Peanut allergies can be particularly severe, and they affect about 1 million kids in the United States. Unfortunately, only one in five of these children will ever grow out of their peanut allergy. Peanut allergies are also the leading cause of life-threatening and deadly food allergic reactions in America. Even with extreme caution and strict avoidance, accidental exposures do occur.
Symptoms of Peanut Allergies:
- Skin: Hives, itching, flushing or swelling
- Lungs: Difficulty breathing, coughing, chest tightness or wheezing
- Throat: Hoarseness, difficulty speaking or choking sensation
- Mouth, nose, and eyes: Runny nose and nasal congestion, sneezing and tongue swelling; and eye itching, swelling or redness
- Heart and circulation: Weakness, dizziness, fainting, irregular heart rate or low blood pressure
- Digestive system: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain
Causes of Peanut Allergies:
Peanut allergies occur when your immune system mistakenly identifies peanuts as harmful intruders, like bacteria or viruses. Your body makes antibodies to peanut proteins and the next time you encounter peanuts, your immune system overreacts.
Either direct or indirect contact with peanuts causes your mast cells (immune cells) to release symptom-causing histamine and other chemicals into your bloodstream:
- Direct contact – eating peanuts or peanut-containing foods, even skin contact sometimes
- Cross-contact – eating food that has been exposed to peanuts during processing or handling
How does Peanut Desensitization Work?
Desensitization involves slowly feeding you (or your child) increasing amounts of peanuts to desensitize you or dampen down your overreactive immune response to peanuts. We intend to raise the amount of peanut exposure you need to trigger your allergic reactions with desensitization. This technique trains your immune system so that you won’t experience a severe allergic reaction to peanuts.
If you would like to learn more about how Relief Allergy & Sinus Institute can help you get your peanut allergies under control with peanut desensitization therapy, request an appointment today online or call (630) 513-1691.