A Shakespeare quote that has always resonated with me is, “Though she be but little, she is fierce!” and that’s how I view this week’s blog post! Although this post is short, I feel it holds a lot of weight.
The information below is essentially a compilation of details I’ve found online surrounding the below image. From what I’ve gathered, this picture was created by Julie Brown, MD. However, I haven’t found much else about her!
It shows to scale the amount of peanut residue or dust that can cause a deadly episode of anaphylaxis . Often I witness a response to my own food allergy being taken as being “picky” or “overly cautious” and/or “too high maintenance”. In my opinion, this photo proves this not the case, it’s not a choice.
I’m truly not a picky eater, in fact, I like to experiment as much as I can. My peanut allergy does put a damper on the adventurous side of me that enjoys eating out and trying new foods. Investigating has to be done at the forefront, so my eating can’t be on a whim or impulsive, but it can still be exciting! The problem is how tiny the amount of peanut particle can set off a serious reaction. As you can see, it doesn’t take much to cause a full-force reaction, this is what those in the food allergy community are up against every day.
In fact, people with peanut allergies have died from as little as 1 mg of peanut protein, as shown here:
Smaller amounts of dust and peanut particles also cause allergic reactions, which is the problem with peanut cross-contamination of surfaces and on shared food processing equipment.
It’s impossible to say someone hasn’t or couldn’t die from an even lower amount of peanut residue, such as .15 milligrams. When speaking about such trace amounts, it’s hard to pinpoint sometimes how much got ingested, and from what. After going into anaphylactic shock from my diluted intradermal prick testing, and multiple other scary severe peanut reactions, I don’t rule out any possibilities.