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(Allergy, Peanut; Nut Allergy; Allergy, Nut)
- Eating peanuts, foods containing them, or foods that came in contact with them
- Touching peanuts
- Inhaling particles containing peanuts (eg, peanut flour)
- Hives (redness or swelling of the skin)
- Itching or tingling of the mouth and throat
- Stomach cramps
- Shortness of breath or wheezing
- Chest tightness
- Runny or stuffy nose
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- Closing of airways or swelling of throat (making it very hard to breathe)
- Severe drop in blood pressure
- Very fast pulse
- Loss of consciousness
- Ask about your symptoms
- Take your medical history
- Do a physical exam
- Skin prick test—The doctor will place a small amount of food particles on your forearm or back. He will then prick your skin with a needle to allow the particles to enter your skin. If your skin reacts (eg, develop a bump), then that may be a sign that you are allergic to that particular food.
- Blood test—The doctor will take a sample of blood from you. The blood will be tested for an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE). IgE is a type of protein that the body makes when it is exposed to something to which it is allergic.
- Avoid peanuts, peanut-containing products, and foods that were exposed to peanuts. For instance, when placing an order at a restaurant, ask the server if the dish contains peanuts or is cooked with items (eg, sauces or oils) that may contain the nut.
- Read food labels as well as other labels (eg, medicine, make-up, face cream labels). You never know what items may contain peanuts.
- Ice cream
- Energy bars
- Salad dressing
- Chocolate candies
- Nut butters and oils
- Sauces and gravies
- Vegetarian food products (eg, veggie burgers)
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology http://www.aaaai.org/
Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network http://www.foodallergy.org/
Allergy Asthma Information Association http://aaia.ca/
Calgary Allergy Network http://www.calgaryallergy.ca/
Lee CW, Sheffer AL. Peanut allergy. Allergy Asthma Proc. 2003;24(4):259-264.
Mayo Clinic Staff. Peanut allergy. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/peanut-allergy/DS00710 . Updated August 23, 2010. Accessed August 24, 2011.
Nut and peanut allergy. KidsHealth website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/kid/stay%5Fhealthy/food/nut%5Fallergy.html# . Updated August 2008. Accessed August 24, 2011.
Peanut allergy. American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology website. Available at: http://www.acaai.org/allergist/allergies/Types/food-allergies/types/Pages/peanut-allergy.aspx . Accessed August 24, 2011.
Peanut allergy. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America website. Available at: http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=20&cont=517 . Updated 2005. Accessed August 24, 2011.
Peanut allergy. The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network website. Available at: http://www.foodallergy.org/page/peanut-allergy . Updated August 18, 2011. Accessed August 24, 2011.
1/2/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Frazier A, Camargo C, et al. Prospective study of peripregnancy consumption of peanuts or tree nuts by mothers and the risk of peanut or tree nut allergy in their offspring. JAMA Pediatr. 2013 Dec 23.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 01/02/2014