Peanut and Nut Allergies-Are you Aware?

Both Peanut and Nut allergies are two of the most serious allergies currently known. The Peanut Allergy is actually the most common form of Food Consumption Death at the moment. There is a distinct difference between Peanut and Nut allergies. A nut allergy is a hypersensitivity to tree nuts which causes an over-reaction of the immune system. This can result in numerous severe physical symptoms.

Tree Nuts include but are not limited to: Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Hazelnuts, Pecans, Pistachios, Walnuts, Macadamia Nuts and etc. It is possible for someone to have an allergic reaction to one or a few types of tree nuts but not all. It is advisable however to stay away from all types of tree nuts should you be allergic to any of them. Peanuts differ from tree nuts in that peanuts are legumes, contrastingly tree-nuts are a hard shelled fruit.
Physical symptoms of an allergic reaction to peanuts can include: swelling, eczema, abdominal pain, drop in blood pressure and cardiac arrest. Anaphylaxis can also occur. Having a peanut allergy is considered severe due to its prevalence and harshness of reaction. The most obvious reason a person suffering from a peanut/nut allergy is from an unintentional ingestion but people can also have negative reactions from nut particles in the air. I personally spoke to a peanut allergy sufferer who recently got sick because a bag of peanuts were open in the same room as her. Research on this type of severe sensitivity is divisive and still on-going.

What is the treatment? At the moment the best treatment is avoidance of peanuts altogether, but obviously accidents do happen. When a person suffers a reaction such as an anaphylaxis an epinephrine delivered through an injection.

Epinephrine is also known as adrenaline. It is provided through an injection into a muscle, by inhalation or by injecting it just under the skin. This epi-pen as it is called can and has saved many lives. Previously these were not publicly available like for instance a defibrillator, however with the increase in awareness of not just peanut/nut allergies but allergies in general this is changing. University College Cork is set to become the first University in the world to have Epi-pens on campus for such emergencies. Considering the extreme dangers of anaphylaxis, this is a welcome development.

We at Mary Daly & Associates are running an Allergen Awareness Course this November in Cork. This course is directed towards those working in the food sector from chefs to waiters and those involved in all stages of food production and transport. This course will teach you what you need to know in order about food allergies in general. It will also advise you as to how your business can comply with the new Allergen Legislation which was put into place last year.

Please contact our office at (021) 4355917 to arrange an Allergen Awareness Course for your business. Alternatively you may email me at: alan@marydaly.ie

One thought on “Peanut and Nut Allergies-Are you Aware?”

  1. It caught me when you said that a decrease in blood pressure and cardiac arrest are symptoms of nut allergies too. One of my friends and I took our kids to the park, and suddenly he started feeling dizzy and had abdominal pain. He is allergic to nuts, but we weren’t sure if there were any nut trees near us. Hopefuly he visits the doctor to determine what caused him the reaction

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