Peanut allergy symptoms are similar to many other food allergy symptoms and any allergic reaction to food or anything else for that matter should be taken seriously. This is especially the case for individuals that have a peanut allergy because peanut allergies are the leading cause of food allergic reaction deaths. Therefore, it is imperative that individuals with a peanut allergy and those individuals whose experience an allergic reaction to peanuts for the first time be aware of the peanut allergy symptoms.
It is important that those with known peanut allergies be aware of any food they consume and avoid problematic ones. Of course, it is not only raw peanuts that can cause an allergic reaction but also peanut butter, peanut oil, and other foods that may have come in contact with peanuts and peanut products. However, it is not always possible to control everything that gets eaten. There is always some uncertainty in any food and therefore, it is important to be prepared to deal with an allergic reaction and one of the ways to be prepared is to recognize the food and peanut allergy symptoms.
Allergy symptoms differ from person to person in type and severity. In fact, the peanut allergy and other food allergy symptoms can even differ for the same person at different times. Many allergy symptoms are caused by histamine in the body. Histamine is released in the body to counteract harmful substances in the body and in the case of someone with a peanut allergy that harmful substance would be the presence of the peanut protein.
There are four main target areas for symptoms of a peanut allergy: the skin, the gastrointestinal system, the respiratory system, and finally the cardiovascular system. The symptoms of an allergy to peanuts may appear from a few minutes to a few hours after the allergic individual has consumed peanuts, peanut products, or peanut contaminated foods.
Many people are familiar with allergic reaction symptoms on the skin because many allergens (not only peanuts and other foods) do cause skin symptoms. Specifically, skin symptoms include the appearance of red itchy hives or welts. The rash may also be in the form of red itchy bumps or an eczema type rash or general swelling of the skin. These types of rashes may occur anywhere on the body and often there is redness and swelling on the face and around the mouth.
If the stomach and related systems are affected by a peanut allergy reaction then the individual can experience some discomfort in the form of stomach/belly cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Allergy symptoms because of peanuts also manifest themselves in the respiratory system. The respiratory system can be affected in minor ways or in a more severe way. In terms of minor peanut allergy symptoms of the respiratory system, the allergic individual may experience cold like symptoms such as a stuffed nose or runny nose, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, and itchy and watery eyes. Tingling or itching of the lips, tongue, or throat may also be experienced. However, these more minor allergy symptoms can be a sign that a more severe peanut allergy symptom is about to occur and that is anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is basically the sudden swelling of the respiratory airways such as the tightening of the throat and chest making it impossible to breathe. The cardiovascular system is affected by a sudden blood pressure lowering making the individual feel faint or lightheaded. A rapid increase in the pulse rate also occurs. These are life threatening symptoms that need to be dealt with immediately; otherwise death is likely to occur. Individuals with a severe peanut or other allergy often carry an epinephrine injector in other to counteract anaphylaxis symptoms until medical attention can be obtained.