Peanut Allergy


This immune system reaction is triggered by peanuts. With this allergy, your immune system reacts if you eat peanuts or foods that have peanuts in them. Even a very small amount can trigger it. Some people with this allergy react to touching peanuts, or to breathing in dust with peanut particles in it.


We don't understand what causes this allergy to develop. It's like your immune system has made a mistake. It treats peanuts as if they are harmful to you. When you're exposed to peanuts, your immune system reacts quickly. It releases chemicals into your bloodstream to protect you. But these chemicals overwhelm your body.


An allergic response to peanuts can cause a runny nose, and itching or tingling of the mouth and throat. Your throat may tighten, and your breathing my be affected. Your skin may turn red, and hives may form. You can have nausea, vomiting, cramps or diarrhea. A severe reaction may cause your airways to constrict. You may have a rapid pulse and a drop in blood pressure. You may lose consciousness. This is a reaction called "anaphylaxis." It's a medical emergency.


Although there's no cure for peanut allergy, some children do outgrow it. And, there are plenty of steps you can take to avoid peanuts. Talk to your healthcare provider about ways you can stay safe.