When a person has been in contact with or has ingested a peanut product the body’s immune system reacts. The proteins in the peanut are considered harmful by the body which causes an allergic reaction. Symptoms can occur within seconds or be delayed as long as two hours. The severity of the symptoms may vary from mild to as severe as life threatening.
What causes an allergic reaction to peanuts?
The protein in the peanut causes the allergic reaction after ingestion or contact with the peanut. There are many different proteins in peanuts that could be the reason. So far scientists have found only a few of the peanut proteins to cause anaphylaxis.
Are peanuts and peanut butter the only products that are unsafe for a peanut allergic person?
No, peanut oils, arachis oil, beer nuts, goober nuts, and some hydrolyzed vegetable or plant proteins or vegetarian meat substitutes are examples of foods containing the peanut protein.
Many foods contain peanuts or can have trace peanut proteins such as granola bars, baked goods, and ice creams. There are cultural cuisines that have peanut as one of the common ingredients such as Asian food. Some personal products, bird or pet foods, and potting soils may have peanut shells, proteins or derivatives.
If you suspect you have food allergies, see your doctor or allergist for testing and diagnosis. Knowing what foods to avoid and carrying emergency medicine like epinephrine, if needed, can save your life if you have a serious allergy.