Peanut allergies are common food allergies affecting millions of people around the world. The symptoms of peanut allergies can range from mild to severe and can sometimes be life-threatening. In this article, we will discuss the symptoms of peanut allergy, treatment options, and peanut allergy reactions.
Introducing Peanuts to Babies at 4-6 Months of Age Reduces Peanut Allergies by 77%
A recent study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology suggests that introducing peanut products to babies between four and six months can reduce the likelihood of developing peanut allergies by 77%.
The study, led by Prof. Graham Roberts of the National Institute for Health and Care Research and Prof. Gideon Lack of Kings College London, analyzed data from two previous randomized trials.
The study recommends introducing creamy peanut butter or other peanut products that do not pose choking hazards, instead of whole or broken peanuts, to babies within the recommended time window.
Breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby's life is also advised. Waiting until 12 months of age to introduce peanut products would only result in a 33% reduction in peanut allergies.
The study emphasizes the importance of introducing peanut products early, as Israel's culture shows that introducing peanut products to infants can reduce the likelihood of peanut allergy.
The researchers suggest introducing peanut products to larger but lower-risk groups can yield the greatest reductions in peanut allergy cases, as most allergies occur without known risk factors.
Symptoms of Peanut Allergy:
The symptoms of peanut allergies can vary from person to person, ranging from mild to severe. Common symptoms of peanut allergy include:
- Skin reactions, such as hives, redness, itching, and swelling
- Digestive problems, vomiting, nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.
- Respiratory issues such as breathing difficulties, wheezing, and coughing.
- Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that can cause symptoms such as difficulty breathing, a drop in blood pressure, and loss of consciousness.
Treatment of Peanut Allergy:
The best way to manage peanut allergy is to avoid peanuts and all peanut-containing products. However, accidental exposure to peanuts can happen, and it is important to be prepared for an allergic reaction. The following are the common treatment options for peanut allergies:
- Antihistamines: These medications can help relieve symptoms such as itching, hives, and swelling.
- Epinephrine: This medication is used in cases of severe allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis. It helps open airways and increase blood pressure, preventing the body from going into shock.
- Allergy shots: Allergy shots can help build up a tolerance to allergens over time and can be helpful for people with severe peanut allergies.
Peanut Allergy Reaction:
A peanut allergy reaction can occur when the body's immune system overreacts to peanut protein. Sometimes, a peanut allergy reaction can be severe and potentially life-threatening. The following are the common types of peanut allergy reactions:
- Mild reaction: This type of reaction can include symptoms such as itching, hives, and mild swelling, which usually resolve on their own or with antihistamine medication.
- Moderate reaction: This type of reaction can include symptoms such as vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea, which can be treated with antihistamines and other medications.
- Severe reaction (anaphylaxis): This is a life-threatening allergic reaction that can cause symptoms such as difficulty breathing, rapid drop in blood pressure, and loss of consciousness. Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical attention and treatment with epinephrine.