Peanuts (and tree nuts) have become the one of the most common allergy-causing foods. It may seem like 40+ years ago, the prevalence of food allergies was almost unheard of; it’s true. There are several theories as to why this is so.
- Diet. Our modern Western diet which is high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and carbohydrates, our produce is grown genetically modified and/or laden with pesticides and herbicides, and farm animals are pumped full of drugs and antibiotics. This can have a serious impact on our gut.
- Hygiene. Due to our obsession with cleanliness, squirting antibacterial gel on our hands every time we touch a doorknob, etc. may keep us germ-free and prevent the spread of infection. However, by exposing children early in life, it can strengthen the immune system and protect against allergies later in life.
- Food exposure. Pediatricians in more recent years have been recommending waiting until age 2 or 3 to introduce some of the most common allergens to the child’s diet, such as peanuts, cow dairy, tree nuts, eggs, wheat, and shellfish. There is a growing body of evidence that early introduction of foods such as peanuts, fish, and eggs (at an appropriate age) might actually be beneficial in preventing food allergy, and therefore, delaying food introduction might contribute to allergic disease.
Peanuts aren’t actually a true nut; they’re a legume (in the same family as peas and lentils); the proteins in peanuts are similar in structure to those in tree nuts. That is why; people who are allergic to peanuts can also be allergic to tree nuts, such as almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, pecans, and cashews.
- difficulty breathing
- throat tightness
- itchy, watery, or swollen eyes
- drop in blood pressure
- fainting or dizziness
Reactions to certain foods, such as peanuts and tree nuts, can be different. It is dependent on the person, and sometimes, the same person can react differently at different times. A peanut or tree nut allergy can cause a severe reaction called anaphylaxis. Although anaphylaxis might start with some of the same symptoms as a less severe reaction, it can quickly become worse, and if left untreated, may be life-threatening.
Call Dr. Theodore H. Gaylor, ENT doctor today at 610-770-9797 to make an appointment to help discover what is causing your symptoms such as watery, itchy eyes and runny nose. Allergy testing can help determine whether the symptom of concern is caused by an allergy.
If allergy skin testing shows that your child has a peanut or tree nut allergy, we will provide you guidelines on what to do. Our trained staff performs testing and diagnosis in a comfortable environment.
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