What is the difference between peanut sensitivity and peanut allergy?

Posted on: Wed, 02/14/2007 - 5:20am
gw_mom3's picture
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Joined: 02/14/2000 - 09:00

I got a new Woman's Day in the mail today and it has a little blurb in it about the book called "The Peanut Allergy Answer Book-the 2nd Edition". It says it's "filled with practical tidbits such as how to tell the difference between being peanut-sensitive and peanut-allergic".

I thought peanut sensitivity could easily turn into an allergy with no warning so it should be treated as an allergy would be. I would hate for people like teachers to read this book and think they can determine whether a child who has a peanut allergy is really only "peanut sensitive".

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[b]~Gale~[/b]

Posted on: Wed, 02/14/2007 - 6:34am
KaraLH's picture
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Joined: 10/11/2006 - 09:00

Interesting. I don't really know the answer, but I do know that at our last visit with my daughter's allergist, we determined that my daughter may not have a peanut allergy, nut definetly has a sensitivity.
She has MFA's and he said because of that she has built up a sensitivity. He also said because of her MFA history we should not give her peanuts because the chance of it developing into a true peanut allergy is high.
We don't take chances. I've done enough reading here.
My concern to is that others will not see the need for caution. It is hard to explain to others.
Kara

Posted on: Wed, 02/14/2007 - 6:37am
Lori Jo's picture
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Joined: 09/17/2003 - 09:00

I have no idea. I'm looking forward to what others have to say about it. Sounds like it could just add to the confusion though.
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Lori Jo,
Rose, 7-31-02, PA
Beatrice & Georgia, 8-14-99

Posted on: Wed, 02/14/2007 - 6:54am
krc's picture
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I didn't even realize there was such a thing as peanut sensitivity. I thought you were either allergic or not allergic.

Posted on: Wed, 02/14/2007 - 6:58am
BriandBrinasmom's picture
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Joined: 10/20/2006 - 09:00

The difference from a clinical perspective is whether the reaction is "IgE mediated" or not. There are some people who have IgG reactions (typically gut symptoms only) that are not true allergic responses, or who have an intolerance to a food not related to the immune system at all (i.e. lactose intolerance).
From a practical perspective, I'm not sure anyone but a doctor could differentiate.

Posted on: Thu, 02/15/2007 - 1:04am
jtolpin's picture
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No difference.
Avoidance.
It's just semantics.
Jason
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[b]* Beyond Obsessed * [/b]

Posted on: Thu, 02/15/2007 - 1:28am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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I think there is a HUGE difference... semantics or not, "lactose intolerance" does not equal "milk allergy." Period, full stop.
A dietary intolerance is inconvenient, no doubt. You might [i]wish[/i] you could die if you screw up.... but you won't.
So-- BIIIIIG difference, IMO. Many people with intolerances tell others they have "food allergies" but in the next breath (rightly) diminish the impact of that statement by saying that they can "tolerate a little" or that symptoms "Are really just uncomfortable."
Something that nobody should EVER confuse with a true IgE mediated food allergy. If the public understood that distinction better, maybe fewer people would self diagnose true food allergies and fewer of them would think that "a little can't hurt that much."
JMO.

Posted on: Thu, 02/15/2007 - 2:33am
Peg541's picture
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Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Oh how scary. I think what you can't tolerate a little of today could become anaphylaxis tomorrow.
I know a woman whose mouth tingled when she ate peanuts all her life. In her 50's she ate fries cooked in peanut oil and by the time the paramedics came she was in full blown cardiac arrest!
Jason has it. Avoid avoid avoid and EDUCATE.
Peg

Posted on: Thu, 02/15/2007 - 2:34am
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Joined: 01/16/2007 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Corvallis Mom:
[b]I think there is a HUGE difference... semantics or not, "lactose intolerance" does not equal "milk allergy." Period, full stop.
A dietary intolerance is inconvenient, no doubt. You might [i]wish[/i] you could die if you screw up.... but you won't.
So-- BIIIIIG difference, IMO. Many people with intolerances tell others they have "food allergies" but in the next breath (rightly) diminish the impact of that statement by saying that they can "tolerate a little" or that symptoms "Are really just uncomfortable."
Something that nobody should EVER confuse with a true IgE mediated food allergy. If the public understood that distinction better, maybe fewer people would self diagnose true food allergies and fewer of them would think that "a little can't hurt that much."
JMO.[/b]
I definitely understand the difference with other foods. I know *plenty* of people who tell me they are allergic to milk and then find out, not really, they just get a bellyache (usually right after I see them eat a big bowl of icecream). Or say they are allergic to chocolate and actually they just think it's the cause of their headaches.
But I have never heard of someone saying they had a peanut sensitivity as opposed to a peanut allergy.
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10 yo dd- PA,TNA, tests pos to soy, CATS, many environmentals, Asthmatic
5 yo dd- NKA, avoiding nuts
3 yo dd- outgrown milk/soy, avoiding nuts

Posted on: Thu, 02/15/2007 - 2:40am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Exactly-- Peg has it.
Nobody should EVER EVER EVER 'self-diagnose' a peanut allergy... or "peanut-intolerance" if it turns out that such a thing exists...
My [i]guess[/i] is that a pn intolerance is probably much rarer than a PA-- but it might well explain a few people I know who anecdotally tell us that they or someone they know "outgrew" a 'mild' PA-- one so mild that they never did anything special for avoidance and never consulted a physician about it.
But again-- Peg is right. Anyone who even [i]thinks[/i] they might have an "issue" with peanuts needs to consult a physician and be tested for the IgE mediated variety of problem...
I mean, there's 'avoidance' and then there's [b]'avoidance.'[/b]

Posted on: Thu, 02/15/2007 - 2:44am
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Joined: 03/16/2003 - 09:00

I think my BIL has peanut sensitivity vs. an allergy. When he eats or is around peanuts, he gets migraines. He doesn't have any other symptoms. His doctor says he's allergic but I don't think he's ever had allergy testing. I've always wondered whether he is truly allergic.

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