Dear Dr. K: I recently ate shrimp and broke out in hives. This has never happened before. Could I have developed a new food allergy as an adult?
Dear Reader: Yes, you can, and it’s not that unusual. Allergic reactions are overblown immune responses against a harmless substance — in some cases, a food. Food allergies are most prevalent in childhood, but even if you escaped them then, you’re not necessarily off the hook. You can develop allergies at any point in your life, and fish and shellfish allergies are more likely than others to begin in adulthood.
What’s more, allergies that spring up in adulthood stay with you forever. In contrast, many children outgrow their food allergies.
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