Peanuts - the nut allergy separate from other nuts

Peanuts are treated as a separate allergy, while many believe they are nuts as the name suggests they are in fact legumes. Tree Nuts ( Walnuts, Almond, Hazelnuts, Pecan, Cashew, and Pistachio) are a separate category of nuts. A legume is the fruit or seed of a plant in the family “fabaceae”.

What is a peanut allergy?

A peanut allergy is an allergic reaction to peanuts. The peanut allergy is one of the most common allergies in the UK. There is no known reason why people suffer from allergies, only how they work. When a particular protein enters the body or comes into contact with someone who has a sensitivity to that item the body creates a histamine in hopes to protect the body from the protein. This is what causes the responses we see and provides the relevant information to GPs and Doctors that a reaction has taken place.

If you have any reactions to peanuts and are unsure if you are allergic, please contact your GP.

How many people suffer from a peanut allergy?

Around 1 in 50 children in the UK is affected by a peanut allergy, this number is only increasing as the year's progress. For some allergies children can grow out of them by the age of 10, however, in the case of a peanut allergy this is approximately 1 in 5.

How is a peanut allergy different to other nut allergies?

The reactions you may experience would not be dissimilar to someone with another nut allergy. Reactions can vary from mild to severe, anything from a mild rash, red and raised skin to swelling of the tongue, lips, and eyes. Severe allergic reactions can cause more complications, swelling of the throat or airways causing breathing difficulties or in worst case scenarios anaphylaxis. In these cases you must seek medical attention immediately.

How do you manage a peanut allergy?

Managing a peanut allergy is a very personal experience. The amount you have to avoid the allergen can depend on the severity of your allergy. Those with a mild allergic reaction may still be able to ingest small amounts of peanuts, or foods which contain traces of peanuts and be perfectly fine. However, those who suffer from a severe reaction would need to avoid the allergen altogether. Speaking with your GP to formulate a plan of how to manage your allergies is best. They can provide you with medications or other advice which you can then implement in everyday life to assist you. </p>

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The information provided in this blog is purely informational. Please speak to your GP for further information on any concerns you have regarding allergies. Sources for information are: