Are Allergies Hereditary ???

14 replies [Last post]
By eddiec on Tue, 07-13-99, 15:33

Hi everyone. Does anyone have any info on this subject. Upon browsing thru this site and some of the links, I have not run across this yet. At the age of 27 ( 12 yrs. ago ) I was vacationing in FLA and had a reaction to sea scallops. This was the first time I had tried them and I loved them. Approx 2-3 hours later I started to get itchy all over and noticed some small hives and redness. In a short period of time I was literally covered from head to toe with hives. Some looked like I had baseballs and golf balls under my skin. Other than the hives and extreme itchiness there was no other symptoms. The local health center gave me some kind of antihisamine(I don't remember what). When I got home I went for a skin prick test and tested positive to every substance they used. I was given a script for Seldane and used it for several years to help with the hives. I still got hives on a regular basis even tho I was avoiding all seafood. It was impossible to determine what was causeing my hives. Each year after my initial reaction the severity of my reactions decreased. After 7 seven years I had no recurrence of hives and have not had any since. I have since eaten seafood and scallops w/o any reaction. Since learning of my son's PB allergy and allergies in general from this site and it's links, I avoid seafood now because you never know !

[This message has been edited by eddiec (edited July 13, 1999).]

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By Christine on Tue, 07-13-99, 18:09

Yes, allergies are hereditary but not specific allergies. It works like this (as explained by my allergiest). I have seasonal hayfever (very mild) and a cat allergy and my husband has eczema (which is thought to be an allergic-type condition). If my husband and I have four children, only one out of four will possibly be allergy-free. We have two children. One is allergy-free (so far) and my son has a peanut/egg/dust mite/mold/grass/tree allergy along with eczema! Neither my husband nor I have any known food allergies. So, the predisposition to become allergic is inherited from the parents; however, there is no way to tell what type of allergy will surface.
Christine

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By eddiec on Tue, 07-13-99, 19:57

Christine, Thanks for your reply. You have kind of confirmed my suspicions of the hereditary factor. When you stated that that one of your two children is allergy free (SO FAR)it kind of threw me for a loop. We also have two children. Our oldest daughter(Alexis - 3 1/2 ) is also allergy free and I really had'nt given any thought to the possiblity of her having some type of food allergy. I guess a lot of my energy has been going toward keeping our son (Eric - 22 mon) safe. It is too much for me to think of her developing a food allergy also. I will try to put that possibility out of mind and concentrate on what I can control. If we don't end up in the funny farm it will be a minor miracle. But I digress. Thanks again for the info.

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By on Tue, 07-13-99, 20:39

Eddie,

Like Christine, I have an 8 year old daughter with no allergies at all (that we are aware of) and my son, age 5, is allergic to peanuts, eggs, dust mites, has allergic rhinitis (hayfever), previously had eczema, and outgrew his milk allergy.

My husband has Eczema and 4 out of 6 siblings have asthma.

I would recommend you looking into the Food Allergy Network (FAN) at [url="http://www.foodallergy.org"]www.foodallergy.org[/url] and doing exactly what you are doing now and printing out everything you can get your hands on and keeping a notebook. I'm on Volume III and growing steadily. It doesn't matter if you are new to this allergy, or an "oldtimer", you can never have too much information!

I wish you and your family luck!

Stay Safe!

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By Christine on Tue, 07-13-99, 22:55

Eddie,
The reason I say "yet" in reference to my daughter (who has no allergies) is that, at the age of 8, I really don't expect her to develop any food allergies at this point; however, it would not surprise me if she did develop some of the environmental allergies (pollens, dust mites, etc) at some point in her life. So while I consider her to be my "allergy free" child right now, I almost betting it won't last. Between me and my husband, I think our offspring are doomed. I think the REALLY tell-tale sign of "passing on" an allergy is if one of parents has eczema. That seems to be a BIG indicator of TROUBLE!!!! I only really mean this in a humorous way but I think I'm going to tell my daughter to check all her possible "husbands" out for eczema!
Christine

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By CathyT on Wed, 07-14-99, 00:13

Eddie,

I am a PA mom with one allergy free (so far) son, and one with PA. My allergists have told me that there is a slightly stronger tendency to inherit allergies from the maternal side. They also had told me, no joking, to try not to have children with anyone that had allergies! My husband has no allergies. Where my PA came from is a mystery. They have also told me that I did not specifically pass down a "PA" gene; however, as peanuts are one of the more common food allergies, it was very likely that should a child of mine develop any allergies, a food allergy would go along with it. Take all this with a grain of salt, some of my best drs. have admitted to me that there is so much they don't know regarding allergies.

__________________

CathyT

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By dhumphries on Wed, 07-14-99, 01:39

Eddie,

Just wanted to give you my family background. I had asthma as a child, my husband has now developed asthma and hayfever, my mother and brother have eczema, my niece has eczema and hayfever, my 22 year old daughter has hayfever, my 6 yr old daughter is so far allergy free, and my son has pa and eczema. So, I guess my children were destined to have some sort of allergy. My 6 yr old has so far been lucky in not developing any allergies.

