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Detecting food allergy in children


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Detecting food allergy in children

  1. 1. Detecting Food Allergy in ChildrenYour baby taking his/her first bite- it really is a moment to cherish but also a vital moment as if yourbaby is allergic to foods then he/she might break into itchy rashes or have diarrhea. Things like this are abig concern for parents but in a way it is good for the child as the earlier allergy is diagnosed the betterare the chances of preventing it in the future and avoid unnecessary problems.It is a fact that a lot of children have allergy to different types of food. Herbert Steinheuer, a childspecialist working in the field of allergy in Germany says that knowing the exact number of childrenaffected by food allergy is hard as there are not many reliable studies carried out, although it isestimated that 2% to 7 % of all children have food allergies.Usually if a child is allergic to food he/she will show signs of it within the first two years. Children areprone to more risks as they react very quickly to allergies. Symptoms such as breaking of hives, itchinessand swelling in the mouth, shortness of breath and in severe cases can lead to anaphylactic shock.Allergy symptoms indicate that the baby’s immune system is reacting to the particular food; it isidentifying the food as an allergen and reacting against it. Usually protein based foods such as cowsmilk, eggs, nuts, wheat, fish and soya cause allergic reaction in kids. Nut allergy should be paid moreattention as in recent years there have been a growing number of kids complaining of it; moreover nutallergy is very serious and can quickly become life threatening. Avoiding the relevant food items is theonly way to prevent allergy attacks.
  2. 2. But it has been seen that at times avoiding the relevant food item can be demanding on other familymembers and substitutes can be expensive. So before avoiding any food item just on grounds ofsuspicion it is recommended that parents consult with an allergy specialist and conduct a food allergytest on their child. In case of adults the prick test is used but in babies there are hardly any large areas ofskin available to conduct the test so a blood test measuring the amount of IgE antibodies is generallypreferred. Once the particular food allergen has been identified doctor’s advice on the constituents ofdaily diet becomes essential.