PA with No Symptoms?

I've had a peanut allergy since I can remember but have never had a very bad reaction. The most extreme reaction has been a swollen eye, still not sure how that happened, but usually I only get a few hives or slight feeling of discomfort. For this reason I've never been particularly cautious about products that "may contain traces of peanuts" so have often eaten products made with peanut flour and other such ingredients (usually just in protein bars etc because I used to play a lot of sports and they were hard to avoid) and accepted the ill feeling it gave me.

I recently discovered though that a product I have been eating sporadically for years and never had a problem with directly contains peanuts. It was only brought to my attention by a friend interested in nutrition facts. I'm not sure how I overlooked this for over 5 years, but I have never had a problem with the product and have grown to really like it. Could the product contain such a minimal amount of peanuts (its the last listed ingredient, which also makes it odd that I've never noticed) that I'm okay to keep eating it, or should I just stop eating it all together? Thoughts?

By firthfamily on Sun, 11-17-13, 22:19

I guess what I would say is to go and get retested. Talk to an allergist and see if they can figure out if you have developed a tolerance or if you can celebrate and say that you are one of the lucky 20%. Until then be sure and carry your epi pen and know that each time you are taking a risk or worse that your are making yourself more sensitive.

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By PeanutAllergy.com on Fri, 11-15-13, 01:13

Question of the Week: Answered!

Every week, PeanutAllergy.com is answering one of the questions posted in our community.

Our Answer:

Although you have not yet experienced a severe reaction, you should still avoid all peanut products, even those that you have eaten for years. Talk to your allergist and have him or her administer an allergy test. The allergist may choose to do a skin-prick test, a blood test, or a food challenge to determine the severity of your food allergy.

One possible explanation for why you have not experienced a reaction to the product that you’ve been eating for years is that you may have outgrown the allergy. Peanut allergies are usually lifelong, but studies have shown that approximately 20 percent of children diagnosed with the allergy outgrow it. Food allergies affect about 6 percent to 8 percent of children under age 5, and about 3 percent to 4 percent of adults.

Until you are completely sure that you can safely eat peanut products, it’s best to err on the side of caution.

We asked our Facebook fans for their input, and you can read their responses by clicking here.

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By Comments on Fri, 11-15-13, 01:11

When was the last time that you were tested for peanut allergy? You might be one of the lucky people for whom the allergy goes away. I personally would stop eating the item until you know for certain. Good luck.

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By kelseym on Fri, 09-20-13, 19:44

I'm in the same boat -- my peanut allergy was discovered when I was a toddler but I haven't had a reaction worse than facial swelling since I was 4 or so (I'm almost 25 now). Actually, I haven't had a reaction of any kind to peanut since then, to my knowledge. (I have developed a soy allergy in recent years that causes reactions with increasing frequency and severity, so it is possible, but not very likely, that some of those reactions have actually been to peanut.)

Personally, I avoid anything with a "May contain" label just to be super-safe, so in your situation I would stop eating the product. However, I think it totally depends on you and what you are comfortable with. I'm extremely over-cautious and I don't like to take chances (even though as a kid I ate a lot of things that should have caused a reaction), so once I discovered that a product contained peanut I'd be too scared to eat it again. But if you put more stock in your own past history of mild-to-no reactions and feel okay, then go for it.

Just make sure you've still got an Epi Pen on hand! :)

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