Are Allergies Hereditary? What Factors Influence Allergies?

Whether it’s winter or summer, the dread of allergies is always around the corner. This might lead to a question popping into your head: Are allergies more than just triggered symptoms? What if they’re a part of your genes? What do allergy specialists say? Here’s everything that you need to know.

Allergies & Genes

Allergies are the worsening of the immune system and its basic defense mechanism when something foreign invades the body and bloodstream. Allergies are primarily caused by agents that trigger the immune system. It can be anything, like:

  • Pollen
  • Hay
  • Dust
  • Mites
  • Insects
  • Pet fur
  • Certain foods and the list goes on

Even though the cause of allergies is pretty much determined, it’s still unknown why allergies happen in the first place. A lot of studies have supported the theory that allergies are a part of our genes and if there’s a long family history of allergies, then it’s highly probable that kids will have allergies as well, kind of like the case with asthma.

On the other end of the spectrum, allergies are thought to be the reaction of the body, when there are changes in the external environment, like bad weather, pollution, climate, etc. So, which one is it? Are allergies in the DNA of humans, or is it just an environmental thing?

It’s A 50-50 Chance

Allergies can be genetic. There is a possibility that allergies are aggravated by family history and that’s a fact. Several studies have been done on people and their families, some suffer from allergies, while others are normal. In the results, almost 80% of the people who had allergies passed them down to their kids and they also showed symptoms.

While that’s not completely the case because every circumstance can be different, there is still a lingering possibility that if your family has a history of allergies and weak immune systems, then the effects might pass down to the kids.

Genome studies have also suggested and supported the fact that allergies are, in fact, hereditary. Usually, when an allergen attacks the immune system, the body produces a compound called immunoglobulin E (IgE) and it has shown hereditary signs, upon testing.

It should be stressed that not all people who have an allergic history will fall victim to allergies. Sometimes, that just doesn’t happen. There are a lot of other factors that can cause allergies to rear their heads. This is why it’s a 50-50 case. Allergies can or cannot occur, even if you do have an allergy history in the family. It’s only a matter of time until you see where on the side of the line you stand.

Other Factors That Influence Allergies

As mentioned previously, there are a lot of other things that cause allergies to flare up. Some of them can include:

  • Bad hygiene can lead to allergies. Whether you have a family history of allergies or not, you need to keep and maintain good hygiene, otherwise, you’re just inviting trouble.
  • If you’re not following a balanced diet and depriving your body of nutrients and minerals, then obviously your immune system is going to suffer. You need to strengthen your body from the inside out to build immunity, otherwise, you’ll be a perfect target for allergies, among other diseases.
  • If you live in a place where there’s a lot of fog, smoke, and pollution, then there is a high chance that you can suffer from allergy flare-ups. You need to keep your surroundings clean, otherwise, you’re the perfect candidate for allergies.
  • Always get yourself tested for food allergies, because if they go unnoticed, food allergies can turn deadly in a matter of a few minutes and they’re also one of the few allergies that can lead to anaphylaxis.

Symptoms & Risks Of Allergies

Whether allergies are caused by genes, lifestyle, or environmental factors, they need to be detected. Here are the symptoms of allergies and the associated risks if you let them prolong by avoiding your visit to an allergy clinic Germantown.

  • You will feel tightness in your chest, and breathing will be nothing less than a difficult summit. If you lose your breath too much and can’t breathe, even though you haven’t over-exerted your body, then that’s an alarming sign and you need to check in with a doctor right away.
  • You will get coughing and sneezing fits, that will be borderline uncomfortable and very consistent. This is a reaction of your nose, that’s trying to eject the foreign invasion from the body and you need to do something about it.
  • There might be swelling around different parts of the body, like your face, eyes, lips, cheeks, and even on your arms and legs. It’s very painful at times, but it does go away as soon as the contact with the allergen is terminated, so if you see that swelling and tenderness are a regular pattern, then you need to get yourself checked.
  • Your skin might break out in red and itchy patches and this condition is known as hives. It’s very itchy and uncomfortable and it can also turn infectious if the patch or skin bleeds.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions that might concern some people and their answers, regarding allergies and them being genetic.

How are allergies diagnosed?

Allergies are usually diagnosed through a blood test or skin patch test. If you feel any of the above-mentioned symptoms, then you can go to your nearest allergy doctor. They will usually take a blood sample and will also conduct a skin test where the allergen is put directly on your body and then the changes are monitored, like symptoms, your behavior, etc.

How to manage allergies?

Allergies might seem like a hassle that can ruin your life, but if you manage them properly, then there’s no problem at all. If you’re already diagnosed with a certain allergy and have medication for it, then you need to take it regularly to prevent the symptoms from worsening.

Also, avoiding the trigger and keeping yourself clean and fresh will prevent allergies from getting aggravated.

Can I get allergies, even if they’re not hereditary?

Of course, you can. The possibility of allergies being hereditary is only 50%, so you still have a very fair chance of developing allergies down the road, because of other factors, like exposure to pollution, and sensitivity to foods, like wheat, nuts, etc.

Do allergies worsen with age?

This can or cannot be true. Mostly, allergies frequently occur in children and when they grow, they outgrow the allergies as well. However, that’s not always the case. Allergies can also be prevalent even when you’re older.

Food allergies, for instance, are never truly treated aside from avoiding foods that can trigger the symptoms. So, they stay for years to come. But, no, allergies don’t get worse as age progresses, especially if you manage the symptoms timely.

Conclusion

Allergies can be genetic and they might be a part of your hereditary makeup. So, does this mean that allergies are incurable? Well, not entirely. You can manage the symptoms with the help of allergy doctors Manassas. They may prescribe medicines, exercises, and may also suggest lifestyle changes.

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