Can You Outgrow Food Allergies?

Brandon May

Although allergies to food can become quite severe in most cases and can lead to anaphylaxis — a life-threatening allergic reaction — many children can outgrow them by the time they are 10 years old. Sometimes children or young adults may outgrow food allergies at an even later time. The sufferer and his or her family can work carefully alongside an allergist or physician to determine if specific food allergies are still present. Most children who are allergic to tree nuts and shellfish, however, will continue to be allergic, as these foods are seen as more allergenic.

Most people never outgrown an allergy to oysters and other shellfish.
Most people never outgrown an allergy to oysters and other shellfish.

When children suffer from food allergies, it is a sign that the body believes a particular food is a threat to the wellness of the body. This doesn't necessarily mean, however, that a child is destined to live with this food allergy forever. In fact, according to most major statistics involving food allergies, most children outgrow food allergies by the time they reach 10 years of age. Depending on the type of food, some children will even outgrow food allergies at an even earlier age, usually around 5 years old.

Hives can appear as an allergic reaction.
Hives can appear as an allergic reaction.

Milk, wheat and soy are all common allergens in everyday processed foods that many children outgrow about age 5. According to most research, a very small minority of children will outgrow food allergies to nuts and fish products. There is some evidence that adults can outgrow their food allergies, but it is not as common, as their bodies have associated a particular food as a threat for a longer period of time.

Some people outgrow their allergies to nuts.
Some people outgrow their allergies to nuts.

Most physicians, especially those who specialize in children's food allergies, can help determine if a child has outgrown a food allergy. The physician can perform a skin allergy test, where a small amount of the substance is injected into the skin to see if a reaction occurs. If allergic reactions do not occur, then introducing small amounts of food to the child can also help determine if allergies are still present. If not, the child has outgrown his or her food allergies and can safely include these ingredients in the diet with the care of a physician.

Doctors may use skin allergy tests to help diagnose a food allergy.
Doctors may use skin allergy tests to help diagnose a food allergy.

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