No, allergies are not genetically inherited. Allergies are an auo-immune reaction, which means that your immune system attacks your own body in response to some trigger. For me, the triggers are mold, pollen, dust and dog/cat dander/hair/whatever. Once triggered, the immune system's cells attach the places that the trigger is found - usually the eyes and nose, sometimes the throat. When they attack, a chemical called histamine is released and this is what makes you feel so crummy - the histamine makes eyes watery and gooey, the throat itchy and the nose sneezy. Many allergy medications are histamine blockers - they treat the symptoms, not the cause of allergies.
Bottom line - daddy can't pass allergies on to the little one. Likewise, breastfeeding won't help prevent allergies in the little one, either.
at 2:23 PM on Oct. 27, 2010