Can Food Allergies Go Away?

Food allergies can go away depending on the age of onset and their type.

Soy, wheat, milk, and egg allergies begin in childhood and may be outgrown, but tree nut, peanut, and shellfish (especially in adults) allergies are lifelong. Children may outgrow food allergies by the time they enter preschool, while cases that show up in adulthood tend to persist.

Food Allergy Facts

Food allergy is your immune system’s abnormal response to a specific food. After ingesting the allergen or the food that you are allergic to, your body will trigger symptoms ranging from mild to severe such as rashes, vomiting, itching of your mouth or lips, difficulty breathing, and/or fainting. It affects both children and adults.

Common Food Allergies

The eight most common allergenic foods are:

  • Cow’s milk
  • Soy
  • Eggs
  • Tree nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Shellfish
  • Wheat
  • Fish

Individuals allergic to these foods may experience different symptoms that range from mild hives to life-threatening conditions like a sudden drop in blood pressure, difficulty breathing, or anaphylaxis.

Food Allergies in Children

Below are three of the most common food allergies in children that may eventually go away.

1. Cow’s Milk Allergy

Lactose sensitivity resolves in 42% of children by age 8, 64% by age 12, and 79% by age 16. We can see the same resolution rates in children’s soy allergy and wheat allergy.

2. Egg Allergy

Approximately 12% of children outgrow their egg allergy by age 6, 37% by age 10, and 68% by age 16. Recent studies suggest consuming baked eggs (if allowed by the paediatrician) can help speed up this process.

3. Peanut Allergy

Only about 20% of children with peanut allergy will outgrow it. If the child’s parent or sibling has a peanut allergy, the child has a higher risk for developing it.

Food Allergies in Adults

Even adults can develop food allergies, and these two are the most common.

1. Fruit and Vegetable Allergies

Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS) or pollen-food syndrome is caused by the cross-reactivity of allergens present in pollen and raw fruits, vegetables and nuts. The immune system of individuals with OAS triggers a reaction after recognising the pollen and proteins in the food. But once the foods have been cooked, an allergic reaction is unlikely.

If you are allergic to the pollen of the plant and season listed on the left column, you may have a higher risk for an allergic reaction if you eat the foods on the right column in their raw form:

  • Birch tree (spring) – Peach, apple, pear, kiwi, plum, fennel, parsley, celery, cherry, carrot, walnuts, and almonds
  • Grasses (late spring) – Melons, oranges, and tomatoes
  • Ragweed (between late summer and early winter) – Banana, cucumber, cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew, zucchini
  • Latex (all-year round) – Banana, avocado, kiwi, chestnut, and papaya

2. Meat Allergy

This condition is also caused by cross-reactivity, but it involves allergens from animals rather than plants. Until recently, meat allergy was virtually unknown, especially in adults. But since 2000, researchers have cited cases of anaphylaxis in people who had previously eaten beef, pork, lamb, and venison with no repercussions. Many of the reactions occurred as long as five hours after dinner, which made it more difficult for the patients and their doctors to identify the allergen.

Managing Your Food Allergies

Living with a food allergy may pose some challenges, particularly during social gatherings, but with enough preparation and self-discipline, it shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your life to the fullest. Get support from your family and friends, discover new and healthy food alternatives, and work with a food allergist, dietitian or nutritionist to help you go through life, allergic-reaction free.

Need Our Help?

Book an appointment with an accredited dietitian or nutritionist by phone on (07) 3071-7405 between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday or send us an enquiry. Alternatively, discover how we can help you manage your food intolerances, allergies and sensitivities.