With food allergies on the rise, many Atlanta parents are understandably concerned about the potential risk to their children. If you notice any common symptoms, finding a treatment for a tree nut allergy, peanut allergy or any other sensitivity will undoubtedly be your top priority. For allergies and illnesses of any kind, determining the true cause is an efficient way to find a solution. So with that in mind, what role do genetics play in tree nut allergies?
How Does Genetics Influence Tree Nut Allergies?
Genetics is believed to play a large role in the development of allergies. However, family history and how it can affect food allergies is not always straightforward. If a child’s parents have a history of allergies, it is likely that the child will also experience an allergy of some kind. However, while a parent may be allergic to peanuts or shellfish, the child may not be – they may have a tree nut allergy instead, for example.
If you have an allergy to one substance, the chance of experiencing multiple allergies is also increased. For example, patients with tree nut allergies are likely to have a peanut allergy as well. In addition, tree nut allergy patients often react to more than one tree nut. Walnut, hazelnut and pecan; or hazelnut, cashew, Brazil nut, pistachio, and almond can be part of cross-reactive groups.
Studies Into Genetics and Tree Nut Allergies
Research into genetics and tree nut allergies is ongoing, but various studies have already discovered links. One study found that the presence of the signal transducer and activator of the transcription 6 (STAT6) gene was significantly increased in nut allergy patients in comparison with blood donor controls. This link relates to both the likelihood of being allergic and also the severity of the reaction.
Additional Tree Nut Allergy Risk Factors
Age is an important factor in susceptibility to tree nut allergies, with young children more at risk than older children or adults. As mentioned, cross-reactivity is a common factor for allergic patients. As researchers continue to examine allergies and how they develop, links between genetics and the environment are also being examined, but no firm conclusions have been reached.
Is It Possible to Effectively Treat a Tree Nut Allergy?
While avoidance is the most common approach to a food allergy, tree nuts can be found in many food items and are often part of a healthy diet. An alternate approach is to undergo a desensitization process called oral immunotherapy treatment, or OIT. This treatment enables patients to continue eating tree nuts by building tolerance over six months to one year.
Contact Us for Tree Nut Allergy Treatment in Atlanta and Beyond
If you are suffering from the symptoms of a tree nut allergy, contact us for a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan. Our food allergy treatment centers are located in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Duluth and Johns Creek. For assistance, call (678) 668-4688 or make an appointment today.
Image Credit – lakkana savaksuriyawong/Shutterstock.com