Are Allergies Passed From Generation to Generation?

Almost everyone will suffer from allergy at some point in their lives. Allergies are known for their irritating symptoms and their life-threatening complications that affect breathing. For years, numerous medical studies have been conducted to find out the cause of allergies. Some researchers have suggested that environmental factors can cause allergies. Others have associated early exposure to specific allergens as the cause of allergies showing up later in life. While there are researchers who say that genetics can play a big role in the development of allergies. The question often asked is " Are my allergies Inherited"

In a study conducted by the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, researchers tested 58 pairs of twins for peanut allergies, which is one of the most common types of allergies affecting children and adults around the globe. In almost every pair of twins, one had a convincing history of peanut allergy. The participants were also observed for any sign and symptom of allergic reaction 60 minutes after they’ve eaten peanuts. The results of this experiment showed that almost 70 percent of the participants shared the allergy. Another interesting thing they found out was that the allergic symptoms varied from one twin to the other.

Because of the results of this study, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine claims that genetics accounts for 80 percent of the risk for peanut allergy. A group of British researchers has done a similar study on the most common types of food allergies and they say that, considering genetic and environmental factors, allergies are inherited 80 to 85 percent of the time. They also say that there is an almost 20 percent difference when genetic factors are disregarded.

But food allergy is not the only type of allergy that affects people. Asthma, for example, is a common type of allergy that is often severe and causes problems in airway and breathing. Asthma attacks can be triggered by numerous factors like animal hair, mold, dust, pollen, cigarette smoke, temperature and weather changes, air pollution and physical fatigue. Researchers used to think that environmental factors solely caused asthma attacks, but they are now considering the role genetics may play in this condition.

A study that took place in Arizona tested 344 families to determine if there is a link between genetics and asthma. The results of the study confirmed the researchers’ hypothesis that asthma can be passed from generation to generation. From families where neither parents had a history of asthma, only five percent of children suffered from asthma. In families where either the mother or the father suffered from asthma, 20 percent of children suffered from the same condition too. And in families where both of the parents had a history of asthma, nearly 70 percent of the children had asthma as well. The results show that there is a strong link between allergy and genes.

But as reported by researchers at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, genetics is not the only factor that determines whether a person will develop allergies or not. Allergies typically appear due to a combination of two or more causative agents. There are certain cases wherein environmental causes contribute more heavily to the development of an allergy, and there are other cases wherein genetics is a bigger determinant compared to other factors.
 
Personally what we see in our customers is that both genetics and environmental issues play a role in their allergies. For the time being we will concentrate on helping them clean up 

 

Wishing you the best of health

 

 

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