Who in your family should be tested? This is an important question. Often family allergy goes unrecognised and untreated.
Did you know that:
- Common allergy symptoms are feeling “sick, tired and grumpy”. Food allergy can cause eczema, tummy ache and behaviour issues.
- Family allergy members often go undiagnosed. So, if someone is effected in your family, then look out for other relations who might have similar problems.
- 1 in 3 people have allergy issues. Most just put up with it. But so much can be done to help these people get better.
- Accurate tests are available to diagnose allergy. But most medical professionals do not do allergy tests, or even refer patients for allergy/ intolerance tests. In my experience, even ENT (ears/nose throat/ laryngologists doctors are reluctant to test for environmental (pollens, pets and dust mite) allergy.
- Food intolerance affects 1 in 5 people. Foods cause a lot of ill health.
- Gluten sensitivity affects 1-in-10 people. That is a huge number. Gluten-sensitivity (also called gluten-related disorder) runs in families. There is a genetic predisposition that get passed on.
- Celiac disease affects 1 in 100 people – so test all family members. This is because there is a 10% risk of other family members being effected. Everyone in the immediate family should be tested for their gene type (DQ2 and DQ8 HLA genes) – and then followed by blood tests every few years if this genetic precipitin is detected.
- A child is much more likely to develop allergies if their parents have allergies. For example, if both parents have eczema, then there is an 80% chance of their children having eczema as well.
What are the chances of being affected?
If one parent has allergies, the child has about a 20% risk of developing allergies.
This risk is doubled (40% risk) if both parents have allergies.
If both parents have the same allergy (for instance if they both have eczema), then their children have a 70% risk of having the same allergy.
Children from non-atopic (non-allergic) families still have a 12% risk of developing an allergy.
Other factors that may promote allergies. These include:
- Birth by caesarean section
- Frequent courses of antibiotics
- Coming from a smaller family (with just one or two children)
- Passive cigarette smoke inhalation.
- Early introduction of cow’s milk proteins.
- The baby’s environment during the first year is also important. Early exposure to dust mites, pollens, pets and certain foods (especially cow’s milk) increases the likelihood of becoming allergic.
You are invited to have a “virtual” consultation at The eClinic for your family.
This gives your own health practitioner guidance about what tests to order, and how to interpret their results.
It is a good idea to get properly tested and help your family uncover any missed family allergy/ intolerance problems.