Growing Up Allergic, Plus

Maybe I’m a problemed individual?

Growing up with both severe allergies and asthma, I went to the hospital at least 6 times before the age of 6 because I either ate something I was allergic to or because I couldn’t catch my breath. While “everyone’s got issues,” I’ve got issues to deal with on a daily basis–no matter what. But maybe I’m not the only one with health problems that are on the defense at all times? After recently reading an Everyday Health article, which has both interesting yet mostly obvious suggestions for anyone who already understands asthma, I was told of ways asthmatics should deal with breathing issues in cold climates, I found myself asking myself questions. Who else is in my shoes? Is this a situation of what came first–the chicken or the egg? Like, are these diseases related?

Thankfully Google came to the rescue. What I discovered, without getting too technical, is that about 5 years ago scientists discovered that persons who genetically lacked filaggrin (a protein found in the outer layers of one’s skin) almost always have severe asthma. Lack of filaggrin is a genetic defect that decreases the skins ability to keep “foreign organisms [like irritants and allergens] out.”  I then went on to learn that “one in five of all peanut allergy sufferers has a Filaggrin defect.”

Essentially, my questions were answered after 10 minutes. Whether or not my quick search is the all-mighty truth, that asthma and peanut allergies often come as a pair, I believe there’s a reason I have both in such a severe way.  And clearly I’m not alone, poor kiddos!  Maybe one day a little tiny pill or the snap of one’s fingers will magically fix it all. But until then all we can continue to do is understand and monitor it as best as we can.

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One comment

  1. juli · January 11, 2012

    hey sam it’s juli 🙂 write a post for all of us non-allergy peeps about how they conduct allergy tests! i have always been curious about what they do to test your tolerance of something without actually exposing you to it

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