Food allergies often seem to run in families, but it isn’t always possible to predict who will be affected. However, new research is helping to reveal the hereditary aspects of food allergies by identifying genes that are associated with particular allergies. Understanding the causes of food allergies could one day help private paediatricians and other specialists in London to treat them.
A Genetic Marker for Food Allergies
The research recently published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology looked at millions of genetic markers to find ones that were linked with particular conditions. One particularly interesting gene variant, known as EMSY, was found to be associated with food allergies. It appeared more often in people who had allergies than in those who were unaffected. The EMSY gene could play a role in making the immune system react to certain foods, although other factors such as early exposure to potential allergens will also play a role in the development of food allergies.
The same gene has previously been linked to both eczema and asthma, two conditions which are often found in families that are affected by food allergies. The research could therefore help to reveal more about the links between these conditions, as well as providing important information for the management of food allergies.
Treating Food Allergies Now and in the Future
The most common food allergies treated by private paediatricians in London include peanuts, milk, fish and shellfish, wheat, soy and eggs. Although many children will grow out of these allergies, some will persist into adulthood. Managing an allergy can be tricky, but once the cause has been identified it is possible to avoid it by taking some extra precautions with food.
Although your private paediatrician in London can’t yet offer a genetic test to find out if your child has an allergy, this kind of research could one day lead to improved diagnosis and treatment. The more we understand about food allergies in children, the better we will be able to manage them.