Peanut Allergy

Peanut allergy sufferers can experience some of the most extreme reactions of all those who suffer with allergic reactions to food. The body has an immune system which is designed to rid it of any outside substance which is perceived as a threat. For the most part, it does this extremely well. When a poison is taken into the body, the immune system will move quickly to expel it by the fastest method possible. When the body contracts an illness, the immune system will fight the illness and remove it from the body.

The problem with the immune system is that it can sometimes mistake a food substance for one which can be harmful. This can cause a reaction which is so violent it puts the life of the patient at risk. The most violent reactions of all come from nut allergies, and sufferers from this condition have to live with the knowledge that their lives are never fully safe no matter what they do. Even though the labeling laws now insist that any potential contact with nuts is fully disclosed, it is impossible to be 100% sure that labeling is accurate.

The nut allergy is so severe that it can flare up even when the food which is being consumed contains no nuts whatsoever. If a food has been manufactured or prepared in an area where nuts are also treated, minute residues of the nuts can get into the other food. Even these minute residues of nuts can be enough to cause an extreme reaction and put the life of the sufferer at risk. Treatment will need to be immediate to allow this problem to be dealt with.

When an attack of this type flares up, all that can be done is to give the body increased doses of hormones which it uses naturally in its fight against unwanted invaders. The main hormone is adrenaline, which is fundamental to the body’s fight or flight reactions. Increased adrenaline will quicken the heart rate and pump blood around the system more quickly, leading to a situation where the problem substance is expelled more quickly. If the treatment is in time, the patient can be saved.

There are many different types of food which can provoke an allergic reaction within a patient, but few can match peanut allergies for the severity of the reaction. The highest level of danger is early on in a person’s life when they may have no idea of the allergy, or at least not the extent of the problem. The first attack could easily occur at a time when the child is barely supervised, and at a time when the guard of the parents is down. The first attack is a critically important one, because medical attention will need to be summoned quickly. If the patient survives, they can avoid peanuts for the rest of their life.

The severity of the peanut allergy means that treatment is really in the emergency category, especially if the breathing is threatened. The hardest examples of this condition to deal with are the ones where the breathing becomes irregular, and where it appears as though the air is actually going to be blocked. Emergency medical care can usually be enough to keep the patient alive while the substance is ejected from their body. It is absolutely essential that medical assistance is sought straight away. This issue of peanut allergies and the severity of the reactions they cause is the most pressing and important one for the medical profession to address, but there are limit as to how this might happen. If a treatment is found which treats the condition, it may not be enough because the first attack in a person’s life may happen suddenly and without anyone knowing treatment would ever be needed. What is really needed is a comprehensive test which can be carried out on children while they are very young, which will identify any problem areas right at the start of the child’s life. If a peanut allergy is identified at the earliest stage possible, many young lives will be saved from threat, and many parents will be able to prepare for vigilance with the food they buy and how they prepare it.

Coping with a peanut allergy can be extremely difficult, even if extreme care is taken to avoid any contact with the nuts themselves. There is the psychological factor, and the constant need to read every food label that you come into contact with. This can all be made easier by joining a support group, either in your own city or through the Internet. You can even find a new purpose in life by getting involved in fund raising activities, or campaigning to raise awareness of the difficulties caused by an extreme peanut allergy.

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