Peanut has been firmly established in our diet for a long time as a beneficial and healthy representative of legumes. This nut is rich in proteins and carbohydrates; it contains many significant fats (65%) and fat-soluble vitamins (E). In addition, lecithin and calcium are presented in nuts, which constitute the base for the construction of the skeletal system. This commodity is added to many different food and dishes and among various nutritionists the peanut oil is guessed to be the best variant particularly for frying. Besides, peanuts and its oil are very frequently used in the food and beauty industry.
So, it is needless to say about the advantageous properties and exquisite taste of them. Unfortunately, this product has one drawback – it is allergenic and can cause reactions, characterized by a special severity. Thus, in one research that was held in the US in 2001, it was found that out of 21 people who died due to food allergies, 14 (67%) of them had the intolerance to peanuts or its oil.
The Reasons of Peanut Allergy
The allergic reactions provoke not only nut itself but also meals containing it. Peanut comprises a lot of proteins, which induce hypersensitivity reactions in some people. These substances are specific allergens that protective immune forces recognize as malicious and unnecessary for the organism. The reaction may not arise after the first consumption of the nuts. Usually, it is needed to repeat the introduction of it unless the sufficient quantity of immunoglobulins increases the sensitivity of the body and induces the existence of allergic reactions. In severe cases, an allergy is manifested not only because of the intake of the peanut but also after the inhalation of its smell.
A certain group of factors is distinguished, the presence of which increases the possibility of the food allergy to peanuts and products containing it. These factors include:
- 1. Children. Little kids are prone to allergies of all types because of the lack of maturity of their digestive system, which cannot identify and digest new food.
- Chronic diseases. More often the diseases of the respiratory system or frequent respiratory infections create the preconditions for the emergence of an allergic reaction to peanuts after its inhalation.
- Bad habits. The first symptoms may appear in the background of alcohol abuse, smoking and administration of narcotic drugs. These habits weaken the immune system, which cannot fully protect the body.
- Other reasons. Dysbacteriosis and the disruptions in the immune system, chronic disorder of the digestive system may contribute to the growth of the disease. Moreover, the heredity and bad ecology influence on this process as well.
Peanut Allergy Symptoms
The severity of peanut allergy symptoms is varied; the signs can appear immediately after the contact with the allergen or after some time. If a hypersensitivity reaction occurs easily, its manifestations are usually visible within a few hours after the consumption of the commodity. It may be represented by:
- rash and itching on the skin;
- swelling of the oral mucosa;
- the feeling of “fullness” and numbness of the palate or tongue;
- burning sensation or itching in the throat and mouth;
- nasal congestion and itching in it, rhinorrhea, sneezing;
- diarrhea or constipation;
- swelling of the eyelids, redness, tearing, itching and conjunctiva;
- abdominal pain.
Often the symptoms of peanut allergy end with the appearance of anaphylactic shock. It is described by the following manifestations:
- difficulty in swallowing and breathing;
- an extremely low pressure of blood;
- swelling of the throat and tongue;
- loss of consciousness.
This condition requires emergency medical care as the probability of death during the anaphylactic shock development can be up to 70%.
Peanut Allergy Treatment
The curing of allergy to peanuts involves total exclusion of this product from the eating habits. The consumption of even the minimal amount of this nut can lead to disastrous consequences; consequently, the patient should eliminate the meals that contain allergens: peanut butter, some types of chocolate paste and sauces, cakes, pastry, candies, halva, ice cream etc. Therefore, people with intolerance to nuts should study carefully the compound of the product before purchasing it.
If the reaction is not severe, the allergist prescribes the following medicine:
- Antihistamines: Claritin, Diazolin, Zodak, which have antishock mechanism of action; they inhibit the activity of antibodies and facilitate clinical symptoms;
- Corticosteroids: Hydrocortisone, Prednisolone that can quickly neutralize the activity of mediators of the nervous system and reduce the sharpness of allergy manifestations;
- Nasal drops are assigned to relieve swelling of the nose;
- Adsorbents: Activated carbons, Polipefan are used to exclude toxic substances from the body;
- Ointments with anti-inflammatory and anti-edematous action mechanism serve to obviate the skin symptoms;
- Intravenous injection of epinephrine may be needed in the serious case, which has bronchodilator properties and is able to prevent cardiac activity disorders.
The healing is also complemented by the use of vitamins, minerals, probiotics that strengthen the immune system.
The traditional curing is far-famed among a big number of people because the plants are able to strengthen the organism. Thus, the popular recipe includes a small spoon of marigold, oregano, hypericum. 10 g of this mixture pour into a glass of boiling water and heat in a water bath. It should be swallowed three times in a day.
In order to prevent an allergy to peanut, it is advised to study the menu in restaurants and cafes. It is needful to wear a medical alert bracelet for detecting food allergens. Furthermore, each person suffering from sudden bouts of allergies should carry antihistamines of fast action, as well as preparations for emergency medical assistance for the prevention of anaphylactic shock. But the main point is to lead a healthy lifestyle, follow a balanced diet with a numerous vegetables and fruits, hardening of the body are the best preventive measure against any allergy.