Food allergy in a child: symptoms, causes and treatment
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, it is better for mom to pay attention to symptoms such as redness of the skin, the child’s moodiness, 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 hormone histamine 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 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 affect 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 that 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, 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 some 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 breast-fed. Typically, such a diet is very strict and excludes many foods that are potential allergens. The duration of such a diet is impossible to predict, the doctor will decide how long it will take to follow.
A special food diary can help in finding an allergen. Mom should make a special notebook, where she will bring everything that was eaten by the child, and how it was cooked. If the baby is still on the GV, then the mom’s diet should also be written in a notebook. It is also worth recording the time of eating and the time when the symptoms of allergies began to appear. This method will help the doctor significantly reduce the duration of the search for a diagnosis.
Diagnostic methods also include skin allergy tests. They are carried out to children who have already reached the age of 3. The test is a small scratch on the skin and a drug containing an allergen there. In one test, you can apply about 10 samples to the main spectrum of allergic agents.