As we age, our bodies go through numerous changes, including changes in our immune system. One significant change that some adults experience is developing food allergies. This can come as a surprise to many, as they may have enjoyed certain foods for years without any problems. So why do we develop food allergies as adults?
Firstly, it’s important to understand what a food allergy is. A food allergy is an immune system response to a protein in a particular food that the body mistakenly identifies as harmful. When this happens, the body releases chemicals such as histamine, which can cause a range of symptoms, from mild itching to life-threatening anaphylaxis.
One reason adults may develop food allergies is due to a change in their gut bacteria. Studies have shown that the bacteria in our gut play a crucial role in the development and regulation of our immune system. As we age, our gut microbiome can change, and this can affect how our immune system responds to certain foods.
Another reason for developing food allergies as an adult is due to a phenomenon known as “oral allergy syndrome.” This occurs when the body mistakes proteins in certain raw fruits and vegetables for pollen. This can trigger an allergic reaction, particularly in people with seasonal allergies.
Stress can also play a role in the development of food allergies. When we are stressed, our body releases a hormone called cortisol, which can make our immune system more sensitive. This can make us more susceptible to allergic reactions.
Some people may have had a mild sensitivity to a particular food that they were previously able to tolerate, but over time, their sensitivity has increased, leading to a full-blown allergy.
In conclusion, there are several reasons why adults may develop food allergies. Changes in gut bacteria, oral allergy syndrome, stress, and increased sensitivity to certain foods are all factors that can contribute to the development of food allergies in adulthood. If you suspect that you may have a food allergy, it’s essential to speak to your doctor or an allergist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.