How Much Allergen Can Cause Anaphylaxis?

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 (and myself)!! 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, the below visual 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, and it’s got nothing to do with being picky. It truly only takes a minuscule amount of peanut to send me into anaphylactic shock.

I’m truly not a picky eater, in fact, I like to experiment with food as much as I can! My husband makes me a version of a safe paid thai which I love, and I’m always up to trying something safe & new in terms of flavors and textures. 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 I’m here to tell you that it can still be exciting! The problem is how tiny the amount of a peanut particle can set off a serious reaction. As you can see below, 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:



It’s impossible to say someone hasn’t or couldn’t die from an even lower amount of peanut residue than shown above, such as .15 milligrams. When speaking about such trace amounts, it’s hard to pinpoint after the fact 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.

This 1mg visual image is included in my PowerPoint presentation on food allergy awareness and gives ways people not-allergic can be an ally to those with allergies, and all-around become more educated on the subject. Feel free to check that out for more statistics and information if you haven’t already!




  1. Zoe, thanks so much for your posts. It helps those of us who have never been around, or dealt with this kind of allergy personally to understand it so much better!


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