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Food Allergy Triggers for the Elderly

Homecare in Chicago IL: Food Allergy Triggers for the Elderly

Homecare in Chicago IL: Food Allergy Triggers for the Elderly

Many people think that by the late stages of life, there are no more surprises in terms of allergies. If your elderly loved one was going to be allergic to something, they would have shown signs of an allergic reaction long before now, right?


As we age, our body changes. Our immune system ages and becomes less effective at fighting off threats. This means that some allergens that never used to bother us when we were younger might suddenly become a problem when we are older, resulting in late-onset allergies.

Knowing, this, though, what can you do? You can’t really predict if someone will suddenly develop an allergy, so how can you plan for it in advance?

Unfortunately, like so many things in life, you really can’t. What you can do, though, is make sure that you and your loved one’s home care aide are aware of some of the most common causes of food allergies in the elderly.

Here is a list of some of the types of foods that have been known to cause these allergies:

  • Top Allergy-causing Foods – There are seven main foods that have the highest incidence of causing food allergies in not just the elderly, but in people of any age. These seven foods are: eggs, fish (including shellfish), milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and wheat.
  • Foods Associated with Latex Allergies – If your loved one has or has recently developed an allergy to the rubber latex material, they may also be allergic to several fruits and vegetables. This is called Latex-Fruit Syndrome, and is often linked to bananas, avocados, kiwis, peaches, potatoes, tomatoes, and bell peppers.
  • Foods Associated with Pollen – Sometimes, if a person has an allergy to pollen, ragweed, birch, or other outdoor allergies, they may also have an allergic reaction when they consume certain plant-based foods. This is because these foods may have come into contact with the pollen they are allergic to at some point during either the growth process or the process of delivering them to the store where they were purchased. These are usually fruits and vegetables such as apples, peaches, plums, carrots, tomatoes, melons, zucchini, tomatoes, and bananas. Some nuts can have the same effect, though, such as almonds and hazelnuts.
  • Lactose – Milk, yogurt, and other dairy products are often the cause of maldigestion, meaning that they body isn’t able to absorb and process these substances as well as it should. It is completely possible to be completely fine all of your life, and suddenly become lactose intolerant as an older adult.

If your loved one has not exhibited any symptoms of food allergies up until this point, they are probably safe to eat all these things. If they do develop food allergies, though, you or their home care aide can easily deal with it by making adjustments to the meals you cook for them each day. Food allergies are fortunately something that is manageable, but if you notice that your loved one is having a severe allergic reaction, get them to a doctor as soon as possible.



About Lenora Alabi, Branch Manager

Lenora Alabi, Branch Manager

Lenora Alabi, Branch Manager

Lenora Alabi graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Millikin University in Decatur, IL. Prior to joining the BrightStar Care team, Lenora taught pharmacy related courses as the Lead Instructor for the Pharmacy Technician Program at Everest College for six years, helping to prepare students for careers in pharmacy. She was also the Program Manager for the Massage Therapy Program at Everest.

Lenora joined the BrightStar Care Family in 2015 as a Customer Care Manager where she excelled and made a significant impact on customers and staff through her passion in delivering a higher standard of care. Lenora became Branch Manager in 2016 and she continues to exhibit that same passion by ensuring that the highest quality care is provided to all clients and families. She also works diligently to ensure that the BrightStar Care core values are a meaningful part of every activity. “The standards are impeccable, and BrightStar Care is a company that works endlessly to ensure that customers are receiving the best care possible.”

Topics: General Health