You inherit a lot of things from your parents and other members of your family: hair color, eye color, facial characteristics. They all make you who you are. Now there is significant research to say that you could actually be inheriting allergies from your parents as well. When you take a look at the science behind it, it makes a whole lot of sense. And, a food allergies test can help confirm it and offer up more control over an infant or child’s food-related life.
What a food allergies test could reveal
You already know that a food allergy test tells you what you’re allergic to. However, the science that goes into allergy testing is what is interesting here. An allergic reaction occurs because the immune system has learned that a certain food ingredient is a threat, and it must be destroyed. This creates an inflammation response that manifests in some form of an allergic reaction.
When you take an allergy test and get the results back, they could line up with allergies that other members of your family have, even if they have different kinds of reactions or a different severity. Previously seen as interesting and nothing more, researchers think that genetics play a role in helping predict allergies in the next generation.
How genetics factor in
We get our immune systems from our parents from the genes that they give to us. If our parents have immune systems that are weak in certain areas — an allergy would be one — it means that the child can inherit this weakness. While it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that an allergy develops, it does increase the likelihood or risk that one will.
By taking genetic factors into consideration when an infant is born, parents can help desensitize a child’s immune system by making sure that they are exposed to a variety of foods as early as possible. The immune system can sometimes “recover” from the weakness that genetics poses, and this prevents the child from developing an allergy as a result.
There’s still a lot to learn
While it’s clear that there is a connection between allergies in children and allergies within parents, it isn’t clear yet just what the connection is. For example, a parent who is allergic to peanuts may have a child that ends up having an allergy to shellfish. Or, a child with parents that have no known allergies could develop an allergy to gluten. Scientists believe that it’s a combination of genetics and environment that cause allergies to come to be, and science has yet to help it get more advanced than that.
However, you wish to look at it, the need for a food allergies test is important for those who have parents that have allergies, and even those who don’t. Genetics play a role in helping predict allergies, but they don’t confirm them. The test can reveal any possible weak points in the immune system and give specialists, parents, and the patient a chance to do everything they can to limit sensitivity at a young age.