Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Allergy is nothing but the body over-reacting to certain things that are usually not considered to be harmful to the body. Many people have allergy from different foods and elements, chemicals or even scents. Usually, the allergy becomes prominent in a young age. However, in some cases, you can develop allergy at a later life.

Can You Get a Peanut Allergy Later in Life?

Can You Get a Peanut Allergy Later in Life?

One of the most common things that causes allergy in many people is peanut. Peanut allergy is usually found in people in their childhood. Sometimes, the allergy goes away only to recur in adulthood. However, what is quite unusual yet possible, is to develop an allergy to peanuts later in life, even if you had not been allergic to peanuts when you were young.

It cannot be clearly said as to why you develop an allergy to peanuts later in life, if you had not been allergic to this food earlier. As per scientific evidences, peanut allergy, like any other allergy, can develop later in life only when the allergy has been there earlier, but had been dormant. The reaction or the allergy might have been very small or minimal that you do not remember it to have ever occurred. However, the immune system remembers this allergy and when, in your adulthood, you have some food with peanuts, the immune system over-reacts and you become allergic.

Science also says that peanut allergy or any other food allergy for that matter that you develop later in life is more like a minor annoyance than a serious life-threatening problem. Here it must be mentioned that when you mean later in life, it is the age between your 20s and 50s. If you haven’t developed an allergy by this age, it is very rare and unlikely to develop an allergy past 50 years of age. Research study shows that almost 52% of all allergic patients in USA have developed their allergy after the age of 18. So, it can well be said that getting a peanut allergy later in life is not unusual.

Factors That Can Tell If You Can Get a Peanut Allergy Later in Life

Though there are no fixed rules that can tell whether you can develop peanut allergy later in life or not, there are still some factors that can contribute in the likelihood. These are –

  • If you have asthma
  • If you have eczema
  • If you have other allergies
  • If any of your other family members have this allergy or any other allergy.

If the answer to all these questions is yes, you have chances of developing an atopy or sensitivity to certain things that are usually not harmful.

How to Deal with Peanut Allergy?

Allergy attacks or reactions can vary from mild to severe. Mild reactions can go away all by themselves with time. However, in some cases an allergic reaction can be life-threatening, requiring immediate medical attention and intervention. In that case, call the medical emergency number without delay. Life threatening allergy reaction or anaphylaxis would have swelling of the skin and even the internal organs. It swells the windpipe as well and therefore, breathing becomes difficult or almost impossible.

In such a case, having an epinephrine auto injector is the best and the only way to prevent permanent damage. The signs and symptoms that indicate that it is time to take the epinephrine auto injector are –

  • Hives all over the body
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weak pulse
  • Troubled breathing
  • Repetitive coughing
  • Trouble in swallowing
  • Tightness in throat
  • Vomiting.

The anaphylactic symptoms usually start within seconds of consuming peanut or foods that contain peanut. So, keeping at least two dose of this auto injector in hand is recommended. Also, in about 20% of allergy patients, the reactions recur. In that case, a second dose is required to be injected. The instruction guidebook explains how to take these injections.

Otherwise, it is always a good idea to avoid any food that contains peanut. You can also substitute peanuts in your food with other nuts or grains.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: August 16, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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