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What are the treatment options for peanut allergy?

A shot-free peanut allergy treatment (using peanut-laced drops placed under the tongue) tones down allergic reaction to peanuts. More than 60 percent who've tried this desensitization regimen became symptom-free: no wheezing, congestion or rashes—even after exposure to peanuts. How much peanuts exposure one should have, and the length of time of exposure, must be carefully controlled and managed. Don't try this at home!

After 10 months of this therapy, when your kid heads off to school or a birthday party, you may not have to worry about "peanut danger." That's reason to celebrate!

Unfortunately for peanut lovers, the most effective way to treat peanut allergy is to completely remove peanuts from your diet and from your environment. Depending on your sensitivity, you may experience an allergic reaction not only by eating peanuts but also by eating something that came into contact with peanuts or by inhaling peanut protein. Because of this, try to avoid any products that contain peanuts or are processed in the same places as peanuts. For milder reactions, there are some medications—such as antihistamines—that treat symptoms like swelling and hives. For people with more severe allergies, it's important to be prepared. Anaphylaxis is a serious health threat that can block normal breathing, so doctors usually recommend that people with serious peanut allergy carry an epinephrine injector in case of an anaphylactic reaction.

There's not much evidence to support the effectiveness of many alternative treatments for peanut allergy. Some people report that herbal remedies relieve symptoms. For example, a 2007 study showed that a Chinese herbal formula may help prevent peanut allergy reactions. Others claim that acupuncture is beneficial. Other alternative treatments include special diets with supplements and certain foods eaten at certain times.

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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.