Why Are Most People Allergic to Peanuts?

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America's favorite food

Having an allergy isn’t uncommon, but why are so many people allergic to peanuts or peanut butter? Peanuts are legumes and grow underground unlike walnuts, almonds, but are both still considered nuts. Peanuts and peanut butter are one of the most popular nut choices in the U.S.The body’s immune system is designed to fight infections. When someone is allergic to peanuts the body thinks its protein is harmful and rejects it. Only 20% of people with peanut allergies outgrow it. For the rest, it’s a lifetime of problems.

Some scientist believe that an early exposure to peanuts might have caused the body to find them not safe. Studies have also shown that 82% of allergies are capable of being passed from generation to generation, but peanuts were not always a danger at the lunch tables. Just in the last thirteen years, peanut allergies have quadrupled, and about 4% of adults and 4% of children have some sort of allergy. It has come to the point where teachers are trained to check every ingredient in food before giving it to the students. 90% of reactions happen within the first 20 minutes of being exposed to peanuts, and about one-third of people with peanut allergies are also allergic to nut trees. More than 3 million people in the United States alone suffer from peanut or nut allergies. Sadly peanut allergies are one of the most common food-related deaths. Food allergies can cost around 25 billion dollars a year. In the year 2015, about 4.2 million children in the United States have some type of food allergies

Peanuts symptoms can vary depending on each person. The most common are skin reactions like itching, redness, swelling, runny nose, low blood pressure, increase in heart rate, dizziness, fainting, shortness of breathing, and tingling in or around the mouth and throat. Although there is still no cure for peanut allergies, there are treatments, and desensitization is the most common one. Desensitization is when doctors give a person with peanut allergies an increasing dose of peanut flour or peanut extract hoping their body will no longer reject it or find it harmful. This has shown results, but more studies still have to be done. Having a peanut allergy can be dangerous and scary, but as technology and studies progress hope can find a cure for peanut allergies.