What is a Peanut Allergy?

Written by My Dad

Peanut allergy is a food allergy.  It is separate from other tree nut allergies, but sometimes people who are allergic to one are also allergic to the other.  A peanut allergy is an extreme sensitivity to peanuts causing the immune system (the part of your body that fights disease) to overreact leading to severe physical symptoms.  

About 1 out of every 100 kids have peanut allergies, but it does seem to be effecting more children every year.  Some people have a mild reaction where their skin breaks out in hives, but others have a serious reaction resulting in a medical condition called anaphylaxis, which requires emergency medical treatment right away.  When someone has this severe reaction, it is possible for their airway to close making it difficult or impossible to breath, which can lead to death.  

People with this severe peanut allergy often carry an Epi-pen with them.  It is a special device that injects a medicine called epinephrine into the person's leg muscle, which gives the person time to get to an emergency room for more medical treatment.

 

 

 

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