There are eight food allergies more common in childhood. Some of them eventually will disappear as the child grows, but others prevail even in adulthood.
There are eight foods that are responsible for food allergies more common in childhood. Food allergies can cause serious reactions and sometimes the reactions are deadly. Therefore, it is important to know how to recognize an allergic reaction and be prepared, just in case.
WHAT ARE FOOD ALLERGIES?
The allergy is the excessive response of the immune system to the allergens, particles foreign to the body, but usually harmless.
A food allergy is often the first manifestation of allergic disease. In childhood, the awareness develops progressively according to the exposure, being the food the first foreign substances to which the child may develop allergy.
It is important to note that the concept of allergy is different from concept of intolerance, as we will see in the next topic.
SIGNS AND THE MOST FREQUENT SYMPTOMS OF FOOD ALLERGIES
As we have seen previously, in food allergy the body reacts as if the food in particular was detrimental. As a result, the body’s immune system creates antibodies to combat the allergen food.
Of all the times that the child eat this food (in some cases, just breathe or handle), the body releases chemicals such as histamine. This triggers allergic symptoms that can affect the respiratory system, the gastrointestinal tract, skin or cardiovascular system.
The symptoms may include:
- Noise when breathing;
- Respiratory problems;
- Tightness in the throat;
- Belly pain;
- Itching in the eye;
- The eyes swollen and/or watery;
- Red spots;
- Low blood pressure that causes dizziness and/or loss of consciousness (fainting).
Often, people confuse food allergies with food intolerance due to similar symptoms.
In allergy there is an immune response immediate: the body creates antibodies as if the food were an offending agent and, therefore, the symptoms are widespread.
In food intolerance the food is not digested properly and, in this way, the symptoms mainly arise in the gastrointestinal system. These reactions are triggered by other mechanisms that do not involve directly the involvement of the immune system.
WHAT ARE THE FOOD ALLERGIES MOST COMMON IN CHILDHOOD?
A child can be allergic to any food, but these eight foods we enumerate next, are the allergens that are most common that respond to 90% of all reactions in children. They are:
The allergy to proteins of cow’s milk is the food allergy most frequently in the early years of a child’s life and is the result of a response of the immune system to the protein existing in cow’s milk, as the name indicates.
The estimated prevalence varies between 2 and 3% in the first year of life, and is less than 1% among children with age equal to or greater than 6 years of age, being rare in the adult. This allergy is normally a transient condition, and only a limited number of cases, persists beyond the 2nd year of life.
The egg constitutes a common source and excellent of proteins, being even considered, next to breast milk, the food more complete, possessing all the necessary nutrients, such as vitamins, amino acids and minerals essential to maintain life.
However, the egg is also one of the foods most commonly responsible for allergic reactions, particularly in children.
The clinical presentation of egg allergy can vary from mild forms to very severe, from the beginning, very fast the most late, and you suspect this allergy when similar symptoms recur after ingestion of egg or food containing it.
Peanuts are among the foods that cause most food allergies. An important aspect for this allergy, is that often, the reaction occurs due to the presence of this food preparations, sauces, among others, that no one would expect that had its existence.
Although they are legumes, the proteins in peanuts are similar in structure to that of tree nuts. For this reason, people allergic to peanuts may also be allergic to these fruits.
Many people outgrow certain food allergies over time (such as allergies to milk, egg, soy and wheat, but allergies to peanuts can be life-long in many cases.
The soybean is a legume and very commonly used as an alternative to animal protein.
When someone who is allergic to soy to eat, the body’s immune system reacts exaggeratedly to their proteins. Even a small preparation cooking with small quantities of soy, the body reacts negatively and trigger the most diverse defense mechanisms, as if the soy was a “attacker” is harmful.
Allergy to soy is most common in infants and young children than in adolescents and adults, although it can develop at any age.
The wheat is a cereal that is present in many of the foods that are given to children in the first years of life, but it is also the one that causes the most allergic reactions.
When someone is allergic to wheat, the body’s immune system overreacts to the proteins of wheat, happening the same that happens with other foods: the body thinks that these proteins are “invaders” and harmful, and so he responds, causing the signs and symptoms unwanted.
The allergy to wheat is more common in children than in adults, and many children seem to revert to their allergy to wheat over time.
Note also that the allergy to wheat is different from celiac disease, which is a chronic auto-immune related to permanent gluten sensitivity. The gluten is not one of the wheat proteins that normally cause an allergic reaction.
The dried fruit or nuts are all foods that in its natural composition have less than 50% water. Examples are almond, hazelnut, walnut, cashew cashew and pistacho.
The use of these foods has been gaining each time more adepts, since they are sources of protein, fiber, minerals, vitamins and antioxidant properties, is increasingly being recommended in the regimes of reduction and weight control.
But the allergy to nuts is a problem relatively common: 0,6-1% of the population is allergic to at least one dried fruit. This allergy significantly affects the quality of life of patients and is usually severe, potentially fatal, and rarely disappears.
The fish is an important source of proteins and also other nutrients with health benefits, such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, D, E , and selenium. Your regular consumption has a proven effect on cardiovascular health and may also have other benefits are still under study, particularly at the level of the nervous system.
Despite all of its nutritional benefits, fish is also one of the foods responsible for food allergies more common in childhood.
The intake of fish can cause allergic reactions or non-allergic. The latter are more frequent, and are largely due to the presence of toxins or contamination by agents of the infectious, usually resulting from failures in the processes of cooling and conservation of the fish.
The increase in the consumption of products coming from the sea (fish and shellfish) has been accompanied by adverse reactions to these foods. Shellfish include crustaceans and mollusks, and are part of the list of food allergies most common in childhood.
The adverse reactions caused by the ingestion of seafood may also be allergic or non-allergic, as it happens with the fish. The latter are more frequent and can be caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites or toxins that contaminate shellfish, which may resemble in its clinical manifestations of an allergic reaction.
AS CAN BE TREATED THE FOOD ALLERGIES?
Children who have a diagnosis of food allergy have, generally, a treatment plan developed by the allergologyst.
No cure for food allergies more common in childhood (or for the remaining), the processing by the standard, is by avoiding the allergen and all foods containing it, and see all the food labels to confirm that there are no foods to avoid.
There are medicines that can treat both the symptoms smaller as the bass. Antihistamines may be used to treat symptoms such as hives, runny nose or tummy ache caused by an allergic reaction.
For emergency cases, the doctor may prescribe a self-injector of epinephrine, which is a medicine that comes in a small container. It is easy to transport and use, and the doctor typically shows as if you must handle.