Allergies can be mild or severe, and in the worst cases, life-threatening.
Peanuts are delicious and nutritious, and can be eaten raw or used to make oil. However, for those with peanut allergies, the danger of peanuts can be lethal as poison. Peanut allergy is one of the top eight food allergens and causes the most deaths in food allergies.
Peanut allergy occurs when the immune system mistakenly identifies certain proteins in peanuts as potential pathogens, leading to an abnormal reaction. Peanut allergy is most common in children. Data from the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute shows that the incidence of peanut allergies is increasing, and about 2% of children are affected.
The immune system of those with peanut allergies overreacts to peanut proteins, and most people experience only mild allergic reactions. However, there is a small group who experience severe physiological symptoms, usually accompanied by redness, itching, nasal congestion, wheezing, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, swelling of the throat and tongue, and sometimes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. In severe cases, it can lead to anaphylaxis and be life-threatening. In North America and other European countries, peanuts are classified as extremely dangerous food allergens.
In the United States, 1.4% of the population is sensitive to peanuts, while 73% of the food Americans eat contains peanut protein. As peanut allergies become more widely known, many schools have begun to ban peanut-containing foods on their premises. Peanut allergy seems to have become a popular trend. In North America and Europe, 1% and 0.5% of children and adults respectively are allergic to peanuts. In the United States, 100-200 people die from peanut allergies each year.
In Asia, peanut products are also one of the main allergens for children’s food allergies. In particular, when children are first exposed to peanuts, a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction may occur. As children grow older, they often become no longer allergic to common foods such as milk, eggs, wheat, or shellfish. However, peanut and nut allergies seem to be lifelong, with only about 20% of children outgrowing them. There is currently no treatment for peanut allergies, and the best way to prevent allergic reactions is to avoid eating foods containing peanuts.
Link Doctor recommends choosing reputable institutions for allergen testing, and to consult with a medical professional to evaluate the results of your testing in light of your specific medical profile before proceeding with any appropriate therapy. We offer a comprehensive range of allergen testing services, starting at S$66 – reach us here to find out more.