Consumer Voice - - Contents -

Is Your Child a Vic­tim of Food Al­lergy?

Does your child en­counter fre­quent episodes of di­ar­rhoea, vom­it­ing, stom­ach ache, rashes, runny nose, itchy eyes, swelling in mouth ar­eas, and short­ness of breath? If yes, your child could be a vic­tim of food al­lergy. Food al­lergy is an ab­nor­mal im­mune re­sponse to­wards a par­tic­u­lar food item as if it’s a for­eign ob­ject and de­vel­ops re­ac­tions to­ward it. Learn­ing about this con­di­tion and its symp­toms will help you work with your child on a long-term so­lu­tion.

Food al­ler­gies must not be con­fused with food in­tol­er­ance. A food al­lergy trig­gers an im­mune-sys­tem re­sponse; food in­tol­er­ance does not. In­tol­er­ance is the con­se­quence of an en­zyme de­fi­ciency in an in­di­vid­ual. An al­ler­gic re­ac­tion to a food item could be se­vere or even life-threat­en­ing; food-in­tol­er­ance symp­toms are gen­er­ally rarely life threat­en­ing but could lead to se­vere di­ges­tive prob­lems such as di­ar­rhoea, mal­ab­sorp­tion, colon can­cer, or mal­nu­tri­tion.

Symp­toms and Di­ag­no­sis

If the child de­vel­ops symp­toms af­ter con­sump­tion of a par­tic­u­lar food, then the child could be al­ler­gic to that food. The child could be al­ler­gic to the food ad­di­tives as well, so one must watch whether the child de­vel­ops any symp­tom af­ter con­sump­tion of packet food only. De­vel­op­ment and sever­ity of al­lergy symp­toms also de­pends on the amount of the food in­gested.

Symp­toms in­clude vom­it­ing and/or stom­ach cramps, hives, short­ness of breath, dizzi­ness, wheez­ing, repet­i­tive cough, shock or cir­cu­la­tory col­lapse, trou­ble swal­low­ing, swelling of the tongue, weak pulse, and pale or blue colour­ing of skin. Food al­lergy re­ac­tions can vary from per­son to per­son. Some can be very mild and only in­volve one part of the body, like hives on the skin. Oth­ers can be more se­vere and in­volve more than one part of the body. Re­ac­tions can hap­pen

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