Thursday, September 29, 2022
HomeCauseWhat Causes Allergies To Develop In Adults

What Causes Allergies To Develop In Adults

The Top 8 Food Allergies

COMMON FOOD ALLERGIES DEVELOP IN ADULTS

Among the general population , 8 foods account for around 90% of all food allergies. These 8 most common food allergens are:

  • Cows milk
  • Soy
  • Wheat

But which of these food allergies are most common in children, and which usually develop in adults? Which tend to be outgrown, and which tend to be lifelong? Thanks to several studies, we have a clearer picture.

Canopy Healths Alliance Includes Respected Allergy And Immunology Specialists And Clinics

Canopy Healths robust alliance of Bay Area physicians and hospitals includes some of the most respected allergists and immunologists in the country. If youre a Canopy Health member, you can choose to receive treatment from any of our doctors, including allergy and immunology specialists within Meritage Medical Network, Hill Physicians, SCCIPA, John Muir Health, and UCSFs Allergy and Immunology Clinic. To request a referral, talk to your primary care physician about our Alliance Referral Program.

Living With A Food Allergy

The only way to manage a food allergy is to avoid the allergen. Sounds simple, right? Actually, living with a food allergy can be complicated and challenging. Your allergen could be an ingredient in foods you would never imagine finding it in.

“Even after I had my first reaction to shrimp, I was taking chondroitin and krill oil. No wonder I was still getting mild random hives, Adkins says. Chondroitin, a supplement people take for joint pain and osteoarthritis, contains glucosamine, which is made of shellfish.

Eating out requires careful thought and questioning. “When going to dinner you have to tell people they just don’t think to ask, Adkins says. You have to think about the salt and pepper shakers in seafood restaurants. People handle them with fishy hands. Many Asian condiments have shellfish. Buffets are a nightmare.”

Here are some helpful tips for managing your food allergy:

  • Read the ingredient list on all foods.
  • Avoid cross-contamination if others in your home continue to eat the allergen. Don’t share the same unwashed cutting board, for example.
  • Be clear with restaurant staff and verify that they can prepare your food allergen-free.
  • Alert family and friends so food you consume from them is allergen-free.
  • Don’t cheat! Even one bite of your allergen can be life-threatening.

Don’t Miss: Almond Flavoring And Nut Allergies

Can Asthma Reappear In Adults After Disappearing Years Ago

Asthma is usually diagnosed in childhood. In many patients however, the symptoms will disappear or are significantly reduced after puberty. After age 20, symptoms may begin to reappear.

Researchers have tracked this tendency for reappearing asthma and found that people with childhood asthma tend to experience reappearing symptoms through their 30s and 40s at various levels of severity.

Regardless of whether your asthma is active, you should continue to avoid your known triggers and keep your rescue medications or prescriptions up-to-date and handy in case you need them.

What Causes You To Develop Allergies

Most Common Allergies: Symptoms and Solutions

Allergies can develop at any point in a persons life. Usually, allergies first appear early in life and become a lifelong issue. However, allergies can start unexpectedly as an adult. A family history of allergies puts you at a higher risk of developing allergies some time in your life.

Allergies develop when your body thinks a substance such as animal hair, pollen, or mold is harmful. That substance awakens your immune system to release a chemical called histamine, which leads to your allergy symptoms. As you age, your immune system may start to weaken, so your response to an allergen also weakens. Repeated exposure can also cause your immune system to overreact. If you develop allergies as an adult, you may have had slight symptoms throughout your life, but an event such as a move or a new pet triggered your immune system to respond.

Also Check: Medication Claritin

Can You Develop Allergies Later In Life

It is certainly possible to develop allergies in adulthood. Adult-onset allergies can occur seemingly out of nowhere due to exposure to new allergens in the environment, family history and changes in the immune system. The most common food allergies in adults are peanuts, fish, shellfish such as shrimp, lobster and tree nuts .

