View Full Version : The peanut allergy

01-13-2011, 08:13 PM
When someone with the peanut allergy eats peanut butter, how long does it take to feel the effects? And can it casue death? Just two general questions. Please help!

01-13-2011, 08:17 PM
Anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes depending on the sensitivity level.

Yes or no. Again, it depends on how sensitive they are. If they have a reaction that causes anaphylactic shock, their airway can swell shut and they will die of asphyxiation if they are not treated with an epi pen and perhaps benadryl as well.

01-13-2011, 08:46 PM
What Amy said.

My nephew is allergic to peanuts, rather severely.

When he was a toddler in daycare he was touched on the cheek by someone who'd had French fries fried in peanut oil for lunch, several hours before. About five minutes after being touched, he was turning blue.

His epipen was given, 911 was called, and everything worked out, but it was rather terrifying for everyone involved.

01-13-2011, 08:49 PM
Some baseball teams keep peanut free zones in the stands for those with severe allergies. Close contact isn't always necessary.

01-13-2011, 09:08 PM
An early reaction can occur from several seconds to one hour after eating the food, but in most cases within few minutes. A delayed reaction can occur up to 72 hours after eating, but in most cases within 24 hours. One person has usually either an early or delayed allergic response to a certain food, not both of them. Also, one person is usually mildly or severely sensitive to one food, so, in general he/she knows what to expect.

Deaths from food allergies, in general, are very rare. I've read there were less than 100 deaths in the US in a certain year.

01-13-2011, 09:18 PM
I have what is presumed to be a nut allergy that usually shows up about 6-8 hours later, typically in the middle of the night. Result is soft tissue swelling, but nothing anaphylatic, so far. Doesn't keep me from eating nuts, tho.

01-13-2011, 09:52 PM
It depends how severely allergic they are. I know people who can't be in teh same room as peanuts because they can't breathe. If they ate one it would probably kill them.

People can and do die from peanut allergies, and ti's pretty severe. They can't breathe, their face may swell, it's scary to watch someone react that way.

If someone is allergic enough to peanuts for it to kill them, then chances are the reaction will happen very quickly.

01-13-2011, 10:11 PM
Typically, your initial reaction is not as severe. You are tested, then instructed by your doctor o what to do. If it is determined that you are severely allergic, ie. you have hives or swelling that appear on your face and lips or throat, then it is nearly 100% likely that you carry an epi-kit on you at all times. Sensitivity really does vary.

Peanuts are aground nut and NOT the same as tree nuts. Not all people allergic to one will be allergic to the other.

Not all people allergic to peanuts will have reactions from contact or breathing fumes either, it all depends on sensitivity.

For book purposes, you could make a victim as sensitive as you liked probably!

Usually, repeated exposure can lead to increased sensitivity, BUT this is not proven. Allergies can develop over time, as can tolerance levels, so I am not sure about that fact. You may want to check medical resources or ask a physician.

My oldest son is mildly allergic to peanuts. He eats other nuts just fine and is not bothered by contact or fumes. The rest of the family eats peanut foods.

01-14-2011, 05:06 AM
My ex was so allergic to peanuts that I could eat a PB&J at lunch and he'd have a reaction to a kiss after dinner if I didn't brush my teeth first.

I had buttons for the kids to wear that said "Peanut Butter Kid" so he would know not to kiss them.

He'd have a reaction within about 5 minutes--back in the days before epipens, FWIW--and would stop breathing.

And do remember that peanuts are legumes, not true nuts, so there may also be a sensitivity to peas (he had that too).

Not fun.

01-14-2011, 07:24 AM
Rule of thumb is generally the faster the onset, the more severe the reaction (though it's not a 100% rule). Reactions that start within seconds/minutes are usually worse than those that take several hours to start.

I've known kids who are so allergic that their family members must be treated as if they had the allergy (i.e. kept away from all peanut products) because the slightest trace carried home could set off a life-threatening reaction. Those are the kind who have to carry their epi-pens at all times or risk death. I've also known people on the other end of the spectrum - those who are allergic but eat them anyway and make sure they take benadryl and other drugs to keep down the soft tissue swelling. Those don't tend to have epi-pens (or don't keep their epi-pens always at hand.)

01-14-2011, 07:35 AM
Peanuts are aground nut and NOT the same as tree nuts. Not all people allergic to one will be allergic to the other.

This is very true. I can eat peanuts and peanut butter (OM NOM NOM) until I'm...well, not literally blue in the face, but you know what I mean.

