Are Allergies Hereditary or Acquired?

Are allergies genetic? Yes, allergies can be passed down through your family via your genetic makeup. Studies have shown that children are more likely to develop allergies if one of their parents has allergies. The numbers go up when both parents have allergies. However, not all allergies come from genetics. 

Before we further explain the answer to “are allergies inherited or acquired?” let’s go over what allergies are, how they happen, and why people suffer from them.

What Are Allergies?

Allergies are a response from your immune system to allergens in your vicinity. This reaction is often an overreaction and an abnormal response to allergens found in plants, dust, foods, and medicines. Your body overreacts to these allergens as a defense mechanism because your immune system sees them as a threat. There are a few types of common allergies:

  • Food allergies: Milk, wheat, nuts, and shellfish are some common examples of food allergies.
  • Airborne allergies: This could be dust, pollen, or pet dander. These types of allergens are usually seasonal.
  • Medicines and chemical allergies: Some antibiotics or over-the-counter medications can cause adverse reactions. Similarly, detergents, makeups, and lotions can make people break out in hives.
  • Insect bites and stings: Some inflammation is common for bites or stings, but sometimes the reaction is more serious. 

Common symptoms of allergies include:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Nasal discharge
  • Red, watering eyes
  • Scratchy ears
  • Headaches

Allergens can be found all over your daily environment, whether inside, outside, or something you eat. Symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening. It’s also important to watch for what triggers your and your children’s allergies so you can pinpoint the allergen.

How Are Allergies and Genes Connected?

The ability to develop allergies is often hereditary. It can be passed down from parents to their children, but this isn’t always the case. And, if a child does develop allergies, they might not be the same ones. Instead, just the probability of developing allergies is passed on genetically.

If one parent has allergies — of any type — their child will have a 50% chance of beings susceptible to allergies. When both parents have allergies, that likelihood increases to 75%.

So, can allergies be genetic? Yes. The gene for developing allergies is commonly passed from parents to children. There’s a 50-50 chance if you have allergies, your child will, too. But, their allergies could be toward completely different allergens than your allergies. And, there’s also a 50-50 chance they won’t develop allergies at all.

How Can Immuno Labs Help?

If you suspect you or your child has allergies, the best thing to do is get tested because, yes, allergies can be passed down. And, if you have allergies, there is a good chance that your child will, too. 

At Immuno Labs, we offer a range of tests to determine specific allergies and environmental triggers. We have specialized tests for both environmental and food sensitivities. These tests can help improve your day-to-day life and diagnose any underlying conditions. Our goal is to help you understand your body and how it reacts to the world around it.

Talk to our team of specialists today to learn more about our tests, including our Bloodprint® Panels and IgE Panels.