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Will my child outgrow his food allergy?

The good news is that most children “outgrow” allergies to milk, egg, wheat, and soy. We used to think these would resolve by age 5 years for over 85% of children. Recent studies suggest that it may be taking longer, sometimes into adolescence. Some food allergies are more persistent. About 20% of young children will resolve a peanut allergy by school age, and tree nut allergies resolve for about 10%. Allergy to fish and shellfish is also persistent, but can sometimes resolve, probably for about 10%. Allergy tests sometimes provide additional insights on whether an allergy is likely to resolve. It is very important to have your child evaluated by a Board Certified Allergist-Immunologist to confirm a suspected food allergy and to monitor for possible resolution of the allergy. Never test to see if an allergy has been outgrown by trying to feed your child the food at home because a dangerous reaction could occur! Speak to your doctor. 

 

Studies show that most children outgrow their food allergies -- but it depends on the type of food in question, age of the child and intervening medical history. About 85% of children who are allergic to milk and eggs usually tolerate those foods somewhere between ages 5 and 10. However, peanut and tree nuts are much more persistent, with only 20% of children developing tolerance to peanuts. In adults, shellfish is a very persistent food allergy. Most allergists perform annual follow-up testing for patients with food allergies and then decide on the course of action -- usually a food challenge in the office if the patient’s testing is negative.
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In general, most children will outgrow their allergies in early childhood. By the age of 5, 80% to 90% of children will outgrow their wheat, milk, egg and soya allergies. However, only 20% of peanut allergies are outgrown. Nuts and seafood allergies tend not to be outgrown. A food challenge test can be done in a healthcare provider's office under supervision.
Vandana  R. Sheth
Nutrition & Dietetics
According to the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network "Most children outgrow their food allergies to milk, eggs, soy and wheat, by the time they are 10 years old.  Allergies to peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish are however lifelong.  However, studies have shown that 20% of children may outgrow their allergies to peanutd and 10% outgrow their allergies to treenuts."

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.