Can A Person Outgrow Their Food Allergies? Here’s What Experts Have To Say

Allergic reactions occur in the body when the immune system guarding our body’s biology gets triggered after a foreign entity enters it. The immune system rapidly creates immunoglobulin E antibodies, which, after binding to your various organs, release histamine on detecting foreign elements.

Food allergies occur when your body’s immune system considers or mistakenly treats proteins contained in various foods as foreign elements. Food allergies are as life-threatening as they are common and can happen with eatables such as milk, eggs, peanuts, fish, etc.

Food allergies are believed to be a long-lasting phenomenon that prevents a person from having that particular food for almost all their lives. However, cases have emerged where people have managed to successfully outgrow their food allergies. The outgrowth can occur at various stages of life, including when a person is a toddler.

Dr Suven Kalra, ENT (Ear Nose Throat) consultant, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, in an interview with the Indian Express, explained how infants absorb immunoglobulins and imbibe ready-made antibodies from their mother’s milk. This process is known as pinocytosis, or cell drinking.

However, sometimes, during infancy, some allergy-causing proteins get absorbed in the infant’s guts before getting digested or getting broken down into amino acids. “As a part of the normal growth process, a child’s reliance on readymade antibodies from the mother decreases, and this pinocytosis stops. Hence the child outgrows her allergy,” said Dr Kalra.

According to Dr Kalra, there are other methods using which one can finally be free of their allergies. One such method is oral immunotherapy which mirrors the process of micro-dosing. In this process, a person is given the same food they are allergic to but in small amounts.

After a substantial period of time, their body’s immune system gets de-sensitised, and the person is able to outgrow their allergy. However, this method is performed with the supervision of experts since there can, sometimes, be severe reactions that may need immediate medical attention.

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