Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Can One Outgrow a Food Allergy?


This is one of the very first questions a parent will ask when a child is diagnosed with a food allergy. According to foodallergy.org approximately 50% of food allergies among children have increased between 2007 and 2011 and there is no  definite answer as to why so. Researchers have observed that the nine common food allergies are milk, peanuts, shellfish, tree nuts, egg, fish, wheat, soy and sesame. Traces of food a food allergy can also cause a reaction.

However there were many studies and research that shown that children were able to outgrow their food allergy. One study that was done by the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology, surveyed about 40,000 children nationwide. Of those children about 3,100 currently still have an allergy and about 1,200 have outgrown it. The study concluded that about 26.6% of children were able outgrow their allergies at about 5 years old. Children who were allergic to milk, egg or soy were most likely to outgrow their allergies however those with a shellfish, tree nut and peanut allergy have a lower chance.

Peanut and tree nut allergies are usually developed during childhood however are lifelong. The peanut allergy is one of the most common food allergies among children and only about 20% are able to outgrow it. The allergy has tripled between 1997 and 2008.  In another study that was conducted, prick tests and blood tests measured the amount of IgE (“the antibody that triggers the symptoms of a food allergy”) in children’s blood. Those who had low levels of IgE were allergy-free before eight years old while those who were still allergic to peanuts had an increasing amount of IgE in their system as they got older. Fish and shellfish are also common allergies that are lifelong in many people. There are about 6.5 million adults who still have the allergy.

Unfortunately there is not really a cure for food allergies. Many doctors and health care professionals highly recommend that people should carefully select the foods they eat and to simply avoid eating foods they are allergic to. It is important to take precautionary measures that could prevent serious health consequences. 

Posted by Sarah Ona


6 comments:

  1. I have always teased my sister about lying about her food allergies towards to certain vegetables and fruits to get out of eating them when we were kids. For her it was possible for her to grow out of them and I realize now that she wasn't kidding around. Food allergies can be deathly and it is very scary to have. I think it is very important for parents to test their kids at an early age to prevent their allergies from damaging their body any further since their are no known cures yet for food allergies. It is interesting to see the percentage of people that outgrow their allergies compared to ones who never do, I wonder what might cause the allergy to go away?

    Stephanie Aboody

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    1. Yes, it is definitely possible for kids to outgrow their allergies as they get older. It has to do with the immune system and I know that if the body gets used to the allergen enough, it will slowly be become immune to the allergy. On the other hand, prevention, can prolong the allergy in the system or even can cause new allergies.

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  2. I've personally outgrown my allergy to tree nuts, but I somehow acquired an allergy to grapes. Allergies are a peculiar affliction because they can be disappear and reappear for some people, while others are allergic to things for life. Allergies have been known to develop or vanish at any point in life, which is scary considering the severity of some allergic reactions.

    Josef Mazzuchi

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    1. That's very interesting. I am allergic to peanuts and seafood and it seems like I will have those allergies for the rest of my life. It would be hard to tell if I will ever out grow them because my reactions are mostly mild but can also get pretty bad. I carry around an epipen just in case, but it will be hard to tell since I mostly just prevent eating peanuts and seafood to avoid the reaction.

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  3. One of my close friends is actually allergic to most trees which left her allergic to raw fruits and vegetables. Then later on she discovered that she was lactose intolerant but after a month or two later she found out she could now eat raw vegetables. It's interesting to see if future studies into these individuals could provide some information on how the body makes this sort of "trade off" and if from these studies a potential cure for common allergies.

    Allen Currier

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  4. This is a very interesting blog. Food allergies have with no doubt been in the spot light. I feel that I have seen an increase of food allergies in past years with a correlation on labels in food and the their ingredients everywhere. I learn in my nutrition class that our bodies go through changes every so often, about 7 years my professor said. And usually foods that you didn't like or couldn't eat, you may be able to eat after this a few years. I have found myself liking food that before I couldn't eat or like. I wonder if this changes in our bodies have something to do or could allow our bodies to outgrow food allergies...


    Yerkely Gomez (1)

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