This is the first in a six part series that SnoWhite and I are doing on nut and peanut allergies. Today we are talking about the seriousness of nut allergies. I hope you visit Finding Joy In My Kitchen to hear SnoWhite’s thoughts. She has lived with a nut allergy since the age of five, so this is a subject that she knows well.
Food allergies and intolerances run in my family.
I have a gluten intolerance.
One of my sisters is allergic to strawberries, and breaks out in hives when she eats them.
Another of my sisters is allergic to all pitted fruits. Again she breaks out in hives when she eats them.
These allergies and intolerance are serious, but not life threatening.
If I eat a piece of regular wheat bread, or a cookie that contains flour, I will feel sick, but I will not have to be taken to the emergency room.
If my sister eats a strawberry, she will get a rash, and be uncomfortable, but it is doubtful that she will ever go to the emergency room, because she ate a strawberry.
Nuts and peanuts on the other hand are a different story. You can die, and many people have, from eating a nut or peanut when you are allergic to them. And actually, nuts and peanuts are not the only food that can cause this severe of a reaction. Many people are severely allergic to eggs, shellfish, and even other foods that can cause a life threatening reaction.
What do I mean by life threatening? By life threatening I mean it makes your airway swell and you are not able to breathe. For someone with a nut or peanut allergy, a simple peanut or tree nut, can cause this reaction and ultimately cause death if untreated.
A nut or peanut allergy is far from a simple allergy. It is not simply intolerance. I think this is hard for many people to understand. Life threatening allergies need to be taken seriously.
This is what my daughter now carries around with her at all times. It is an epi-pen, a steroid, and Benadryl. Not only does she carry them in a purse with her, I also carry each of them with me. This is so that we have them with us at all times.
I think many people think this is an overreaction. I disagree. If my daughter gets exposed to nuts or peanuts, I want to be prepared. I don’t want to risk her life. I would much rather be over prepared than under prepared.
SnoWhite is sharing some of her story and severe reactions on her site today.
Michael, who is a reader, has posted his story of a reaction he had.
Hearing stories like these are a good reminder of why we need to take nut and peanut allergies seriously.