I would agree that the eczema thing seems to have some sort of link with p.a. My allergist has not told me this, but from reading so many posts from other parents, it seems that most p.a. kids have or have had some sort of skin problems also.

Stay Safe, Deb

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By Alan JACKSON on Mon, 08-02-99, 22:17

I'm allergic to pennicillin as was my father. I've wondered whether my daughter's peanut allergy could have stemmed from a hereditary defect. Would anything be gained by parents posting their particular allergies with the thought that a common factor might emerge?

Alan

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By MaryLynn on Tue, 08-03-99, 14:33

Alan, Trey not to consider an allergy to be a "defect" that gets passed along. Allergies are a result of an overactive imune system. Your body is always on the look out for possible harmfull substances.

As to a link between what we as parents are allergic to and what are kids are allergic to...I don't think you are going to find anything conclussive, nor does my allergist.

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By DebO on Wed, 08-04-99, 02:31

Hi

I just wanted to mention that I participated in a genetic study last year here in Canada with some doctors who are searching for an "asthma" gene. Me, my asthmatic sister and father as well as our non-asthmatic mother all gave blood samples for DNA analysis as did numerous other families from across Canada. I don't know when the results will be out, though! By the way, my son is also a severe asthmatic but was too young to participate in the study.

__________________

[B]**ENRICHED**{/B}

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By brenda on Sat, 08-07-99, 20:26

Alan, funny you should mention the penicillin allergy. My dtr is pa and the only allergies in the family history is mine (and my mother) to amoxicillin (same drug family as penicillin) . However, I don't know the statistics on how common penicillin/antibiotic alleries are (I presume they are a common allergy) and there probably isn't a correlation--but its interesting.

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By rebgaby on Tue, 08-10-99, 19:06

Here's a good one for you. My parents both have hayfever and cat allergy. They have 8 kids. The oldest are identical twins, me and my sister. We are 44. I have peanut allergy, from age 18 months, and asthma from childhood, and cat allergy, but not hayfever or any other food allergies. My identical twin (we have been shown to be identical by a blood test done by a twin study) is NOT allergic to peanuts, but does have hayfever and has developed LATEX allergy. Her daughter has asthma, just like mine. My daughter is only two, but so far has shown no allergies or asthma at all, although I haven't tried peanuts on her yet!

The rest of our siblings have cat allergy and some hayfever, and 2 others have mild asthma. As has been said above, the tendency towards allergies is passed on, but not the specific allergy itself.

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By Anna on Wed, 08-11-99, 15:18

Well, I'll add my 2 cents here, because my family is an assemblage of atopy in all its forms. [img]http://client.ibboards.com/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

I'm PA, with other anaphylactic food allergies including tree nuts and sesame. I've developed new allergies in the past 12 months, which include fish (which I've been eating all my life with no problem), eggs, tomatoes (argh!), zucchini, beans, and possibly soy and peas. My allergist doesn't know what to do with me.

I'm also asthmatic (severe asthma as a kid, but now much better), and have seasonal hayfever. Also allergic to dogs, mold, dust & penicillin.

My father was asthmatic as a child, and is allergic to mold (including moldy cheeses such as Blue Cheese & Gruyere), dogs, and is anaphylactic to fish.

My mom has hayfever. However, for the first time last week, she developed hives after eating peanuts. (She's in her 50s.) Her mother (allergy free until her 70s) began experiencing throat tightness after eating peanuts a couple of years ago.

My sister is allergic to peas, but has no other allergies save for hayfever.

My brother isn't allergic to any foods, but has hayfever and is allergic to dust and mold.

My husband has hayfever and eczema. We're newlyweds, and you can imagine the decision before us. Is atopy hereditary? Yes. If you already have an allergic child, you do the best you can, *but* if you're in my position and know that it's likely you'll have an allergic child (though the specific allergy and severity is unknown), the question becomes: Is it ethical to have children?

Still, I deal with my severe allergies every day, and I'm glad I'm on this planet. Why should I deprive my unborn children of the privilege? [img]http://client.ibboards.com/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Best,

Anna

[This message has been edited by Anna (edited August 11, 1999).]

[This message has been edited by Anna (edited August 11, 1999).]

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By rebgaby on Wed, 08-11-99, 17:09

Anna, just wanted to let you know that I have terrible atopy and my daughter, who is two, hasn't shown any signs of anything yet. I have high hopes for her. My husband is also very allergic, he gets hives when a dog licks him!

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By Anna on Wed, 08-11-99, 21:09

rebgaby--

Thanks. [img]http://client.ibboards.com/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] It's good to hear this about your daughter. I hope she remains free of allergies on a permanent basis.

Best,

Anna

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