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Food Allergies Last Longer Than They Used To:
Food Allergy Facts You Need to Know

A new study has disproved the conventional belief that food allergies in children are outgrown at an early age. Instead, a study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that only 19 percent of the over 800 children in their study outgrew their allergy to milk by the age of 4.

milk allergy

Only 19 percent of kids with a milk allergy will outgrow it by the age of 4.

Another 42 percent outgrew the allergy by age 8, and 64 percent by age 12. In all, only 79 percent of the group outgrew their allergy by age 16.

This left one in five of the group with a milk allergy well into their teen years. Allergic children who also had asthma and allergic rhinitis had a lower chance of outgrowing the allergy than other children.

The study has far-reaching implications for children with food allergies, particularly those to milk. "The prognosis for developing tolerance [to milk] is worse than previously estimated," the researchers said, while calling for increased safeguards for children with milk allergy (along the lines of those given to kids with peanut allergies).

What Causes Food Allergies, and How Widespread Are They?

A food allergy occurs because your immune system mistakenly recognizes a certain food as dangerous, and then produces a response against it. Symptoms can range from the more mild skin rash, vomiting and diarrhea to the very serious anaphylaxis, which constricts the airways and requires immediate medical attention.

Though most food allergies begin in childhood, before the age of 2, they can occur at any age and involve just about any food. That said, there are eight foods that cause 90 percent of food allergies, and these are:

  1. Peanuts

  2. Eggs

  3. Milk

  4. Shellfish

  5. Wheat

  6. Tree nuts (walnuts, pecans, etc.)

  7. Soy

  8. Fish

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 2 percent of adults in the United States, and 4-8 percent of children, suffer from food allergies. Among them, 150 die from the allergies each year.

The most common food allergies in kids are wheat, cow's milk and soy. Allergies to tree nuts, fish and seafood can also occur, but are less common (and more likely to last into adulthood).

Got Food Allergies? Get The Food Allergy Survival Guide Book!

Food Allergy Survival GuideFor a complete guide on how to eat if you have food allergies and intolerances, check out the highly recommended Food Allergy Survival Guide Book. In it you'll learn:

  • How to avoid the foods and ingredients that trigger reactions

  • How to substitute healthful ingredients for those that trigger allergic responses

  • How to meet recommended nutrient intakes while avoiding trigger foods such as dairy products, eggs, gluten-containing grains such as wheat, or other food culprits

  • How to determine which food(s) may be triggers for your symptoms ... and much more!

Find out More About The Food Allergy Survival Guide Book Now!

Can Food Allergies in Children be Prevented?

While no one knows exactly why certain children develop allergies, it is known that if you have a food allergy, your child is more likely to as well. Meanwhile, children with asthma are at an increased risk of developing food allergies.

toddler food tolerance

When you begin to introduce solid foods to your toddler, do so one at a time. This way you'll know which foods are tolerated and which aren't.

It used to be thought that exposing children to certain foods at too young of an age would increase their risk of an allergic reaction. In reality, recent research suggests that exposing infants to food allergens early in life may actually boost tolerance later in life. So the nutritional dogma to wait to expose your children to certain foods is currently being debated.

While the final results remain to be seen, you can decrease your child's likelihood of developing food allergies by breastfeeding exclusively for at least six months, and continuing up to a year or more (along with supplemental foods).

When you do begin to introduce solid foods, do so one at a time, avoiding mixed foods, so that you can be sure which foods are tolerated.

Some common symptoms of food allergies in children are rashes, vomiting, diarrhea, colic, and constipation. If you notice these symptoms in your child, try removing the suspect food from his or her diet and watching to see if the symptoms resolve.

If you're an adult with food allergies, the following tips can help:

  • Strictly avoid the food you are allergic to, including any related products.

  • Diligently read food labels (hidden ingredients, particularly with wheat and peanuts, can be anywhere, but the Food and Drug Administration requires that at least the top eight allergens must be clearly stated on food labels).

  • Let the server in a restaurant know you absolutely cannot have certain ingredients.

  • For those with severe food allergies, always carry a self-injectable epinephrine (often called an Epipen) in case of emergency.

Also, be sure to check out The Food Allergy Survival Guide Book, our top-recommended source for anyone with food allergies.

You'll learn what your food triggers might be, how to avoid them, easy-to-use, healthy alternatives, and even great-tasting allergen-free recipes (like Ultra Fudge Brownies, Divine Macaroons, Banana Bread and many more!).

Recommended Reading

Does Early Exposure to Food Allergens Increase Tolerance to Them?

50% of U.S. Population Has Allergies, Most Don't Realize It & Suffer Unnecessarily ... Do You?


The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology November 2007, Volume 120, Issue 5, Pages 1172-1177 November 12, 2007

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