What is the difference between peanut allergy and peanut intolerance?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

People may have a reaction to peanuts that isn't caused by an allergy. Peanut allergy is the immune system's negative reaction to peanut protein. Peanut intolerance is different because it involves a reaction of the digestive system rather than the immune system. Symptoms of intolerance are usually just mildly uncomfortable and may include indigestion or heartburn. People who are peanut intolerant are usually able to eat small amounts of peanut without too much of a reaction. People with peanut allergy, on the other hand, may experience severe symptoms after being exposed to the tiniest amount of peanut.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.