Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can you develop a peanut allergy?"
I'm 19 and have never had problems eating peanuts before but the last two times I had peanut butter I just felt really funny and kind of had a fever. Can you get an allergy later in life? How can I find out if I have a peanut allergy?
Yes, you can develop an allergy later in life. Things that would make this more likely to explain your symptoms would be whether or not you have other allergies, whether or not you have eczema or asthma, and whether or not you have other family members with any of those conditions. Those who can answer yes to any of those questions are likely to have some form of atopy, which is the fancy medical word used to describe increased sensitivity and predisposition to your body over-reacting when it is exposed to certain things that generally would not be thought to be harmful. When the body is exposed to these things, it mounts an inappropriate attack as if it were being infected. That is why the nose will often produce copious amounts of mucous after exposure in those people who have a history of pollen allergy. While it is uncommon to develop an allergy to something that you are regularly exposed to and have never had problems with, it is not rare for this to happen (meaning doctors see it all the time). If you have had concerns about any food, you should avoid it entirely and speak to your doctor right away.
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