Can a Peanut Allergy Cause a Chronic Cough?

Peanuts
Whole and shelled peanuts. (Image: Photopips/iStock/Getty Images)

A peanut allergy can cause a chronic cough only if you continue to eat products that contain peanuts. Coughing is a common symptom of a peanut allergy, but will only continue as long as you consume peanuts. If you experience chronic coughing and you haven’t consumed peanuts in the last few days, you may have another medical condition, such as bronchitis or seasonal allergies. Coughing after eating peanuts may be a sign of a severe allergic reaction that may be life-threatening. Call your doctor if you develop any reactions after eating peanuts.

Peanut Allergy

Peanut allergies are common among children and are typically outgrown by adulthood. If you’re allergic to peanuts, even the smallest amount of peanuts can trigger your symptoms. A peanut allergy is commonly associated with anaphylactic shock, which will require emergency medical attention. A peanut allergy occurs when your immune system misfires against the proteins found in the peanuts. Peanuts are not a tree nut, but rather are a part of the legume family. If you’re allergic to peanuts you may be allergic to other legumes, such as beans, lentils or peas.

Cause

A cough that develops from a peanut allergy is related to asthma. During an allergic reaction to peanuts, various soft tissues in your body become inflamed. If your lungs swell from a peanut allergy, you can become short of breath, find it difficult to breathe and begin coughing and wheezing. Wheezing is the high-pitched sound made from restricted airways. The inflammation in your airways is caused by the chemical reactions in the body that occur during an allergic reaction. Immunoglobulin E antibodies, histamine and other chemicals are produced that cause the soft tissue inflammation.

Coughing Concern

Excessive coughing after you eat peanuts may be a sign of anaphylaxis, a severe and life-threatening condition. As your airways become restricted, you begin to cough and may become lightheaded or dizzy. If you notice that your face is swelling, your skin develops a rash and you cannot breathe properly, you need to call 911. This type of allergic reaction will require epinephrine. Epinephrine is a prescribed medication that is injected to reduce the inflammation and restore the body to its normal functions.

Avoidance

If you have a peanut allergy, avoid eating all products that contain peanut by-products. Peanut oil, peanut flour and peanut butter can all trigger an allergic reaction. Read the labels of all the foods you consume and disclose your peanut allergy to your server when eating out.

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