I’m not allergic to peanuts but they still bother me. Why?

Let’s look at both peanut allergy and peanut sensitivity.

Peanut allergy is a common food allergy in both children and adults. The allergy is typically life-long, with only 20 percent of children outgrowing it. When a person with a peanut allergy is exposed to peanuts, this can cause an immune response and exhibit allergic reactions within minutes, such as a rash, facial swelling, vomiting or other GI problems, breathing problems, or even anaphylactic shock. Allergic reactions are fast, typically arising within minutes or at most a couple of hours.

Peanut sensitivity, on the other hand, does not cause life-threatening immune reactions. Peanut sensitivity is caused by your digestive system not being able to break down peanuts completely, resulting in inflammation. Symptoms take much longer to arise than do allergies—anywhere from 2 hours up to 3 days—and can linger for hours or even days. Also, sensitivity symptoms mainly involve the GI tract: stomach pain, acid reflux, diarrhea, gas, nausea, and vomiting. Other symptoms can include headaches, fatigue, and irritability.

Because sensitivity symptoms take so much longer to appear after consuming the problematic food than do allergies, they can be more difficult to diagnose. At ARCpoint Labs of The Woodlands, our comprehensive food sensitivity panel tests for 208 common foods and spices, including peanuts.

If you suspect peanuts bother you but you don’t have a full-blown allergic reaction, let ARCpoint Labs of The Woodlands help you check your sensitivity.