Peanut allergies are one of the most common food allergies. They effect many children and adults. For parents of children with peanut allergies, group events and celebrations can be a constant source of worry because of concern of the well being of their children.
Your immune system is the major defense system in your body to fight of germs and bacteria. But if you have an allergy to peanuts, your immune system accidentally thinks that the protein found in peanuts is a problem. So your immune system will combat the peanuts by producing antibodies and realeasing chemicals to fight off the peanut proteins. These reactions are what cause the symptoms of swelling, itching, diarrhea and possibly even life threatening shortness of breath called anaphylaxis. Some people have a less severe reaction, and just have peanut intolerance. This means that peanuts cause uncomfortable symptoms of stomach ache, nausea or diarrhea. Either way, it is important to tell your doctor at Chicago Allergy & Asthma about any potential symptoms.
Our doctors at Chicago Allergy & Asthma are board certified in the diagnosis of peanut allergies, and also in delivering the best treatment options. We will perform a thorough medical history and examination including obtaining a detailed food history. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may recommend skin testing to determine which foods are triggering symptoms.
If your doctors discover that you do have a peanut allergy, they may prescibe you an auto-injectable epinephrine to always carry in case of a serious reaction. This simple medication can potentially be life saving in instances of a severe reaction. If you are having a severe reaction, use your auto-injectable epinephrine immediately and call 911.
Children often times are able to outgrow their food allergies over time, however peanut allergies tend to continue on throughout adulthood. Repeated testing may help to figure out whether the allergy is getting better over time.