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Could My Elderly Loved One Develop a Food Allergy?

Mina was worried about her elderly father, who had been experiencing bloating, gas, nausea and vomiting on and off for several weeks now. As they sat together in the examination room at the health clinic, the doctor did a thorough examination and took some blood for testing.

When the results came in, Mina was shocked to learn that her father had developed a food allergy to milk, which was causing the gastrointestinal distress. She couldn’t understand it because her father had never had a problem with milk before. However, as she and her father learned more about late onset food allergies, it became more and more clear that milk and dairy products were causing his problems.


Caregiver in Stockton CA: Food Allergies

Caregiver in Stockton CA: Food Allergies

Food allergies are commonly discussed in elementary school classrooms and among parents of young children, but less focus is placed on late onset food allergies. This happens when adults, usually age 30 and up, develop allergic reactions to certain foods. It can happen at any time and without warning, even if the person has not suffered with any allergies up to that point. Seniors are especially vulnerable to new allergic reactions to foods they’ve enjoyed their entire lives.


Because May is Food Allergy Action Month, it’s a fine time for caregivers to learn more about food allergies and whether their elderly loved ones might be suffering with symptoms that have gone unrecognized.


There are 7 things that caregivers need to know about late onset food allergies in seniors:

  1. Symptoms of late onset food allergies can include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, bloating, gas, shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, headaches, skin rashes and swollen throat and tongue.
  2. Seniors are often underdiagnosed for late onset food allergies because the symptoms are attributed to other age-related conditions and illnesses.
  3. Because their immune system is less robust, seniors often develop more serious symptoms than younger adults.
  4. The most common food triggers for late onset food allergies are peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, milk, eggs and wheat.
  5. To identify a food allergy, it’s best to track both meals and symptoms for at least two weeks to see if patterns emerge.
  6. Doctors can perform skin prick tests and blood tests to confirm a suspected allergic reaction in an elderly loved one.
  7. Symptoms should completely disappear once the senior can avoid the trigger food in their diet.


If an aging loved one is suffering from mysterious symptoms that don’t seem to be getting any better, it’s worth it for family caregivers to eliminate the possibility of late onset food allergies. If a food allergy is discovered, then family members can work together with their elderly loved one to avoid the trigger food and eliminate symptoms once and for all.


Thanks to the help of a dietician, Mina and her father were about to come up with new ways to get the nutrition he needed without milk in his diet. After carefully outlining the new dietary restrictions to the home care assistant and other family caregivers, Mina felt confident that her father could return to his happier and healthier self, despite his late onset food allergy.


If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Stockton, CA, contact the caring staff at Provident Home Care. Call today (877) 572-3411.




Robin Conley RN, Owner and CEO

RN, Owner and CEO at Provident Care - Modesto, CA
When my grandmother’s health began to deteriorate... My greatest fear was that something would happen to her when I couldn’t be there. She had become unsteady on her feet, forgot to take her medications when she was supposed to, was not eating meals that fit into her dietary restrictions and often failed to recognize signs that she was getting into trouble. I knew that it was her firm desire to stay in her own home, but the amount of oversight I knew she needed was sometimes overwhelming for me to do alone. This is where my journey started! Providing care to seniors in our community is not just a job for me... It is something that has touched my life personally and something that I am passionate about! I know firsthand the worry and uncertainty caused when someone you love becomes ill or injured and how overwhelming the responsibility of caring for a loved one can be. I also know that finding a compassionate caregiver can often restore health, provide seniors with a renewed sense of control and independence, reduce depression, and relieve family members so they can once again be a caring son or daughter. So if you find yourself or someone you may know, in this situation... Our team of care managers and professional, compassionate caregivers at Provident Care would be honored to help you care for your loved one. Our staff is committed to caring for our clients as if we were caring for a member of our own family.

Robin Conley RN., Owner and CEO of Provident Care Home Care Providing HOME CARE- ASSISTED LIVING PLACEMENT ASSISTANCE

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