Information from AAFA’s Ask the Allergist is not a substitute for a consultation with a health care professional. Always talk with your own doctor before making changes to your asthma or allergy management plan.
Question: My 3-year-old has been vomiting, gagging or spitting up after consumption of peanut-containing products. The last incidences were with peanut candies, peanut butter cookies and a homemade peanut butter cup. It’s just vomiting and that’s it – quickly after eating. He’s had licks of peanut butter and small amounts of peanut butter crackers at 1-2 years of age. He’s just recently started vomiting. He has everyday contact with peanuts and peanut butter as my husband and I eat it every day, and we have touched him and fed him with our fingers and kissed him after eating peanut butter. I ate peanut butter regularly during pregnancy. He’s most likely had lifelong exposure to foods that may contain nuts as warned by manufacturers. I’m worried he’s developed a peanut allergy now and have questions.
Answer: If your son is vomiting within an hour of eating peanut, he may be developing food allergy to peanut. While this may seem like a mild reaction, this can change based on how much he ingests. And it may change overtime as it is very likely his sensitization will increase. It would be best for him to avoid peanut and see a board-certified allergist. I would also tell your pediatrician about this reaction. I would recommend that he have a form of self-injectable epinephrine because there may be potential for a more severe reaction.
Dr. Douglas Johnston is our Ask the Allergist columnist. Dr. Johnston is a board-certified allergist/immunologist with Asthma & Allergy Specialists, P.A., in Charlotte, North Carolina. He obtained his D.O. from New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his residency at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, New York. Dr. Johnston grew up with both allergies and asthma. He decided it would be exciting to help people with these conditions. His passion about food allergies also comes from having a child with a peanut allergy.