Do kids with allergies have better immune systems?

Posted on: Wed, 01/15/2003 - 3:19am
Sarahfran's picture
Joined: 06/08/2000 - 09:00

I have two children--my older one is allergic to peanuts and egg whites. My younger one is allergic to nothing. But my older child, on the rare occasions when she gets sick, bounces back very easily and always has--a cold that has me sick for a week or two bothers her for three days. This summer, she came down quite suddenly with pneumonia. One day she had a mild cold, that evening she was having serious breathing problems, prompting a visit to the ER. With the antibiotic they gave her, as well as the oxygen and albuterol, she was as good as new the next day. When she was a baby, it was the same thing--she'd get ear infections just like other babies in daycare, but would only have one day of discomfort and she'd be fine the next day.

My son, OTOH, seems to have the immune system of a feeble butterfly. He gets sick at the drop of a hat, his illnesses last forever, and for every single cold he's had in his 21 months of life, he's developed a secondary infection. And it always takes two rounds of antibiotics to get him better. But at least he has no allergies, huh? At this point, I'm thinking it was easier with my DD--it's simpler to avoid peanuts than it is to deal with a super-sick toddler for months on end.

So I'm just wondering if this is fairly normal among other kids with allergies--that is, does the overreactive immune system that causes allergic reactions also mean a very effective immune response to a regular virus? Or is my DD just weird in this way? I swear, between my two kids, there are two normal immune systems--but apparently, my DD got all of the immune system and my DS has none to speak of!


Posted on: Wed, 01/15/2003 - 3:32am
Rae's picture
Joined: 03/28/2000 - 09:00

I always thought it was the opposite, it is in my case. There was a thread not long ago about this - maybe someone can find it.

Posted on: Wed, 01/15/2003 - 3:42am
darthcleo's picture
Joined: 11/08/2000 - 09:00

My PA son is rarely sick now that he's out of daycare. In fact this fall and winter, none of my kids had *ANYTHING*.
Well, except my son complained of a headache at one point, and we feared meningitis, but other than that, perfect health

Posted on: Wed, 01/15/2003 - 3:46am
Rae's picture
Joined: 03/28/2000 - 09:00

[This message has been edited by Rae (edited January 15, 2003).]

Posted on: Wed, 01/15/2003 - 3:51am
Annshel's picture
Joined: 05/30/2002 - 09:00

I have always wondered this also Sarah. My DS who has multiple severe allergies is generally healthier and recovers from illnesses much quicker then my son who hasn't any allergies. It makes sense really. Their immune systems are always kicked into gear.

Posted on: Wed, 01/15/2003 - 6:10am
cynde's picture
Joined: 12/10/2002 - 09:00

I remember talking to a doctor about why my PA son gets sick more often than our nonPA daughter. I can't remember the exact reason he gave, but it made sense to me at the time. I'll wrack my brain to try to remember what he said (or even which doctor it was, we have seen so many).

Posted on: Wed, 01/15/2003 - 8:26am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I have no other children to compare Carson to, but he rarely ever gets sick. A few colds here and there, but he bounces back so fast. It amazes me.
Take Care,

Posted on: Wed, 01/15/2003 - 2:03pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Sarahfran, we're the exact opposite in our household.
My PA son is the first one to get sick. He stays sick longer. His asthma is worse. He is the picky eater. He weighs about 10 pounds at least less than his sister who is 21 months younger than him. Sadly to say, he just seems like my *sickly* (I didn't even want to say that [img][/img] ) guy.
My non-PA daughter on the other hand. She doesn't necessarily catch every virus that her brother does. Her asthma is considered reactive airway disease and you can tell that there is a difference. She is not a picky eater and weighs, as I said, at least 10 pounds more than Jesse.
Interestingly enough, and this was after Jesse was diagnosed with PA and I read about eczema and food allergies, it was my daughter that had what I guess would be considered mild eczema. I thought for sure that she was going to develop allergies.
Oh, environmental allergies. Jesse (PA) has been on a daily antihistamine for environmental allergies since he was 2-1/2 (he's now just 7) and my daugher just developed environmental allergies (and not severe or requiring meds daily) last year.
I definitely feel as though my PA child has the weaker immune system (oh, there was the flu thing too. He was hospitalized when he was 2-1/2 due to dehydration from the flu. His sister, who was only 6 months old at the time got the same flu, but not to the same degree - it's never to the same degree). I certainly don't wish Ember was sick but my soul, I wish Jesse struck me as more healthy.
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Fri, 01/17/2003 - 2:28pm
Donna's picture
Joined: 01/31/1999 - 09:00

I have four kids at home, and my pa child seems to do better with viruses, but I wonder sometimes if he is just used to feeling stuffy/congested, etc. so he doesn't complain as much. I have major allergies and chemical sensitivities and most of the time feel like I have a bad cold, so I have a hard time telling when I've got a bug. My daughter has the least allergies it seems and complains the most when a cold is going around, although she complains the most about everything! lol

Posted on: Fri, 01/17/2003 - 11:00pm
becca's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I actually was marvelling at how healthy my dd was with the ped one time. I was remarking on how healthy she was, despite a horrible diet(I do try to make it better to no avail), and so funny she should have these allergies. He remarked that there is some suggestion the allergic kids have strong immune systems and fight things off quickly, but also fight off things they should not, simply put.
However, let me just say that theory has gone right out the window now that she is in her first year of preschool. She has had bronchitis, ear infections twice, antibiotics for these 3 illnesses, and other colds in between! Coughing her head off as I type. I suppose she had to get these things eventually, to "build the immunity " as they say. I must say, though, once treated, she rebounded to her chipper self within a day, and is generally in good spirits and energetic and rarely has had high fevers if at all.
So, not sure now! becca

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