At what age do peanut allergies usually go away?

If your tongue tingles after eating peanut flips

Peanut allergy in children

11/24/15 (ams). Peanut butter and peanut flips are not a pleasure for everyone. "Peanuts are one of the most common food allergy triggers that can occur as early as infancy," says Dr. Eike Eymers, doctor in the AOK Federal Association. Peanuts originally come from South America and, botanically, belong to the legume family. Allergies to the fruit of the "Arachis hypogeae" bush have increased in recent years. In Western countries around 1.4 to three percent of children suffer from a peanut allergy. This is what scientists from the British study "Learning early about Peanut Allergy", or LEAP for short, assume.

In the case of a food allergy, the body reacts to normally harmless substances with an excessive defense reaction. The trigger is not the whole food, but only a small part, usually a protein component. While allergies to other foods often decrease over time, a peanut allergy often lasts for life. The symptoms are very different. Some children can tolerate peanuts without any problems despite a positive allergy test. Others react to consumption with an itching and burning sensation on the lip, tongue and oral mucosa. Signs can also be skin irritation such as hives or a flare-up of eczema. Diarrhea, nausea and vomiting are less common. In a small group of children with peanut allergy, severe symptoms such as shortness of breath, drop in blood pressure and even circulatory shock (anaphylactic shock) occur. Even the smallest amounts of a peanut can be enough to cause life-threatening symptoms.

If a food allergy is suspected, parents and their child should consult a pediatrician who specializes in allergies as much as possible. They can diagnose a peanut allergy with the help of various skin and blood tests, as well as dietary procedures. For example, patients refrain from consuming peanut products for a certain period of time during what is known as an elimination diet. If this improves the symptoms, the doctor decides whether a provocation test is still necessary, in which the patient eats peanut-containing foods again. If the symptoms worsen as a result, this indicates a peanut allergy. In the case of strong immediate reactions, a provocation test must be monitored by a doctor. If the diagnosis of peanut allergy has been made, those affected should consistently avoid foods containing peanuts. However, they can still eat hazelnuts, walnuts and other types of nuts.

It is therefore important that parents read the ingredient lists when shopping. According to the EU allergen labeling regulation, food containing peanuts must be labeled. Since December 13, 2014, there has also been an obligation to label loose goods at bakers, butchers or in restaurants. There, too, lists of ingredients must be available in which the 14 most common trigger groups for intolerance and allergies are named. If such information is not available, parents should ask and have the ingredient lists shown. Those affected should also avoid products with the voluntary label "May contain traces of peanuts". For example, peanuts can get into food through shared production facilities that are actually made peanut-free. This risk exists especially with chocolate, pastries, muesli, muesli bars and dried fruits. Despite all caution, it can happen that children and adolescents accidentally ingest peanut ingredients. If this leads to a shock reaction, an emergency doctor must be called immediately on 112. It makes sense for children and adolescents who have already had an allergic shock to have an emergency pharmacy with adrenaline and an emergency ID with them. Parents should inform educators or teachers about this.

Breastfeeding makes sense

To prevent food allergies, it is recommended that mothers only breastfeed their children until they are four months old. A special diet during pregnancy and breastfeeding is usually not useful. If exclusive breastfeeding is not possible, children with an increased risk of allergies should be fed a so-called hydrolyzate food, in which protein components are broken down into smaller components. Parents can start with complementary food from the beginning of the fifth month of life. You should gradually introduce potential allergy triggers such as chicken eggs, fish or cereals containing gluten (e.g. wheat, rye and spelled). The administration of fish is recommended. Parents should not give their children whole nuts as there is a risk that they will ingest them. Scientists have investigated the question of whether toddlers at risk of allergies should be confronted with potential allergy triggers. The British LEAP study shows that children at risk of allergies who regularly consume peanut products are significantly less likely to develop a peanut allergy than children who do not eat such products. The study, which appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine in March 2015, selected 640 allergy-prone babies between four and eleven months of age who had eczema requiring treatment and / or an allergy to eggs but were not sensitized to peanuts. The scientists randomly divided them into two groups: one group consumed peanut butter and popcorn mixed with peanut butter three times a week for five years, and the other did not consume peanut products. At the age of five, the children were re-examined. The result: the children who had eaten peanut proteins for years developed an allergy to it significantly less often than those who had not.

To the ams guide 11/15

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