Theres no way to avoid getting adult-onset allergies if youre susceptible to them, since you cant reasonably expect to know every trigger that could cause an allergic reaction and then avoid it. In addition, there is some recent research that indicates avoiding allergens can make it more likely for an individual to develop allergies, because the immune system is unfamiliar with more substances.

What Are The Types Of Allergies And How Are They Treated

You can be allergic to a wide variety of substances including pollen, animal dander, mold and dust mites.

Pollen

Seasonal allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is an allergic response to pollen. It causes inflammation and swelling of the lining of your nose and of the protective tissue of your eyes .

Symptoms include sneezing, congestion , and itchy, watery eyes, nose and mouth. Treatment options include over-the-counter and prescription oral antihistamines, anti-leukotrienes, nasal steroids, nasal antihistamines, and nasal cromolyn. In some people, allergic asthma symptoms can be caused by exposure to pollen.

Your symptoms can be reduced by avoiding pollen. Stay indoors when pollen counts are high, close your windows, and use air conditioning. Ask your healthcare provider about immunotherapy to treat pollen allergy.

Dust mites

Dust mites are tiny organisms that live in dust and in the fibers of household objects, such as pillows, mattresses, carpet, and upholstery. Dust mites grow in warm, humid areas.

The symptoms of dust mite allergy are similar to those of pollen allergy. To help manage dust mite allergies, try using dust mite encasements over pillows, mattresses, and box springs. Also, remove carpet, or vacuum frequently with a high-efficiency filter vacuum cleaner. Treatment may include medications to control your nasal/eye and chest symptoms. Immunotherapy may be recommended if your symptoms are not adequately controlled with avoidance methods and medications.

Molds

Don’t Miss: Zyrtec Allergy Ingredients

Can You Prevent A Food Allergy

The short answer is no. Vander Leek explains that for most people, eating shellfish or other common food allergens will often never cause any problems, but for others, an allergy may develop if a food is not eaten regularly. He says that its possible to have an allergic reaction to a food that you have not eaten in as little as four weeks.

The bottom line is that food allergies can happen to anyone, at any age, regardless of exposure. Some kids can outgrow a food allergy, but thats not likely to happen with adults. If what you have is an allergy, you may need an , which, in the event of a severe and life-threatening reaction, can save your life. The best way to stay safe is to avoid the food altogether and follow the advice of your health care provider.

Maja Begovic is a freelance writer with Healthing.ca.

Food Allergy Symptoms In Adults

Seasonal Allergies: Fact or Fiction with Dr. Jeff Millstein

If you think you might be developing a food allergy, keep an eye out for the following after you eat:

  • Stomach pain
  • An itchy mouth or throat
  • Shortness of breath

All of these symptoms could be a sign of a food allergy.

While none of these symptoms are pleasant, they could be the least of your food allergy worries. If your allergy is severe, it can send you into anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening allergic reaction. If you have serious trouble breathing and experience dizziness right after eating, dont wait for an allergy diagnosis. Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. It could save your life. We can handle the exact diagnosis when you are out of danger.

Recommended Reading: Zirteck

Unraveling The Adult Allergy Mystery

Researchers dont know exactly what causes the body to react to an allergen after many years of uneventful contact with it. Many times, Davis says, something in the patients environment has changed that causes them to be exposed to a substance that they did not previously come into contact with very often.

Say someone has a tendency toward allergies for example, a person might get married and their spouse has cats, Davis says. Cat dander is a very, very strong allergen. If youve never had indoor exposure to cats, its very possible for you to develop an allergy to them. Another example is moving to a new state, where more allergens like ragweed and cedar pollen may be present in the air, and suddenly you develop seasonal allergy symptoms.

One theory scientists have about allergy causes is called the hygiene hypothesis, which suggests that the highly clean environments of most Westerners can cause their immune systems to overreact to harmless things like pet dander and peanuts. However, there is not enough scientific evidence in existence yet to use this theory as a basis for prevention or treatment of allergies.

What You Dont Know About Food Allergies

Pollen-food reactions, adult onset symptoms and cross reactivity are just some of the surprising ways our bodies respond to food.

