Peanut Allergy

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Peanuts are legumes, belonging to the same family as soybeans, peas, and lentils; but cause more allergic reactions than other legumes. A peanut allergy is one of the most common and severe food allergies. Every year, many patients experience anaphylaxis as a result of exposure to peanuts; and in some cases, the anaphylaxis is severe enough to cause death.

Peanuts are one of the eight major allergens that must be listed on packaged foods sold in the U.S. Studies show that the number of peanut allergies in children is increasing more each year, and around 50% of the cases of anaphylaxis are due to peanut allergies. For this reason, parents have been waiting to expose their children to peanut proteins. However, recent studies show that when infants are exposed to peanut proteins at four to eleven months old it decreases their chance of developing the allergy. Check with your doctor to see when you can introduce peanuts to your child.

Children are more at risk of developing a peanut allergy, but you can get the allergy in adulthood as well. Children of parents who suffer from food allergies are most likely to be allergic to peanuts. Also, people with eczema are more likely to have a peanut allergy and usually have more severe symptoms. Symptoms may develop after direct contact, consumption, or cross-contact. It’s important to know the peanut allergy symptoms in case you develop it.

Symptoms Of Peanut Allergy

Peanut allergies cause severe allergic reactions. Even a small amount is enough to induce anaphylaxis. That’s why it’s important to undergo allergy testing as soon as possible. The allergists at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers have provided a peanut allergy food list you need to avoid if you show signs of a peanut allergy.

Peanut Allergy Foods to Avoid

Goobers Ground Nuts
Groundnut Oil Mandelonas
Peanuts Peanut Butter
Peanut Flour Cold-pressed Peanut Oil
Peanut Protein Hydrolysate (may be used in confections) Satay Sauce & Dishes

There is a high probability of cross-reaction between lupine and peanuts. Therefore, you should avoid lupine, a legume which may also be called lupin beans or lupini beans, and is common in Mediterranean cuisine. Peanut-allergic individuals may also want to be cautious about consuming tree nuts.  

Some types of peanut oil may be safe to consume. Peanut oil is produced by extracting the oil from the peanuts. This can be performed by a variety of methods and can lead to peanut oils with differing levels of purity. Peanut-allergic individuals should definitely avoid “cold-pressed,” “extruded,” or “expeller-pressed” peanut oils because these are likely to contain residual peanut proteins. On the other hand, highly refined peanut oils may be safe for consumption by peanut-allergic individuals. Consult with our NY allergists to determine what is safe for you.

Foods That Could Contain Peanuts

African Cuisine Artificial Nuts Asian Cuisine Baked Goods
Baking Mixes Battered Foods Biscuits Battered Foods
Biscuits Breakfast Cereal Chili Egg Rolls
Marinade Mexican Cuisine Milk Formula Mixed Nuts
Soups Ice Cream Pastries Vegetarian Meat Alternatives

Peanut Allergy Diagnosis

A skin prick allergy test can diagnose this allergy quickly and accurately. This peanut allergy test is the most commonly used allergy test and takes just 15 minutes. An allergist will prick your skin with the allergen. If you’re allergic to peanuts, you’ll develop a raised bump on the spot where you were pricked.

It is never safe to self-diagnose a peanut allergy. Conducting a food challenge at home poses serious risks. These tests should only be administered in a clinical setting as a last resort. Always contact a board-certified allergist to diagnose your peanut allergy.

Since food allergies are often developed later in life, you should get allergy tested regularly. Many doctors recommend getting an allergy test done every two years. This will decrease your chances of you unknowingly developing the allergy and experiencing a severe peanut allergy reaction.

Peanut Allergy Treatment

There is currently only one approved treatment for peanut allergy called PALFORZIA. It is an oral immunotherapy indicated for the reduction of allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, that may occur with accidental exposure to peanut. PALFORZIA is meant to be used in conjunction with a peanut-avoidant diet. We are now offering this treatment at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers for select patients. Book an appointment with us to see if you or your child qualify for PALFORZIA.

For severe symptoms, you need an epinephrine auto-injector. Epinephrine is the only treatment for anaphylaxis. An EpiPen or Auvi-Q can be self-administered if you have an allergic reaction to peanuts. Your allergist will determine if you need epinephrine.

Peanut Allergy Frequently Asked Questions

Can Peanut Allergy Be Airborne?

Yes; for patients that are severely allergic to peanuts, even peanut dust nearby can trigger an allergic reaction.

Can You Outgrow a Peanut Allergy?

There is a slight chance that an individual will outgrow a peanut allergy, but it is not common. Peanut allergies usually continue into adulthood.

Are Peanut and Tree Nut Allergies the Same?

Peanuts are not tree nuts. They are legumes, part of the pea family. However, the proteins in peanuts are very similar to the ones in tree nuts. So many patients with a peanut allergy have a tree nut allergy as well.

When Do Peanut Allergy Symptoms Show?

Symptoms usually show within minutes of exposure to peanuts. Swelling is usually the first symptom to arise.

Is Peanut Allergy Curable?

No, peanut allergy is not curable. However, a food allergy doctor can help you manage your condition.

Why Are People Allergic to Peanuts?

The proteins in peanuts cause an adverse immune response in some individuals.

Can I Be Allergic to Peanuts?

If you experience the above peanut allergy symptoms, you may be allergic to peanuts. Contact one of our NYC allergists immediately.

How is Peanut Allergy Treated?

An allergist can prescribe epinephrine to treat your symptoms.

How is Peanut Allergy Diagnosed?

An allergist can use a peanut allergy patch test or skin prick test can diagnose your peanut allergy.