Tummy Trouble; Part I- Late On-set Allergies

The world’s oldest woman, Nabi Tajima of Kikai, in the Southern tip of Japan, just passed away at 117. She is survived by a robust family that extended through titles like “great-great-great” and an even more extended family of researchers and doctors who were fascinated with her genealogical makeup. It makes me wonder what did she eat? What did her day look like for those 117 years? Did the environment have any impact on her centennial lifespan? How did doctors approach her as she past 100?

Medical Advancements in Aging Mean More Services

As the population over the age of 60 grows and needs change, so will health care services. This new age “health care” picture will include a variety of new specialty and focus areas. Upcoming doctors can practice regular medicine as well as specialize in a very specific area of the body. Unfortunately, as people age into their 60’s and 70’s, they’re also aging into various health ailments. There is a focus on changes in climate and how the aging population is adapting to those changes as they age.

Late on-set allergies are on the rise due to a couple of potential factors. The location of a person and environmental changes within the area. Many individuals are living with coexisting health issues and prescribed multiple medications that alter their genetic chemistry. Also, gut immunity changes as people age. As a result, we see older individuals complaining of mild to severe allergic reactions to items they never had issues with in the past.  

Medical Advancements

The way we age looks better than ever! Each medical advancement in pharmaceutical therapies and treatments can add days and even years to a person’s timeline. Promising therapies grant more people extended life throughout their golden years. The idea is to age well AND to age with less disease activity of any form. Today, people are able to survive diseases once considered deadly upon diagnosis; including allergic reactions to common foods. 

Late On-Set Food Allergies

In the past, most allergy studies have been done in young children. Unfortunately, cases of youth allergies have gotten worse, and now adult on-set allergies are on the rise. Many studies in youth show an allergy co-occurrence with those who have asthma or eczema. Studies have shifted into aging populations because the rates of people with allergies later in life is on the rise, yet there is not enough research out there supporting the reasons why. The most common trigger items still seem to be milk, eggs, tree nuts, and shellfish. Most cases still have to be diagnosed through medical testing. One thing for certain, there are differences in food allergies vs. food intolerance. One needing medical testing and diagnosis, and the other can be detected through food elimination tracking and a GI doctor’s guidance. 

Image result for asthma and allergies

Food allergies that develop later in life are actually pretty strange. A person can be fine, fine, fine fine, then BAM! They’re not fine and rolling into the hospital unable to breath after eating a shrimp cocktail. Allergic reactions can be mild to severe. The idea is to get care as soon and possible and also know the signs. 

Some common signs of food allergies are:

-Hives or rash

-Redness or swelling

-Nausea or vomiting

-Trouble breathing

-Throat closing or tightening in the chest

-Trouble swallowing, wheezing, or lose of consciousness 

As always, be sure to talk to your doctor if you begin to notice any strange symptoms after eating a specific food or food group. 



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