My grandson Tomas first noticed a distressing reaction to hazelnuts at age 8. Whenever he ate Nutella, his mouth and throat felt tingly and swollen, and so this sweet spread was then banned from his diet and the household.

A few years later, Tomas had the same reaction when he ate raw carrots. In researching this column, I learned that hazelnuts and carrots, although botanically unrelated foods, share a protein with birch pollen, to which Tomas is allergic. However, he can eat cooked carrots safely because cooking denatures the allergenic protein.

Now 21, he has not yet reacted to other foods that also contain the birch pollen protein, namely celery, potato, apple and peach, although he could eventually become sensitive to one or more of them. His father said that as an adult hes developed similar mouth and throat symptoms when he eats apples and peaches, especially during pollen season.

I also learned of another common link between pollen and food sensitivities. People allergic to ragweed may also react to bananas and melons. Again, a shared protein is responsible. This type of allergy is believed to start with sensitization to inhalation of the offending pollen that later results in an allergic reaction when the food protein is consumed.

You May Like: Zyrtec Allergies

How Common Are Adult

Although allergies often begin during childhood, adult-onset allergies are also common. Of the more than 10% of Americans diagnosed with food allergies, about half of these are diagnosed in adulthood.

Common causes of food allergies in adults include shellfish , milk, wheat, tree nuts, and soy.

Common causes of respiratory allergies in adults include pollen, dust mites, mold, and animal dander.

Almost Half Of Food Allergies In Adults Appear In Adulthood

Wheat allergy: Diagnosis, diet, symptoms, and causes

BOSTON, MA When people think of food allergies, its mostly in relation to children. New research being presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting shows that almost half of all food-allergic adults surveyed reported one or more adult-onset food allergies.

Food allergies are often seen as a condition that begins in childhood, so the idea that 45 percent of adults with food allergies develop them in adulthood is surprising, says Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, ACAAI member and lead author of the study. We also saw that, as with children, the incidence of food allergies in adults is rising across all ethnic groups.

The most common food allergy among adults is shellfish, affecting an estimated 3.6 percent of U.S. adults. This marks a 44 percent increase from the 2.5 percent prevalence rate published in an influential 2004 study. Similarly, these new data suggest that adult tree nut allergy prevalence has risen to 1.8 percent from a 2008 estimate of .5 percent, an increase of 260 percent.

People may not recognize they have a food allergy, and believe their reaction is a food intolerance. They might not seek the help of an allergist for diagnosis, but allergists are specially trained to administer allergy testing and diagnose the results. Allergists can tailor a plan specific to your allergies. To find an allergist near you, use the ACAAI allergist locator.

Don’t Miss: Zyrtec Vs Flonase

Contact Canopy Health To Learn More About Our Alliance And Our Refreshingly Clear Approach

Canopy Health is revolutionizing Bay Area healthcare by giving our members incredible access to transparent, high-quality care. If youd like to learn more about our refreshingly clear approach, contact us or by calling .

Reference

Gupta, R.S., Warren, C.M., & Smith, B.M., et al. . Prevalence and severity of food allergies among U.S. adults. JAMA Network Open. 2019 2. Retrieved from

Before you load up on supplements, add these foods to your diet to get the vitamins you need.

If you want to eat healthier or lose weight, heres why a Registered Dietitian is likely your best bet.

These 5 activities build lean muscle and can improve your heart health.

Researchers explore how maternal sleep habits during pregnancy may be associated with fetal health.

  • May 24, 2019

To counter the rising number of opioid addictions and deaths, Bay Area physicians and therapists are using alternative methods to manage and reduce chronic pain.

  • May 17, 2019

Whether youre traveling for work or a much-needed vacation, having a defibrillator is no reason to avoid the airport. Keep these tips and concerns in mind for smooth sailing through airport security screenings with your medical implant.

  • May 09, 2019

Its never too soon to start talking about end of life planning.

Congratulations on your new addition! Here are a few tips on how to prepare for your new babys arrival.

