Peanut allergies are among the most common types of allergies to food, accounting for more than half of the dangerous reactions to foods. They are most prevalent in children, as some individuals (but by no means all) eventually outgrow their allergies. For those with severe reactions to peanuts--and for parents of peanut-allergic children--the possibility of encountering one evokes a great deal of fear. Peanut proteins can be inhaled as well as ingested, which means some patients must be vigilant not only about what they eat, but about what others around them are eating, as well.
With many years diagnosing and treating those with moderate to very serious peanut allergies, we at McGovern Allergy and Asthma Clinic understand the many difficulties that go along with practicing a diet of strict avoidance. By educating patients as well as their families, we can prevent the occurrence of most severe reactions. We equip our patients with the tools to confront severe reactions such as anaphylaxis, including emergency devices such as epinephrine shots.
While peanuts are the most common cause of life-threatening allergic reactions, tree nuts such as walnuts and pecans are also a common allergen, and may likewise produce serious reactions. The most common symptom of a nut allergy is hives, but gastrointestinal, respiratory, and other skin reactions are very possible as well.
Nut allergies can be a serious problem, and should be dealt with by a trained allergist. If you suspect that you or someone in your family may be allergic to peanuts or tree nuts, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with our clinic as soon as possible. Our physicians can determine the extent of the allergy, design a comprehensive treatment plan, and monitor your progress. At McGovern, our goal is for each and every one of our patients to enjoy a life free from the debilitating symptoms of allergies.