You Just Never Know for Sure with Allergies

By staff

“We see allergic tendencies much more common in children than adults, and nobody really knows exactly why that is. The reality is, we can’t quite understand the aging process of the immune system, but it seems to change.” (Mark Millard)

This quote appeared the other day on Beyond Allergy as the “quote of the day”, and I just really love it for a couple of reasons. First, it is so true. Secondly, it shows the mystery that allergies still hold. There is so much we know about allergies, but still so much that is unexplained, unpredictable.

Why do children have so many more allergies than adults? Why do they have so many allergies now than 20, 40 years ago? Is it really that children have more allergies than adults, or that each generation has more allergies? You hear all kinds of reasons for this, from the over cleanliness we impose on our children to if we have animals in the house to what we eat as pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, even breastfeeding itself.

And why do some people grow out of them and some don’t? I know of plenty of adults who have allergies that have kicked in as adults. My one friend can’t eat any foods with pits (avocados, peaches, plums) without her mouth itching and lips swelling, though she enjoyed these foods well into her twenties. I remember getting rashes from my jewelry while I was pregnant. Since then, I can’t wear gold on my ring finger or I have a perfect red rash around my finger. I thought it was just a pregnancy thing, but it has never gone, but just on that one finger. Someone explain that one to me!

What about my husband’s odd allergic reaction? When he was a kid he had certain allergies that caused certain reactions that have changed over the years to manifest in different ways. He still has never figured out some of the things he is allergic to, yet can instinctively feel a reaction coming on.

We know lots of families whose babies have grown out of their food allergies as they grew out of babyhood, but still some hold onto them. Are they going to be more susceptible to gaining some new allergy as they reach adulthood? Do they need to be more wary throughout their lives?

Allergies seem to be a mystery. If you even know what it is you are allergic to, you still can’t be sure of the reaction you may have. Maybe it will never happen again, maybe it will, maybe it will be something different. That is one reason I continue to get my daughter’s Epipen prescription refilled each year, even though she completed successful NAET. You just never know!

- Heather Legg

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