Have you ever seen your child having a redness or itching near the lips or all over the body all of a sudden?

It might be an allergic response of your child’s immune system against some food or allergen around your child that might have triggered it. Allergic reactions can occur due to food ingredients, chemicals or certain environmental substances like pollen, dust or pet danders.

What is Food Allergy?

Food allergy is an immune system reaction that occurs  after eating a certain food. The allergic response can occur soon after  exposed to the allergen or might take few hours. Even a tiny amount of the allergy-causing food can trigger signs and symptoms such as digestive problems, hives, tingling or burning sensation, burning eyes or swollen airways.

Some allergens cause allergic reactions primarily if eaten when raw but not when cooked. However, most food allergens can still cause reactions even after they have been cooked or are pre-digested. As per a study, almost 2-3% of Indians suffer from allergy, but the prevalence in children is high as compared to adults.

5 most common Food Allergens

  1. MILK- Milk and milk products like cheese, paneer, curd, butter, ghee.
    1. Symptoms
      1. Bloating, Diarrhoea, Itching or Tingling around Lips.
    2. Nutritional Substitutes
      1. Soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk
  2. EGG- Egg and food products made using eggs like cakes, biscuits, mayonaisse.
    1. Symptoms
      1. Hives, Breathing difficulty, Abdominal cramps, Vomiting, Nausea
    2. Nutritional Substitutes
      1. Vegetable protein sources like Pulses, Sprouts, Paneer, Curd or non-vegetarian source like Chicken.
  3. SOY- Soy and all soy products like soy milk, tofu, soy chunks.
    1. Symptoms
      1. Itching, Tingling sensation, Vomiting
    2. Nutritional Substitutes
      1. Protein sources like Pulses, Sprouts, Paneer and Curd
  4. Nuts- Almonds, walnuts and their products like sweets or almond milk, cakes or biscuits with nuts and peanuts and peanut products like peanut oil, chikki, laddoo.
    1. Symptoms
      1. Diarrhoea, shortness of breath,itching of lips and mouth and might lead to anaphylactic shock at times though very rare.
    2. Nutritional Substitutes
      1. Seeds like Pumpkin, Flax or Sunflower seeds. Dry fruits like dates, raisins, dried figs.
  5. FISH and SHELLFISH- Salmon, Pomphret, Rohu, Catla, Prawns, Lobsters, Clams.
    1. Symptoms
      1. Rashes, itching, breathing difficulty, vomiting or anaphylactic shock rarely
    2. Nutritional Substitutes
      1. Nuts like walnuts, almonds, etc and seeds like pumpkin, flax, sunflower seeds to meet good fat intake.
      2. Protein sources like milk,curd, paneer, pulses, sprouts, etc.

Research have shown that most children with milk, egg, soy allergies grow out of it by 5 years of their age. Though peanuts or other tree nuts like almond, walnut allergy might remain lifelong. Fish and shellfish allergies are usually developed in later stage of lives and usually they are lifelong.

Until now there are no cure for allergy. Individuals suffering from allergy need to follow elimination diet under expert guidance to keep away from allergens and meet the nutritional gap that happen due to allergy.

5 expert advice to remember

  1. Introduce only 1 new ingredient at a time to your child.
  2. Look for any allergic symptoms closely and trace back the allergen associated with it.
  3. Completely eliminate any allergy causing ingredient from the diet. Do consult doctor.
  4. Take expert guidance to avoid any nutritional deficiency, and maintain normal growth and development by following a balanced diet with appropriate alternatives for the excluded food allergen.
  5. Learn to read food labels to check for any ingredient related to the allergen.

So while you are trying to nutritionally balance your child’s diet do not miss out to keep a close look if he or she shows any allergic reaction to particular food or ingredient.Take expert advice and help your child to stay healthy.

ABOUT HAPPLEYFIT

HappleyFit aims to help people attain a healthy lifestyle. Contrary to popular belief that fitness and lifestyle programs are more for adults, teaching children when they are young and inculcating these habits at an early age is key to a healthy lifestyle when they are adults.

Disclaimer: The content provides generic information only, do consult qualified nutritionist and doctor for your medical condition.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32413203
  2. http://nopr.niscair.res.in/bitstream/123456789/26318/1/JSIR%2062%288%29%20755-765.pdf
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5940350/

1 Comment

  • Shiva Devi Rathorr

    May 25, 2020 @ 12:39 pm

    Thanks for the valuable information

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