An allergic response to peanuts usually occurs within minutes after exposure, and symptoms range from mild to severe. Peanut allergy signs and symptoms can include:

  • Skin reactions, such as hives, redness or swelling
  • Itching or tingling in or around the mouth and throat
  • Digestive problems, such as diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea or vomiting
  • Tightening of the throat
  • Shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Runny nose

Anaphylaxis: A life-threatening reaction

Peanut allergy is the most common cause of food-induced anaphylaxis, a medical emergency that requires treatment with an epinephrine (adrenaline) injector (EpiPen, Twinject) and a trip to the emergency room.

Anaphylaxis signs and symptoms can include all of the above, plus:

  • Constriction of airways
  • Swelling of your throat that makes it difficult to breathe
  • A severe drop in blood pressure (shock)
  • Rapid pulse
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or loss of consciousness

When to see a doctor

Talk to your doctor if you think you could be allergic to peanuts, especially if you had a severe reaction.

Seek emergency treatment if you have a severe reaction to peanuts, especially if you have any signs or symptoms of anaphylaxis. Call 911 or your local emergency number if you or someone else displays severe dizziness, severe trouble breathing or loss of consciousness.

Jun. 27, 2012