Incidence of Allergies and Contributing Factors

Incidence of Allergies and Contributing Factors

September 01, 2015

Allergy is considered an in appropriate reaction to the immune system. The immune system basically responds to substances tha are usually harmless to the body. One of the most important factors is an inherited tendency.

For all allergies (foods, polllens, dust, animal dander, mold spores, wasp or bees) the estimated likelihood of a person having allergies, or the potential to develop them, has been estimated to be:

5-15% if neither parent has allergies

20-40% if one parent has allergies

40-60% if both parents have allergies

60-80% if both parents have the same allergy

25-35% if one sibling has allergies

Factors Contributing to Food Allergies

  • Increased perameability of the intestinal mucosa due to immaturity, inflammation of the digestive tract (enteritis)
  • Combined allergic reactions: concurrent allergic reactions such as a respiratory tract response to an airborne inhaled allergen, can increase the allergic reaction to food.
  • Enhanced uptake of food allergens: alcohol may incease the rate of uptake of an allergen from the digestive tract.
  • Exercise: vigorous exercise after eatnig an allergic food sometimes results in an allergic reaction. This may be due to accelerated food uptake or increased body temperature during exercise.
  • Changes in hormone levels: changes in hormones seems to affect the immune system. Thes include, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and even thyroid hormones. This may help explain why a dysfuntional thyroid in individuals may influence adverse reactions to foods.
  • Stress: many allergy sufferers notice their symptoms appear or worsen during periods of stress. Stress hormones can affect the degree of responsiveness of the immune system.
  • Frequency of Exposure: foods likely to be allergenic are often those eaten frequently.

(information obtained from "Food Allergies and Intolerances" by Janice Joneja PhD, RDN)

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Food Allergies Intolerances/Sensitivities