Are Food Allergies Caused By Genetics? - Sensitivity Check Australia

At first glance, food allergies seem to be random. Some people in families have serious ones, and others are skipped over entirely and are allergy-free. Realistically speaking, though, allergies are thought to be related to genetic in a lot of cases. If there is a direct relation to someone who has a food allergy, it can put a child more at risk. The symptoms don’t always have to be genetic, though. The parent could be dealing with runny eyes and congestion, whereas the child could always be tired or dealing with aching joints. All of these symptoms could be from a genetically-linked food allergy.


Are you always tired? Could be an allergy

Often, fatigue is associated with a food intolerance, but it could be a sign of a food allergy as well. If a parent has a food allergy, there is now building research to suggest that there is a strong link between specific genes and the development of food allergies as infants, children or even adults.

Experts can agree that the environment in which you grow up can determine whether or not you develop a food allergy. A proper, diverse diet with regulated amounts of many food groups is important for helping infants develop strong tolerances against allergic tendencies and other issues such as food intolerances. This is especially important if a parent has a food allergy, as it is possible to pass it on to their child within their genes.


So, are allergies genetic?

There is still a lot of science to be done to help understand the connection between genes and food allergies. The suspected gene that could lead scientists to more information is called “EMSY.” When this specific gene is monitored, it can help experts understand which children are more at risk of developing food allergies than others. This gene (the amounts of the gene, that is) is thought to be connected to the development of food allergies. The higher it is in the child, the higher the likelihood of developing an allergy.

Parents pass down genes to their children and this EMSY gene is one of them. It’s already been connected conclusively to issues such as eczema or asthma — which are thought to be closely related to food allergies —but there is still a lot to be understood about how it connects to food allergies.


EMSY doesn’t guarantee a food allergy

There is still a lot of work to be done, as mentioned. Just because you have somewhat high levels of EMSY — and is always tired or prone to runny eyes — doesn’t mean that you are definitely going to develop a food allergy. It just means that you could be at a higher risk of developing them. In the future, it’s hoped that it can be used to help point out potential risks in children when both parents have higher levels of the same gene. Proper screening of the child could include making sure that regular allergy testing, as well as proper environmental exposure, is part of their infancy and childhood to help reduce the severity of food allergies.

The final thought is that food allergies can definitely be genetic and inherited from parent to child, but the extent and certainty of this still needs further. So, if you notice your child is always tired, it could be a hidden food allergy passed down from genes.

This article was written by Kate, our Lab Manager

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