Peanut allergy is not the most common food allergy, but it is the food most commonly associated with severe allergic reactions. Diagnosing food allergy begins with identifying a history of sensitivity to certain foods.

Many people who have a peanut allergy have chronic symptoms such as:

  • Eczema
  • Stomach upset
  • Congestion
  • Skin itching

Some people with severe peanut allergy who have an accidental exposure to peanuts in food have immediate reactions such as:

  • Hives
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Mouth or throat itching
  • Wheezing
  • Severe systemic reaction called anaphylaxis

Testing for peanut allergy

Testing for peanut allergy can be done through a food challenge with peanuts, a skin test with peanut extract or a blood test. We prefer to test food allergy with a blood test because some people are sensitive to even the smallest amount of peanut used in skin testing.

The amount of peanut that can trigger an allergic reaction may be a few grams (several peanuts) or a few milligrams (hidden or trace amounts in a food).

Treating peanut allergy

Treating peanut allergy with sublingual immunotherapy begins at a much lower level than the amount that triggers reactions at the microgram level. This small amount placed under the tongue is enough for the immune system to learn to tolerate peanuts, yet is below the level that triggers a reaction.

If you are allergic to peanuts, we recommend limiting the amount of peanut in your diet. You can reduce the amount and frequency of peanut products in your diet through our prescribed or recommended rotation diet. If you have a severe peanut allergy, you many need to avoid peanuts completely.

The goal of treatment is to balance safety and efficacy. Our approach through the La Crosse Method Protocol for peanut allergy is very safe. We work with you to learn your treatment goal, first making sure we help you decrease the risk of severe reactions with accidental exposure to peanut.

Request an Appointment

Success Stories

As printed in the La Crosse Tribune As a child, Lindsay Williams was often homebound. Williams had horrible allergies. Her bed and pillow were in a special plastic bag to keep the dust mites out. She had sinus surgery and took allergy shots, but nothing seemed to help her. “I’d get so sick every spring…
Read the rest of this story...