Food allergies are prevalent, affecting more than 200 million people in the UK. Although common in children, 15% of food allergies develop during adulthood. So yes – you can have a peanut allergy at any time of your life.
A peanut allergy reaction can be triggered by, of course, peanuts, and other products such as:
- Arachis or peanut oil
- Peanut flour
- Artificial nuts, beer nuts, mixed nuts, groundnuts, and monkey nuts
- Peanut butter
- Peanut protein hydrolysate
- Meat or nut meal
How Do You Confirm That You Have a Peanut Allergy?
You know that you are allergic to peanuts once you consume peanut products and face a reaction. Mild symptoms of an allergic reaction include tingling in the mouth and lips, rashes, abdominal pain, tightness around the throat, a swollen face, and a general feeling of sickness. On rare occasions, you can experience a life-threatening case of anaphylactic shock.
If you are still unsure that the symptoms are due to a peanut allergy reaction, your doctor may ask you to avoid peanut products for some time, then add them to your diet gradually. They may prescribe some antihistamine medicine in case of a reaction. Your doctor may also place a peanut on your skin. If you get a bump or response, then you are allergic. A blood test can also confirm if you have peanut allergy-type antibodies.
Fortunately, peanut allergy reactions are easily avoidable and manageable. This post will share some valuable tips for adjusting your home and lifestyle to prevent and treat peanut allergies.
Always Read Labels
The first step to preventing an allergic reaction is avoiding any peanut products. Read the labels as you shop for your food products. Foods to check keenly include vegetarian dishes, ice cream, confectionery, chocolates, salad dressings, breakfast cereals, cereal bars, biscuits, nut butter, spreads, and cakes. Ensure there is no warning, and avoid buying products manufactured by companies that make other peanut products.
Read labels even for items you are used to buying, as manufacturers can change their ingredients with peanuts as an additive. If you need a quick snack, there are several options.
Our Top 5 Snack Alternatives That Someone With Peanut Allergy Can Have
One of the biggest habits that living with an allergy changes relates to the issue of snacking. As a result, we are recommending our list of good snack substitutes to always have in your pantry, so you don’t run the risk of inadvertently consuming something that isn’t nut-free.
Avoid Cross Contact
If you share a home with people who are not allergic, ensure that their food does not come into contact with yours if it contains peanuts. Separate your cooking space, and do not share cutlery. Wash utensils properly with soap and water, cook and serve your food first. Also, cover your food and wash your hands to prevent contact with allergens.
Better still, if you develop a peanut allergy, take out any flour or oil-containing allergens that can cause a reaction if you inhale them. You can replace the products with a Mellow Yellow Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil and Doves Farm Gluten & Wheat Free Plain White Flour Blend, which work just as well.
Be Cautious When Eating Out
The EU law requires that all businesses provide a list of allergens in food. Therefore, ask questions, get answers and give instructions to ensure that your food is safe from allergens. You can also get a translation card from Allergy UK’s Helpline (01322 619898) when traveling abroad. The card indicates what you are allergic to in English on one side and on the other the preferred language.
Create a Treatment plan
Talk to your doctor about the steps to take in case of an allergic reaction. Print out the plan, and always carry it whenever you go. It may make it easier for anyone to help if they are not knowledgeable and you can’t talk.
Always Wear a Medical ID Necklace or Bracelet
If you experience a severe reaction and only an uninformed person is available to help, they may not know what you are experiencing and how they can help. A medical ID will guide them on the proper treatment before symptoms persist; that is why you should wear it whenever you are away from home.
You can get a medical ID bracelet from your nearest hospital. If they don’t offer that service, they can refer you to a local agency where you can get one.
Always Carry Your Medication
Always have antihistamine medication and two doses of adrenaline (epinephrine) injection with you in places where you spend most of your time. Check the expiry date of the medication regularly, and train those close to you on how to perform the injection.
Use Shopping Apps
Online grocery sites don’t cater well to people who shop with dietary restrictions or preferences. Tedious reading of individual ingredients list of products and poor recommendations leaves consumers tired, frustrated, and stuck with what they are used to. Clickerance helps you easily discover what you or your household can or can’t have at your favorite grocers and makes the best substitute recommendations for what you cannot have. Click here to learn more about Clickerance.