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Food allergies in infants and children

Food allergies in infants and children

Almost 1 in 12 children and babies suffer from food allergies, which seem to be becoming more common among the young population. Over the past 40 years, there have been huge increases in such conditions, such as asthma, eczema or allergic rhinitis. With them, the incidence of food allergies also increased.

These manifest when the immune system, still immature, confuses certain harmless proteins with harmful substances and releases histamine into the body.

These cause reactions such as:

- skin spots and irritations;

- choking sensation;

- the sneeze;

- heavy breathing;

- local inflammation;

- anaphylactic shock.

How food allergies manifest in children and babies and what is their frequency explanation

Common symptoms of food allergies are:

- the sneeze;

- abundant nasal mucositis;

- nasal congestion;

- red stains on the skin;

- wheezing;

- nausea and choking sensation;

- inflammation of the neck, tongue and mouth;

- vomiting states;

- soft chairs.

These appear, according to studies carried out so far, among which are the famous "Hygiene Hypothesis", because the immune system is not stimulated enough, being less exposed to bacteria and viruses, so it reacts excessively in the case of some completely harmless substance. Most food allergies occur by the age of 4 years.

The most known allergens are:

- hazelnuts;

- walnuts;

- the fish;

- sea fruits;

- wheat;

- soy;

- sesame;

- kiwi fruit.

These allergens are more common or unusual depending on the area in which children with allergies live. Thus, most allergies in the US, UK and Australia are caused by hazelnuts and nuts. In France, mustard seeds are the main cause of allergies. Spain and Italy include peaches, apples and seafood on the list of the most important allergens. Sesame seeds are responsible for the large number of allergies in Israel. In Japan, most allergens experience symptoms when eating fish, and in Singapore crustaceans are the main allergen. Worldwide, milk and eggs are responsible for the largest number of allergies.

Diagnosis and treatment of food allergies

Allergic children usually come from families where other members suffer from allergies. Those who suffer from eczema are also prone to food allergies, especially if it occurs very early.

With the diversification of baby food, parents can easily tell if they are allergic, following the 4-day rule, which requires them to introduce new foods in a row and wait 3-5 days to see if allergic symptoms occur.

These are easy to spot, because they manifest quite quickly. For the correct diagnosis, parents take their sons or daughters to a consult with the allergist, who can accurately determine risky foods. Their identification can be done through skin tests, blood tests or direct exposure of children to potentially harmful foods.

Depending on the results of the tests, the doctor will force you to eliminate from the diet of your child those foods that cause allergic symptoms. In addition, he may prescribe antihistamines and anti-inflammatory drugs, but also a dose of injectable adrenaline if there is a risk of anaphylaxis.

Recommendations for allergic children

Avoiding allergens that cause symptoms is the first advice your doctor will give you. If your baby or child is allergic to peanuts, you should not only eliminate this raw food from your diet, but also be very careful about the proteins from peanuts that are used to prepare other foods.

Thus, ethnic foods such as Chinese, Vietnamese or Thai dishes will also need to be avoided, and you will need to read the labels of all the foods you buy to make sure they do not contain nuts, in this case and that they do not they were processed with the help of machineries that had contact with them.

On the same topic ...

Children with food allergies: what parents should know

Children's allergy to nuts

Allergy to eggs

Tags Baby food allergies Baby food allergies Food allergies