Asthma’s link to peanuts
Watching a child struggle for air through what is believed to be an asthma attack is a difficulty many parents face all too often, but a recent study may have an answer as to why this happens – peanuts.
In a review of 1,517 patient records, researchers found that 11 percent of the patients had a documented peanut allergy. Another 665 patients had been tested for peanut sensitivity, and 22 percent tested positive. The majority of these patients and their families did not suspect a peanut sensitivity.
“Many of the respiratory symptoms of peanut allergy can mirror those of an asthma attack, and vice versa,” lead study author Dr. Robert Cohn said in a news release. “Examples of those symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing. This study demonstrates children with asthma might benefit from a test for peanut sensitivity, especially when control of wheezing and coughing is difficult to achieve.”hat
Parents should talk to the kid’s pediatrician if they find that any of these symptoms are consistent in their kids.
“The important thing to remember is that if your child has asthma that is not well controlled or is not responding to therapy, we should be looking into other factors,” says Dr. Aaron Traeger, pediatrician with Advocate Children’s Medical Group in Bloomington, Ill. “One of those may be food journaling to look for triggers and maybe eventually lead to allergy testing.”
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, children with food allergies are two to four times more likely to have asthma or other allergic conditions.
About the Author
Lynn Hutley, health enews contributor, is coordinator of public affairs and marketing at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center and Advocate Eureka Hospital in central Illinois. Having grown up in a family-owned drug store, it is no surprise that Lynn has spent almost 18 years working in the health care industry. She has a degree in human resources management from Illinois State University and is always ready to tackle Trivia Night.