What Causes Nut Allergies In Adults

After my first experience of hospitalization from an episode of anaphylaxis, I was completely at a loss as to how I suddenly had food allergies that were that severe. After doing a lot of digging in medical journals and speaking with my allergist and other medical professionals, I learned that developing nut allergies later in life is not terribly uncommon, however it is mostly unknown as to why nut allergies begin in adulthood. While more research is needed, some scientists believe that allergies can develop in adulthood due to:

One study found that first-time significant allergic reactions occurred most often in seniors, potentially due to illness or other conditions, such as heart disease. This research may indicate that health conditions may be the underlying cause of adult onset food allergies.

For me, I assume the cause of my allergies stems from my gut problems. In the last few years, I have had a myriad of health problems that are more than likely the effect of stomach issues, which both my GI doctor and myself believe to be Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth , though Ive never had an official test or diagnosis confirming this. Regardless, I believe that my compromised gut has lead to a variety of health concerns, the most serious of which are my food allergies.

You May Like: Zyrtec 40 Tablets

How We Diagnose Allergies

The good news is that allergies are often simple to diagnose. Dr. Ziegner can pinpoint the cause of your allergy symptoms with a skin test, and she may order additional tests, such as blood tests to confirm a suspected allergy. We use insight from these tests, along with a detailed medical and symptom history, to make a diagnosis.

If you suspect that you have a food allergy, its helpful to record your daily diet and symptoms in a journal for a few weeks before your appointment.

You can get relief from allergies that are making you miserable. Scheduling an appointment with an allergist is the first step to gaining control of your allergies.

To learn more about how we diagnose and treat allergies, schedule an appointment with Dr. Ziegner by calling our Redondo Beach, California, office. You can also send us a message here on our website or request an appointment online. Were ready to guide you through effective allergy management.

You Might Also Enjoy

How Do Allergies Happen

What Causes Food Allergies?

An allergy happens when the immune system& overreacts to an allergen, treating it as an invader and trying to fight it off. This causes symptoms that can range from annoying to serious or even life-threatening.

In an attempt to protect the body, the immune system makes antibodies called immunoglobulin E . These antibodies then cause certain cells to release chemicals into the bloodstream to defend against the allergen “invader.”

It’s the release of these chemicals that causes allergic reactions. Reactions can affect the eyes, nose, throat, lungs, skin, and gastrointestinal tract. Future exposure to that same allergen will trigger this allergic response again.

Some allergies are seasonal and happen only at certain times of the year others can happen anytime someone comes in contact with an allergen. So, when a person with a food allergy eats that particular food or someone who’s allergic to dust mites is exposed to them, they will have an allergic reaction.

You May Like: Hives From Keflex

Mayo Clinic Q And A: Reasons For Developing Allergies Later In Life Not Always Clear

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I didnt have allergies when I was younger. But now in my 40s, I seem to get allergy symptoms during the spring and summer. Is it possible to develop allergies as an adult? Should I get tested? If so, what do allergy tests involve?

ANSWER: You can develop allergies later in life, and there is definitely value in getting tested to see if your symptoms are due to allergies. If they are, the test results will give you information about what youre allergic to and help guide you as you decide on treatment. Allergy tests usually involve a skin test, a blood test or both.

Allergy development typically has two phases. During the first phase, called sensitization, you come in contact with a harmless substance, and your body mistakenly starts making allergic antibodies, called IgE antibodies, to fight that substance. Those antibodies dont do anything until you are exposed to the substance, or allergen, again. At that time, the second phase starts. The allergen binds to the IgE antibodies. That sets off a cascade of immune reactions in your body, such as itchy or watery eyes, nasal congestion and sneezing, among others.

If, as in your situation, allergy symptoms develop but you arent sure what you might be allergic to, or even if your symptoms really are allergies, it is worthwhile to go through allergy testing. The tests can show what you are sensitive to, and knowing that can go a long way to customizing treatment to your specific situation.

RELATED ARTICLES

Most Popular