizes them as allergens. This reaction causes an immune response, producing antibodies that release histamines in the bloodstream. These histamines are responsible for the allergic symptoms upon the ingestion of peanuts.

The peanut allergy test is a standard diagnostic method to detect the presence of relevant antibodies in the blood. It is a blood test in which the clinical lab technician draws blood from the vein in the arm and sends it for analysis. The sample is then exposed to peanut proteins to check for the presence of antibodies. If the exposure results in the production of antibodies, the patient might be suffering from a peanut allergy.

Alternatively, some labs also use the skin-prick testing method to confirm a peanut allergy. In this process, the patient's skin is lightly pricked by a needle and exposed to the peanut proteins believed to be responsible for allergies. The emergence of a raised white bump surrounded by a small circle of itchy red skin, also known as a wheal, may point toward a peanut allergy.

Although rare, some labs may also involve an oral test to check for allergic reactions. During these tests, the labs are prepared with emergency medication and equipment to ensure a possible response can be contained.

Apollo 24/7 offers a peanut allergy test that checks for an immune response in a patient that might occur due to peanut proteins. Some of the symptoms of a peanut allergy may include:

  • Skin reactions, such as redness, hives, or swelling
  • Tightening of the throat
  • Itching or tingling in or around the mouth and throat
  • Digestive problems, such as diarrhoea, stomach cramps, nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Runny nose

If these symptoms occur minutes after consuming peanuts, it is vital to visit a health practitioner. Unchecked allergic reactions may cause severe health complications and lead to anaphylactic shock.

faqFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the reason for a peanut allergy?

A peanut allergy occurs when your body's immune system recognizes peanut proteins as allergens, prompting them to release antibodies. These antibodies produce histamines that are released into the blood, causing allergic symptoms. Even minimal exposure to peanuts can be potentially dangerous if you're suffering from a peanut allergy.

Is there a test to detect peanut allergies in individuals?

The peanut allergy test is a diagnostic test that checks your immune response toward peanut proteins. The lab can perform the test in one of two ways  Testing your blood sample against peanuts to check for the production of antibodies. Using a skin-prick test, where they prick your skin with a needle and expose it to the allergen. The formation of a wheal may point to a peanut allergy.

How can I avoid a peanut allergy?

Usually, there is no way to avoid food allergies since they occur due to an immune response. So, even if you had a prior tolerance to peanuts, you can still contract a peanut allergy one day. Although it has no cure, the doctor may suggest medication and ask you to avoid peanut and related products altogether.

How common is anaphylaxis among patients with a peanut allergy?

Anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock is a condition that may narrow the body's airways and drop blood pressure, leading to severe complications. However, it is a rare allergic reaction that does not occur in most individuals.

Who is more susceptible to peanut allergies?

Recently, peanut allergies have been increasingly found in children of all the other age groups. The reason is that children are exposed to less variety of food and their immune system is still in development. Once the immune system develops sufficiently, the peanut allergy might get less severe.

What happens if patients with a peanut allergy inhale peanut flour?

For patients suffering from a peanut allergy, any kind of exposure to the legume is dangerous. Upon inhalation, their body might display symptoms of an allergic reaction. It is essential to visit a health practitioner to moderate this allergic reaction.

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The information mentioned above is meant for educational purposes only and should not be taken as a substitute to your Physician’s advice. It is highly recommended that the customer consults with a qualified healthcare professional to interpret test results