About 1 percent of children and adults in the United States
are allergic to peanuts and peanut
products, including peanut butter and any food containing peanuts (1, 2)
. For reasons that are not well understood, peanut allergy has doubled in the past decade (3)
. Individuals with a peanut allergy can have a serious (such as difficulty breathing and loss of consciousness
) or even fatal reaction if they eat peanuts. This reaction occurs because the immune system
of an affected individual reacts abnormally to usually harmless proteins in peanuts. Children and adults who are allergic to peanuts should not eat them at any time. Unfortunately, there is no proven way to prevent peanut allergy in a child.
Peanut allergies are very frightening and very serious.
I learned this first hand when I witnessed my first peanut allergy reaction.
It was a 2 year old child, who had ingested an extremely small amount of granola and within several minutes she was completely covered in hives. Fortunately, she did not have difficulty breathing and was treated promptly.
A few days ago…I received this peanut allergy update from the March of Dimes.
I am passing it along with the hope that it will help in understanding this potentially life threatening allergic reaction and how it can be avoided.
Peanut allergy is on the rise…it can cause a severe reaction which is life threatening.
Unexpected sources of peanuts:
- sauces, chili sauce, hot sauce, pesto, gravy, mole sauce, and salad dressing
- sweets like puddings, cookies, and hot chocolate
- egg rolls
- potato pancakes
- pet foods (reactions may occur after being licked by a pet that has consumed peanut)
- specialty pizzas
- Asian and Mexican dishes
- Some vegetarian food products, especially those advertised as mean substitutes
- foods that contain extruded, cold pressed peanut oil, which may contain peanut protein
- glazes and marinades
- salads and salad dressings
- barbecue sauce
- breading for chicken
- meat-free burgers
- fish dishes
- pie crust
- mortadella (may contain pistachios)
Things to keep in mind:
- Alternative nut butters may be processed on equipment shared with peanuts…contact manufacturer about these products.
- Discuss with allergist whether to avoid tree nuts…cross contamination with peanuts is always a risk.
- Ice cream served in ice cream parlors should be avoided due to cross contamination…always tell the manager that you have a nut allergy.
- Sometimes foods that contain other nuts also contain peanuts.
- Peanuts go by other names, such as beer nuts, ground nuts or monkey nuts.
- Ask your doctor if you should avoid peanut oils.
- Peanuts can be found in many foods and candies, especially chocolate. Check all labels carefully and contact the manufacturer with your questions.
- Peanuts can cause severe allergic reactions. If prescribed, carry epinephrine at all times- lean more about anaphylaxis.
Some children actually can outgrow a peanut allergy…check with your doctor.
via: DuPage Medical Group- Asthma and Allergy Center, 1801 South Highland Avenue, Lombard, IL 60148 – 630 545 7833