Food Allergies Can Lead to Asthma

Children consuming eggs, milk, wheat, and nuts may develop asthma

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) The beginning of the allergy march in babies and young children may originate from food allergies. Food allergies often begin in babies as early as three months old. 

The first food allergies for babies are often eggs and milk. In fact, before the age of three, up to 37 percent of children test positively for milk and egg white sensitivity. The rate of egg white and milk sensitivity after three years old plummets, indicating children eventually "outgrow" these food allergies.

"Foods allergies may predict asthma later in life."

In the U.S., peanuts and tree nuts are the most common cause of fatal and near-fatal allergic reactions from food. Approximately 30% of children 5 years and older develop peanut allergies. In fact, peanuts are the most common source of food sensitization in children 6 to18 years of age, and 25 percent of children in this age group have peanut allergies. 

As children grow from 5 to 10 years of age, wheat allergies generally arrive. The incidence of wheat allergies increase slowly and surely as patients grow up to be 10-year-olds. At this point, 23 percent of tested children have wheat allergies. After the age of 10, this rate of wheat allergies gradually declines, indicating some people can eventually outgrow this allergy. In fact, by the age of 12, the incidence of wheat allergies has diminished to 8 percent of the children.

While food allergies decline after the age of eight, children then enter the world of environmental allergens. House dust mites, cats, dogs, and ragweed allergies start popping up in children around the age of eight and can stay prevalent in some people through their 40's. Mold allergens, however usually stay prevalent from 8 to 12 years of age.  

For many patients, the end of allergy march is asthma, with allergy-induced asthma its most common form. The inflammation in the lungs caused by food and environmental allergies lead to asthma. Continually exposing oneself to allergies can trigger a chronic form of inflammation called chronic allergies. Patients with asthma have more allergies.

Allergies Across America's Recommendations:

  • Minimize exposure to environmental allergens as they may exacerbate asthma
  • Minimize exposure to indoor allergens as they may exacerbate asthma
Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
June 2, 2011
Last Updated:
June 6, 2011