Peanut Allergies

OIT Oral Immunotherapy Peanut Allergy Treatment

One of the most common forms of food allergies are peanut allergies. Peanuts grow underground and are part of the legume plant family. Other examples of legumes include beans, peas, lentils and soybeans. However, being allergic to peanuts does not mean you are allergic to another legume.

Peanut allergy is different from tree nut allergies. Peanuts are not the same as tree nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc.). Tree nuts grow on trees.

But being allergic to peanuts means you have a 25-40% higher chance of being allergic to tree nuts. Also, peanuts and tree nuts often touch one another during manufacturing and serving processes. Discuss with our board-certified allergist whether you should also avoid tree nuts.

Peanuts must be listed on all packaged foods sold in the United States. This is a federal mandate as peanuts are one of 8 major allergens.

When People Have Allergic Reactions To Peanuts

If someone is allergic to peanuts, they could have a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). These types of allergic reactions can be unpredictable. Even very small amounts of peanut can cause death to those with peanut allergy.

Skin contact is less likely to trigger a severe reaction. But contact can become a problem if the affected area then touches the eyes, nose or mouth. For example, a child who has peanut butter on his or her fingers may rub their eyes or nose. They can then have a reaction.

If you have a peanut allergy, keep an epinephrine auto-injector (such as an EpiPen®, Auvi-Q™ or Adrenaclick®) with you at all times. Epinephrine is the best treatment for anaphylaxis.

Avoiding peanuts can be hard if you are allergic. Preventing a reaction is key. Avoiding peanuts and peanut products at all costs is necessary. Always read food labels to identify hidden peanut ingredients.

The best way to modify or prevent peanut allergy is oral immunotherapy treatment, or OIT.

Avoid foods that contain peanuts or any of these ingredients:

  • Arachis oil (another name for peanut oil)
  • Artificial nuts
  • Beer nuts
  • Cold-pressed, expelled or extruded peanut oil*
  • Goobers
  • Ground nuts
  • Lupin (or lupine)—which is becoming a common flour substitute in gluten-free food. A study shows a strong possibility of cross-reaction between peanuts and this legume, unlike other legumes.
  • Mandelonas (peanuts soaked in almond flavoring)
  • Mixed nuts
  • Monkey nuts
  • Nut meat
  • Nut pieces
  • Peanut butter
  • Peanut flour
  • Peanut protein hydrolysate

*Highly refined peanut oil is not required to be labeled as an allergen. Studies show that most people with peanut allergy can safely eat this kind of peanut oil.

If you are allergic to peanuts, consider OIT treatment for your food allergies. Call The Woodlands Allergy Center today 281.713.9011