About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Understanding Food Allergies in Kids

by VR Sreeraman on July 26, 2009 at 12:38 PM
Font : A-A+

 Understanding Food Allergies in Kids

Every year, thousands of parents learn of their children's food allergies following a reaction that can affect many body systems, including the skin, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and/or cardiovascular systems. About 2 million school age children have food allergy, and one child in 20 under age 3 has food allergy.

Food allergies develop when the immune system misinterprets a food as harmful and develops an immune response against the food. If a child develops allergy antibodies (called IgE) to a food protein, reexposure to that food may be accompanied by a release of chemicals that produce the allergic symptoms.

Advertisement

Leonard Bacharier, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Clinical Director of Pediatric Allergy, Immunology and Pulmonary Medicine at St. Louis Children's Hospital, said that eight foods that cause 90 percent of food allergies, including:

  • Peanuts
  • Shellfish
  • Fish
  • Tree nuts (such as walnuts, pecans, cashews, almonds)
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Soy
  • Wheat
Symptoms of an allergic reaction can range from mild to severe, and may include one or more of the following:
Advertisement

  • Hives (a red intensely itchy rash)
  • Eczema
  • Tingling or swelling of the lip, tongue and/or throat
  • Difficulty breathing, coughing and/or wheezing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Death
Anaphylaxis is a combination of several of these symptoms and is a life threatening medical emergency.

The only effective approach for the treatment of food allergy is dietary avoidance.

"This requires extreme dedication and attention to detail," Bacharier says. "Parents and caregivers of food allergic children must become experts at reading ingredient labels on all foods. Peanuts, soy, wheat, milk and eggs are common ingredients in many packaged foods, recognition of the other terms used on labels which indicate the presence of milk or egg proteins, such as casein and albumin is critical."

"As a general rule: if a product doesn't have a label, people with food allergies should not eat that food," Bacharier says.

Even with meticulous attention to ingredients, accidental ingestions occur. Children who have experienced a significant allergic reaction to a food should always carry and know how to use injectable epinephrine and antihistamines to treat reactions, and should also wear an identification bracelet describing the allergy.

The good news is that most children allergic to milk, soy, egg, and wheat will lose their sensitivity as they grow. While allergy to egg and milk carry a good prognosis in terms of being "outgrown" during the preschool years, allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish are generally lifelong.



Source: Newswise
SRM
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Printed Temperature Sensors help with Continuous Temperature Monitoring
Health Benefits of Giloy
Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021 - It's time to RISE
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Height and Weight-Kids Why Do We Eat - Nutrition Facts Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease Types of Food Allergies Hunger Fullness and Weight Control Choose The Right Over-the-Counter Drugs for Allergy Label Lingo on Food Items: Decoded Top Diet Foods that Make you Fat Top Food for Dieters Selenium - Natural Source Better than Supplements 

Recommended Reading
Allergy
An allergy is a hypersensitive disorder of immune system. Substances that often cause allergic ......
Scientists Discover 'Cure' For Children's Nut Allergies
Kids suffering from potentially lethal nut allergies have been offered a new hope following the ......
First-borns Face Higher Asthma, Allergy Risks: Study
First-born children are at a higher risk of developing asthma and allergies than their younger ......
Childhood Obesity Could Be Linked To a Food Allergy Risk
A new study has shown that obese kids and adolescents are at increased risk of having some kind of ....
Choose The Right Over-the-Counter Drugs for Allergy
Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs can be bought without a prescription. OTC allergy medications are for t...
Hunger Fullness and Weight Control
An erratic way of eating or any metabolic disturbance in the hunger fullness signals is one of the m...
Label Lingo on Food Items: Decoded
Read on to become a “pro” in “label reading” and don’t get tricked by fancy promotions of food produ...
Selenium - Natural Source Better than Supplements
Selenium is a powerful anti-oxidant that prevents cell damage and helps in thyroid hormone productio...
Top Diet Foods that Make you Fat
Every nutrition fad comes with its share of diet foods. While they seem healthy, many diet foods pro...
Top Food for Dieters
A diet food contains protein, fiber and good fats, which help in weight management. Diet foods if co...
Types of Food Allergies
If you are allergic to certain food items-Watch out for what you eat...
Why Do We Eat - Nutrition Facts
The importance of eating food and the physiological, psychological and social functions of food....

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use