Hereditary food allergies in Atlanta.

Understanding the causes of food allergies is a complex process. If you or your child has undergone food allergy testing in Atlanta, you were probably asked about your family’s allergy history. This question might lead many to assume that food allergies are hereditary, but is that the case? Let’s explore whether or not food allergies are inherited, and how genetics may contribute to allergic reactions.

What You Should Know About Hereditary Factors in Food Allergies

Parents with allergies are frequently concerned that their child will inherit this issue. While studies are ongoing, the current understanding is that food allergies can be hereditary. However, the inheritance pattern is complex, and there’s no certainty that a child will experience allergic reactions to the same foods as a parent.

According to Allergy & Asthma Network, when one parent has an allergy, the child has a 50% higher risk of developing allergies. And when both parents have allergies, the risk increases to 75%. Because the presence of an allergic condition in the family does not guarantee a child will inherit a food allergy, it suggests that a number of factors (including genetics and the environment) are involved. This uncertainty highlights exactly why food allergy testing is important in determining the presence of an allergy.

Are Food Allergies Genetic?

Food allergies are linked to various genes that increase the chance of developing allergies. These genes affect how the immune system reacts to substances that it mistakenly considers harmful. Studies, including one reported in Nature Communications, have found several genetic markers that make allergies more likely. However, there isn’t just one gene that leads to food allergies. Rather, increased risk of developing an allergy means that several genes are interacting.

How Genetics and Other Risk Factors Cause Food Allergies

The following gives a simple overview of how food allergies can develop.

  • Inherited Genes – Children inherit genes that make them more likely to develop food allergies.
  • Environmental Factors – Exposure to certain foods and environmental conditions can trigger these genetic predispositions. Possible environmental risk factors include exposure to microbes after birth and reduced exposure to allergens in early childhood.
  • Immune Response – The immune system produces IgE antibodies to protect against a perceived threat from specific food proteins.
  • Allergy Symptoms – These antibodies cause the release of histamine, leading to allergy symptoms after further exposure to the food.

Fortunately, if a person experiences symptoms from milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts and other foods, reliable allergy management techniques are available. Proven food allergy treatments like oral immunotherapy can minimize symptoms and deliver lasting relief.

Visit Us in Atlanta for Food Allergy Testing Services

If you or your child are experiencing food allergy symptoms and want an accurate diagnosis, visit one of our allergy centers in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Druid Hills, Duluth or Johns Creek. We provide allergy testing and treatment services for adults and children. Call (678) 668-4688 or request an appointment today.

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