What causes peanut allergy in adults

Wheat allergy

Wheat allergy, not to be confused with gluten intolerance, is due to proteins contained in wheat and is more common in children than in adults. The symptoms of this allergy revealed in adults generally appear immediately after ingesting wheat, but can also happen five to six hours later. Given that wheat is present in numerous food products, it is hard to eliminate it totally from the diet.

Cow’s milk allergy

Cow’s milk allergy is due to the proteins contained in the milk.

It generally appears extremely early in infants and disappears in 90% of children after the age of three.

What causes peanut allergy in adults

To treat this allergy, cow’s milk proteins should be eliminated from the diet, but, for the child’s development, it is vital to replace them by other sources of proteins such as plant proteins (soya or rice). For babies, Hypoallergenic substitute milk (HA milk) has been developed for babies. In HA milk, the proteins own been partially hydrolysed, i.e. they own been broken below into little pieces so that the immune system can no longer recognise them.

Egg allergy

Eggs, in specific certain proteins found in egg white, provoke allergic reactions more commonly seen in children than in adults.

This allergy represents 30% of food allergies in children under fifteen but generally disappears around the age of four to seven. Egg allergy can, however, be permanent and accounts for 7% of food allergies in adults.

Peanut allergy

Peanut allergy is one of the most dangerous food allergies as it may own serious consequences., The incidence of peanut allergy is constantly on the rise and has doubled over the final ten years.

What causes peanut allergy in adults

Unfortunately, this allergy does not vanish as children grow into adulthood.

Soya allergy

Soya often provokes allergic reactions in children. However, in most cases, children outgrow this allergy by the time they are of school age.

Nut allergy

Nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds and pistachios are common food allergens. In most cases, nut allergy persists throughout the person’s life. As with most food allergies, treatment essentially entails avoiding nuts. It is worth pointing out that a coconut is not considered a nut.

Fish and seafood allergy

Fish, crustaceans and molluscs are also responsible for food allergies which generally final throughout a person’s life.

People who are allergic to fish are not necessarily allergic to seafood, and vice versa, but they are often allergic to several types of fish. As there is no treatment, the only solution is to avoid the allergen in question.

Sesame allergy

Sesame, a seed often found in Asian food and party snacks, contains proteins which can provoke an allergic reaction. This form of allergy continues into adulthood and avoiding sesame seeds is the only effective treatment.

If you are allergic to nuts, eating — or even just being exposed to — a little quantity can trigger an allergic reaction.

Nuts are one of the most common triggers for anaphylaxis — a severe reaction that can be life threatening.

If you ponder someone is experiencing anaphylaxis, call triple zero (000) for an ambulance and start anaphylaxis first aid.

More information

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Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy(Peanut tree nut and seed allergy), Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology(Prevalence of challenge-proven IgE-mediated food allergy), Sydney Local Health District(Peanut allergy)

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: July 2019

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Living with a nut allergy

If you are allergic to nuts, you must avoid any exposure to them, although it can be extremely hard to avoid every traces of nuts.

ASCIA has a range of fact sheets with tips on avoiding diverse foods. In particular:

  1. Always read food labels.
  2. Be careful when eating other nut products — even if you don’t ponder you are allergic to them. You are at increased risk of developing an allergy to a new nut.
  3. Always carry a supply of safe food with you when travelling.
  4. Always carry your adrenaline autoinjector (EpiPen) with you.
  5. Be careful when kissing or hugging someone who has eaten nuts (traces can stay on the hands, lips, teeth, beards and moustaches).
  6. Take additional care when eating out.

    Asian restaurants can be particularly risky, although nuts are also often used in pesto, salad dressings and numerous other foods, too.

  7. Tell others about your allergy and what to do if you are exposed to a nut.
  8. Take care with knives and forks, kitchen surfaces, barbecue plates, and shared butter and margarine that might be contaminated.
  9. If in doubt, don’t eat the food.

Children should take their own food to school and parties and should not share or swap food with other children.

What causes peanut allergy in adults

They may need to eat in a separate area from other children who are eating nuts.

Symptoms of nut allergy

A mild reaction to nuts may cause the following symptoms:

Even if you generally only own a mild allergic reaction to nuts, you are still at risk of having an anaphylaxis. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

Anaphylaxis is potentially life threatening and needs emergency medical treatment.

What causes peanut allergy in adults

You can read more about anaphylaxis on the ASCIA website.

Treatments for nut allergy

If you or your kid has reacted to eating nuts, the first step is to see your doctor. They may send you to an allergy specialist who will do a skin or blood test to see what you are allergic to.

What causes peanut allergy in adults

You may be allergic to several diverse types of nuts.

There is no cure for nut allergy. The only proven treatment is to completely avoid exposure to the nuts you’re allergic to. Research is underway into how to prevent nut allergies in people who may be at risk, and how to ‘switch off’ nut allergy using immunotherapy.

If you are at risk of anaphylaxis, you may be given an adrenaline autoinjector (EpiPen). You should also own an anaphylaxis action plan so you and everyone else knows what to do if you are exposed to nuts.

What is a nut allergy?

A nut allergy develops when the body’s immune system becomes over-sensitive to a protein in a nut.

What causes peanut allergy in adults

Being exposed to the nut causes an allergic reaction.

Nut allergies are becoming more common in Australia and can be extremely serious. About 1 in 5 children with a nut allergy will need emergency medical attention at some point. Extremely sensitive people can own a reaction if they are exposed to tiny traces of nuts; for example, through eating, breathing or simply touching a nut.

About 3 in 100 children under 12 months of age own a nut allergy. Some of them will grow out of it, but in about 1 in 20, the allergy will get worse.

What causes peanut allergy in adults

Nut allergies can also develop for the first time in adulthood.

People can be allergic to diverse types of nuts. The most common ones are peanuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios and walnuts.