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Food Allergy in Children
Food Allergy in Children

Health Care

Food Allergy in Children: Allergens & Replacements

Globally, more than 220 million people suffer from food allergies. According to World Health Organization, every year, 200 people die due to food allergies in the United States. In the USA, 1 in every 13 children has a food allergy.

Food allergies in children:

Allergies are the response of our immune system to harmless things. When our body triggers reactions such as skin problems and digestive problems in response to an edible item, it is called food allergy.

Children are more vulnerable to food allergies in comparison to adults. Children up to the age of three years are more prone to allergies.

Apart from irritation to children, these allergies are often stressful to the whole family. Mothers of these children have to spend a great deal of time in meal planning of the kids. It triggers frustration in mothers. In addition to mental stress, it also causes financial problems in middle-class families.

There are no exact medication or diagnostic techniques to test food allergies. However, immunoglobins such as IgA and IgE antibodies help as a diagnostic measure to detect food allergies.

Most Common Child food allergies:

Most food allergies are due to direct contact with the allergen, but some inherit it through breastfeeding.

More than 90% of food allergies are the result of only eight foods. These are cow milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish.

Most Common Child food allergies

  • Cow milk allergy is the most common in children. But many children easily overcome it by the age of three. If a baby has this allergy, the breastfeeding mother should also remove cow milk and its products from her diet.
  • The second most common allergy is egg allergy. But most kids outgrow it when they are in their teen years. It is even possible that some are allergic only to the yolk and not to egg white & vice versa can also happen.
  • Allergy from tree nuts is also frequent in kids. Around 1% of the total population of the USA and UK have this allergy. In America, peanuts allergy is prevalent among other nut allergies. However, 20% of kids with peanut allergy get rid of it naturally. Other nut allergens include pine nuts, walnut, pistachios, brazil nut, and cashews.
  • A seafood allergy is another usual food allergy. It is the result of our body’s reaction to the proteins of shellfish or crustaceans.
  • Wheat allergy is quite rare as compared to other food allergies. Around the globe, only 1% of people have this. However, many confuse it with gluten sensitivity.

Therefore, we have listed the best alternatives to various food allergens that you can use free of mind.

ALLERGEN FOOD ITEM REPLACEMENT FOOD
Cow’s milk Soy, Almonds, and Cashew milk.
Eggs Tofu & Banana.
Peanuts Sunflower butter, Almond Butter
Tree nuts Beans.
Wheat Rice, Potato starch, Soy flour.
Soy Olive brine, real butter, eggs.
Fish Leafy green vegetables, walnuts, flaxseed oil.
Shellfish. Mushrooms.

Symptoms of food allergies in the child:

Allergies are auto-immune responses of the body. Thus, they affect multiple organs of the body and produce various symptoms. Some allergies give signs as soon as you ingest food, and some take 1-2 hours to show up.

Source 1: The white book of allergies.

Here is the list of manifestations produced by the various organs of the body.

  1. Skin problems: One of the usual symptoms of any allergy is skin rash. 40 % of infants and kids with atopic eczema usually encounter at least one food allergy. Apart from eczema, they also show immediate symptoms such as urticaria.
  2. Digestive System Symptoms: It is not strange for food allergies to upset the digestive symptoms. Common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and lip pruritus. It can also result in Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome. It involves profuse vomiting and diarrhea within 2 -3 hours of ingesting the allergen. This condition is lethal, as it causes dehydration and lethargy in the kids.
  3. Respiratory symptoms: Food allergies produce various types of respiratory symptoms like sneezing and wheezing. Sometimes the patient may encounter rhinorrhea. Severe allergies can also trigger asthma and Heiner syndrome.
  4. General Symptoms: The prevalent sign of food allergies is anaphylaxis. Every year, food allergies cause 30,000 anaphylaxis, 2000 hospitalizations, and more than 200 deaths.

Expert advice about food allergies:

Commonly, children with food allergies consult general physicians, and the only known treatment is to avoid the allergen.

Children suffer more from allergies as they are sensitive to even the smallest amount of allergens. But the condition becomes even more severe as a touch of the allergen can also trigger allergic reactions.

However, in some cases, cooked food does not cause the same immune reaction. As the heat treatment makes the allergen ineffective.

The prevalent allergens are proteins found in food items.

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