Peanut allergies are a growing health problem, affecting approximately 2% of children. Here are a few of the most common questions – and answers – about peanut allergies.
While peanut allergies can be coupled with an allergy to tree nuts, they are not always linked. Peanuts are legumes and not part of the tree nut family.
Not necessarily. An allergy to peanuts doesn’t mean you would be allergic to all legumes. If you experience similar symptoms, have your doctor test you for other foods in this category, such as soybeans, beans, peas or lentils.
Keep in mind that in the process of making highly refined peanut oil, the protein that causes an allergic reaction is often times removed. Reactions can vary though, so always watch your intake carefully.
Skin testing for food (or any) allergies is reliable at any age. Food allergy testing is generally only recommended when a history of immediate reactions to a specific food have occurred.
Touching, smelling, or inhaling particles from peanuts rarely causes a severe reaction. It almost always requires ingestion to cause serious allergic complications.