Recognizing & dealing with childhood food allergy & intolerance.
Although the prevalence of food allergy and intolerance is increasing, so to is our knowledge involving the reasons behind why many of these reactions occur, how to avoid them, and how nutrition and supplement protocols can help with symptoms.
A true allergy is an abnormal immune reaction to a generally innocuous substance. True food allergies only affect about 1-2% of the population, and involve the release of IgE antibodies accompanied by swelling, rash, hives, breathing difficulties, GI upset, &/or anaphylactic shock occurring within 1 hour of ingestion or exposure to the food. To learn more visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)website at www.inspection.gc.ca.
What most people experience is not true food allergy, but a delayed immune response (not involving IgE antibodies) from eating a certain food. the reaction can take several days to surface, thus it is difficult to pin-point the cause. Since we eat several times per day, and food is in contact with the digestive tract for long periods of time, many symptoms can occur.
Common Symptoms linked to food allergy or intolerance in children include:
Colic & irritability, diaper rash & eczema, ear infections, tonsillitis, respiratory problems & Asthma. According to the CFIA, the nine priority food allergens are peanuts, tree nuts, sesame seeds, milk, eggs, fish (including fish, crustaceans, shellfish), soy, wheat and sulphites. Many children have a self-limiting diet including several of these foods and consume them throughout the day. Symptoms will develop when the child exceeds the threshold of their tolerance level.
Refined & heavily processed foods (for example: crackers, most breads and snack foods) create imbalances because the body uses its mineral & trace mineral stores to help digest these foods, depleting enzymes, and allowing allergens into the blood stream. if the immune system is over-burdened, it too will lack enzymes to break down complexes that form when food allergens bind with human antibodies. A vicious cycle created by allergens & enzyme deficiency follows. often, children will crave sugary foods and/or carbs… (since these affect serotonin release in the brain)… however, these foods feed undesirable gut bacteria, fueling a dys-biosis (imbalance of bacteria and yeast) in the gut, allowing more allergens in, and perpetuating the cycle!
Children have demanding, stressful schedules these days. Research has shown that more allergy symptoms appear when people are stressed, which can weaken one’s immune system overall. This effect is even more evident during the spring and fall for hay fever sufferers. Children with seasonal allergies often also suffer from true food allergies or food intolerances.
Proper food introduction for infants is also essential. Breastfeeding confers the best protection for a child, followed by the introduction (at six months of age) of hypo-allergenic vegetables, fruits, grains, and then proteins. A big mistake many people make is introducing cereal grains at 4 months of age…the digestive system is simply too immature!
Did You Know
At no Allergies Please, we use state of the art equipment to alleviate allergy symptoms. However, it’s important for people to understand some of the reasons why their allergy symptoms may not immediately resolve:
Have a Great Month!Christine and John NgNo Allergies Please1556 Stationmaster LaneOakville, ON L6M3A9(905) 825-3528