Walnuts or pecans? Throat starts closing, face gets numb (lips/cheeks mostly), sometimes it'll feel like I'm chewing on glass, etc., and it happens quickly. For example, if I'm eating a salad that -- unbeknownst to me -- has walnuts in it, the reaction will start before I'm halfway through the salad. Scary stuff.

Kenra Daniels
01-14-2011, 09:06 AM
I had a kid in daycare ages ago who was severely allergic to peanuts. We had epi-pens stashed all around the classroom (adult reach only, of course). No peanut products were allowed in the classroom. If it was peanut butter day for snack, he would have to be taken to the infant room, where they didn't feed peanut products at all, for the remainder of the day. It was really sad because the poor little guy wanted nothing more than to have a PB&J. At three, it seemed to him like he was being cheated.

01-14-2011, 09:17 AM
We do not have a peanut allergy in my family, but we do have a severe iodine/fish allergy. I'm not a medical professional, so I don't know if the reactions are the same.

The reaction varies according to family member. I eat anything with more iodine content than, say, iodized salt, and within an hour, I have ... well, I think the doctor called it hyperemesis: basically super-vomiting, until hospitalization is required. Freshwater fish -- which apparently has less iodine in it -- can cause anything from a full reaction to regular vomiting to only a bellyache, depending on the the fish and the food prep. I once had freshwater crayfish, and had no reaction at all.

Sometimes, even iodized salt can set off the reaction, so we generally keep both iodized and non-iodized salt in the house, and mix them together, just to be safe.

My sister, who is much more sensitive, has the classic anaphylaxis reaction. One time her husband took her to a Japanese restaurant. She had a steak that had been cooked on the same grill as shrimp, and that was enough to start the reaction. It took less than ten minutes for the reaction to start.

My mother has the hyperemesis reaction; her own mother had the classic anaphylaxis response. On the other hand, my children have no sensitivity to it at all. They all eat shrimp, crab, lobster, fish, with no reactions whatsoever.

Like I said, I'm not a medical professional. I don't know if peanut allergies and iodine allergies act the same.

01-17-2011, 12:14 AM
Peanuts can and have caused severe anaphylactic reactions. A reaction can happen within minutes. Peanuts are also considered a food where reactions are severe. Also, as with bees--reactions worsen over time.

Someone dying from this allergy--if alone--is very possible. All ambulances have epi pens--so likelihood of dying in EMS is called is a little slimmer.

Spending years as an EMT, I've seen some severe reactions. NO ONE who is allergic to peanuts should ever eat them.

Lots of people don't realize that reactions get progressively worse.

Misa Buckley
01-17-2011, 12:33 AM
An epipen WILL NOT halt a severe reaction - all it does is buy you time. Even if there's been an epipen used for an allergy it's absolutely imperative to get the person to hospital.

Over-the-counter antihistamines won't cut it either. Even a mild attack needs a dosgae only available under medical supervision, and doctors will usually add an oxygen mask to aid breathing.

Been there, done it (a frigging Jaffa cake! One!)

01-17-2011, 12:47 AM
When someone with the peanut allergy eats peanut butter, how long does it take to feel the effects? And can it casue death? Just two general questions. Please help!

Peanut allergies can be fatal, but it's not just from peanut butter. A friend's child was discovered to be allergic to peanuts after a meal at the family's favorite Chinese restaurant. A single bite of some food with a dusting of grated peanuts was enough to send her to the emergency room in an ambulance. The child was seven or eight years old, and this was the first hint of a problem. Now she's grown up, and she still carries an ephinephrine pen with her everywhere she goes.

01-17-2011, 12:56 AM
Peanuts are aground nut and NOT the same as tree nuts. Not all people allergic to one will be allergic to the other.

True, but it's also worth mentioning that some are. I have worked with a guy for thirty years now who cannot eat any form of nut, or any oil derived therefrom. He's had a couple of close calls, ambulance to the emergency room episodes, and he's waaaaaaaaaaaaay careful about it. He also carries the ephinephrine injector.

01-17-2011, 01:18 AM
I think you're safe with whatever time frame you want to use. My son is allergic to peanuts, but his reaction is (so far) limited to skin reactions. He was diagnosed after he broke out in hives about ten hours after gnawing on a crust of bread with a bit of peanut butter on it. If anyone eats peanuts and kisses him, he'll break out in hives. We were told by his allergist to avoid tree nuts not because he has an allergy to them, but because a high number of kids with peanut allergies develop allergies to tree nuts.

The son of a friend of mine will start to vomit and wheeze within seconds of eating something with peanuts in it.