Food allergies in children can manifest in many different ways. Commonly, food allergies in general give rise to symptoms such as itching, hives, throat swelling and digestive discomfort. In severe situations anaphylactic reactions can occur causing the need for immediate medical intervention. This intervention could be the use of an antihistamine like Benadryl, an Epipen, or steroid injections. If these types of reactions occur in children, and the food allergies in childhood are recognized early certain things can be done to prevent future problems. One of the most important things to do for food allergies in children is avoid consuming the offending food. Also, in some cases food allergies in children can be helped by allergy shots to desensitize the immune system to particular food items.
Behaviors Associated with Food Allergies in Children
Food allergies in children can often lead to behavior problems. Irritability, aggression, and sometimes self-injurious behavior (hitting oneself) have been recognized in food allergies in children. In these circumstances the food allergies cause inflammation that creates brain chemistry imbalances leading to changes in behavior, etc. Many of these children also have the typical symptoms of allergies like itching and digestive discomfort after eating an allergic food, but the main problems is changes in brain chemistry.
Learning Difficulties with Food Allergies in Children2>
Food allergies in children can also lead to attention and focusing problems which overtime can cause and/or contribute to learning challenges. Many children with ADD and ADHD have various food allergies which negatively impacts their ability to learn. For example, an allergy to milk can manifest not only as behavior problems, but cognitive challenges as well. The continuous consumption of dairy will just further compromise learning abilities.
Other Types of Physical Problems Associated with Food Allergies in Children
Food allergies in children can cause other types of physical problems other than typical allergy symptoms. One of the most common non-allergy symptoms of food allergies in children is digestive pain leading to recurrent diarrhea or constipation. Diarrhea is more obviously connected to a food allergy as it can quickly lead to inflammation and irritation giving rise to diarrhea. However, constipation is not often recognized as a problem, but important to understand with regards to food allergies in children. Anything that causes stress in the digestive system can lead to digestive imbalances. In some people, including children, the stress of food allergies causes tension within the nervous system leading to poor peristaltic activity. Lack or reduced peristaltic activity in the digestive system contributes to constipation.
Summary For Food Allergies in Children
For any child with behavior, learning, and digestive difficulties determining food allergies is important. Once identified appropriate dietary modification and treatment can be implemented to eliminate food allergies in children. The best tests for food allergies in children are the Comprehensive Food IgG (done via a finger prick assessment), as well as IgE antibody testing through an allergist or pediatrician – the good news is the Comprehensive Food IgG is available as an at home test.
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