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How to live with peanut and tree nut allergies? – Part 2

What is Peanut Allergy?

• Peanut with scientific name Arachis hypogeal, is a legume that is a common cause of food allergies.
• Peanut allergy is known to potentially be very dangerous.
• This allergy can also be life-threatening.
• This is particularly true in adolescents and young adults.
• It is also dangerous for people with asthma.

What Other Foods Should Be Avoided?

• Peanuts belong to the legume family
• These also include beans, peas and soy
• It is common for a person allergic to peanut to have positive allergy tests to other legumes
• They might have allergic reactions from eating these other legumes but it occurs in only 5% of people.
• Lupine is another legume commonly ground into flour
• It is used for various baking purposes
• Unlike other legumes, people with peanut allergy can frequently experience allergic reactions to lupine
• Hence this food should be avoided.
• People with peanut allergy may also be allergic to treenuts
• A recent study showed that about 1 in every 3 people (33%) with peanut allergy is also allergic to at least one treenut

Trrenuts include:
• Almonds
• Cashews
• Walnuts
• Pecans

How is Peanut Allergy Treated?

• The best therapy for peanut allergy is to avoid eating peanuts
• If peanuts are eaten and a reaction occurs then the treatment of the acute reaction is much the same as for other food allergies
• The most popular study on peanut allergy treatment involved an injectable anti-allergic antibody similar to Xolair (actually a slightly different drug)
• This medication is given by injection every 4 weeks
• Then the amount of peanut is increased that could be tolerated without a reaction in people with peanut allergy
• The purpose of this study was to avoid severe, life-threatening reactions

Other studies for treatment of peanut allergy include:
• sublingual immunotherapy
• injection immunotherapy
Traditional immunotherapy using peanut has been shown to be dangerous and not an effective treatment.

Peanut Allergy: How to read a peanut-free diet

Avoid foods with the following ingredients:
• Beer nuts
• Cold-pressed peanut oil
• Ground nuts
• Mixed nuts
• Nu-Nuts flavored nuts
• Peanuts
• Peanut butter
• Peanut flour

Foods that may contain peanuts or peanut protein:
• African, Chinese, Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese dishes
• Baked goods (cookies, pastries, etc)
• Candy
• Chili (peanut butter is sometimes used to thicken)
• Chocolate (candy, candy bars)
• Egg rolls
• Hydrolyzed plant protein
• Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
• Marzipan
• Nougat

What are treenuts and what is treenut allergy?

Tree nuts include:
• macadamia nuts
• brazil nuts
• cashews
• almonds
• walnuts
• pecans
• pistachios
• chestnuts
• beechnuts
• hazelnuts
• pine nuts (pignoli or pinon)
• gingko nuts
• hickory nuts
– Tree nut allergies also tend to be severe.
– These allergies are strongly associated with anaphylaxis.
– Walnuts and cashews are the two tree nuts that cause the most allergic reactions.
– At least 90 percent of children diagnosed with tree nut allergies will have them for life.

The Peanut Allergy Answer Book Food Allergies and Food Intolerance Allergies: Fight Them with the Blood Type Diet

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