How Common are Family Food Allergies?

Whether it’s an allergy to peanuts, soy, shellfish, wheat, or anything else you put in your mouth, food allergies are a growing concern. At present, about 20% of families (or one in five) have at least one family member who suffers from a food allergy. As evidence shows, the food allergy epidemic is rising at alarmingly high rates, and especially among children. Of all the food allergies out there, nut allergies are becoming increasingly common. Whether you’re trying to protect a family member for exposure or want to know the signs of a food allergy, a knowledgeable allergist can come to your aid.

What Are Food Allergies?

Allergies of any kind come down to an immune system response. People with Las Vegas allergies have immune systems that react abnormally to common substances. For instance, someone near you might be able to eat a handful of peanuts without a problem. But when you eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you break out in hives. So what’s going on? Unlike your neighbor, your body views certain substances as “toxic” that other people’s immune systems view as normal. To get rid of the problem, your immune system kicks into high gear. You see the results as symptoms ranging from itchy, watery eyes to a life-threatening anaphylaxis reaction. Since there is a genetic component to allergies, you’re more likely to have an allergy if a family member has it too.

The Genetic Component

Like other traits, allergies tend to run in families. If you have an immediate family member who is allergic to nuts or shellfish, you are much more likely to develop the allergy yourself. This is especially true for nut allergies, which seem to have the highest genetic correlation. Currently, about five percent of children and teenagers in the United States have a food allergy. And most cases (90%) are attributed to one of eight food groups. Tree nuts, fish, eggs, shellfish, milk, wheat, soy, and peanuts are the most common allergens.

Finding a Solution

Since food allergies can come on quickly and be relatively severe, it’s important to have proper allergy testing to find out what you’re allergic to. If you are a parent with a known food allergy, or if you think your child shows signs of a food allergy, you should schedule an appointment with the best allergist in Las Vegas to identify an existing allergen, if there is one, to find an appropriate remedy to control a future allergic reaction.

Food allergies are no fun, and at the worst, they can be downright scary. No one wants to deal with hives, breathing problems, or gastrointestinal issues associated with a food allergy. Regardless of whether you’re a nervous parent with an allergy or think your child shows worrisome symptoms, contact the best allergist in Las Vegas to make a diagnosis and ease your worries.