Food allergy in a child: symptoms, causes and treatment
Food allergy is an immune response that causes sensitivity to one or more types of foods. Such intolerance causes unpleasant symptoms from the digestive tract and other body systems. If you start an allergy, it can lead to dire consequences such as anaphylactic shock, even fatal.
Symptoms of a food allergy in a child
For the first time, the symptoms of the presence of food allergies are manifested precisely in childhood. Signs are individual for each child, but most often they appear on the part of the skin and gastrointestinal disorders. However, there is intolerance to products affects the respiratory system. The main signs of an allergy in a child:
Itching and hives;
Colic in the stomach;
Violation of the stool;
Urticaria in children
Infants develop a skin rash – urticaria, which is similar to a scattering of small pimples. In older children, blisters similar to combed mosquito bites may occur. Such redness can be found throughout the body.
The baby cannot say what is bothering him. However, mother is better to pay attention to symptoms such as redness of the skin, moodiness of the child, poor and restless sleep.
The reaction manifests itself within 1-2 hours after ingestion of food containing an allergen. Therefore, in many cases, it is not difficult to establish the culprit.
Causes of Allergies
Symptoms are a consequence of the production of the histamine hormone in the body. It is actively released when substances that the immune system considers potentially dangerous enter the body. In essence, an allergy is a mistake that the immune system creates.
Most often, the occurrence of an “undesirable reaction” in a baby is explained by normal heredity. If one of the parents has a sensitivity to any food product, then the child may be exposed to it too.
Another reason for the appearance of rash and urticaria in children is maternal antibodies. In the body of children, they can get into mother’s breast milk. They can also appear in the prenatal period. Many doctors believe that food allergies are predisposed to children who are too little breast-fed.
Allergic reactions are susceptible to children with low intestinal immunity, with changes in its microflora, as well as with increased permeability of the gastrointestinal mucosa. If the baby often came into contact with a food allergen at an early age, it may also develop sensitivity to this product.
The main causative agents of food allergies
All types of food allergens are divided according to the degree of their effect on the body: from highest to weakest. Check out the list of these foods. When the first symptoms appear, it is better to refuse for a while the food that has a high risk of an allergic reaction.
Product Type High Degree Medium Degree Low Degree
Citrus fruits, pineapple, melon, persimmon, pomegranate apricots, peaches bananas, prunes, dried apricots, plums,
Vegetables tomatoes, beets, carrots, celery, radish pepper, peas, potatoes, zucchini corn, pumpkin, squash, turnip, salad
Berries blackcurrant, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, wild strawberries, grapes cranberries, lingonberries, cherries, currants watermelon, gooseberries, currants (white),
Dairy products cow’s milk
Wheat groats, rye rice, buckwheat, corn, pearl barley, millet
Other eggs, fish, chicken, honey, nuts, cocoa, coffee, mustard, mushrooms turkey, rabbit, pork, beef horse meat, lamb, almonds, fructose
Sometimes allergies are provoked not by the food itself, but by the additives that are present in them. Preservatives, flavors, emulsifiers, sweeteners and other additives can cause a negative reaction. Therefore, choosing the right diet, the doctor should consider the possibility of influence and non-food allergens.
Food Intolerance (PN)
Do not confuse food allergies with intolerance. Intolerance to certain foods may not be allergic. Symptoms of intolerance are most often associated with the gastrointestinal tract. Intolerance can cause abdominal pain and even the presence of blood in the stool.
Intolerance happens to such products that contain:
Protein of cow’s milk.
Food intolerance is not associated with the release of histamine. It occurs due to a lack or absence of enzymes for the breakdown of these substances. So they can not be called food allergies.
In the case of confirmation of PN, it is necessary to exclude from the diet food containing an intolerable substance. The doctor should talk about nutrition and diet in the presence of PN.
Diagnosis of food allergies
First of all, you need to visit a pediatrician who will examine the child, listen to complaints and, if necessary, give a referral to an allergist. Both doctors must draw up a special nutrition plan for the baby and mother if the baby is still breastfeeding.