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Food Allergies in Children

Food Allergies in Children

Food Allergies

Reactions that occur when the immune system mistakenly perceives a normally harmless nutrient as harmful is called food allergy.

Food allergies seen in childhood sometimes disappear spontaneously during the development process, and sometimes they can continue into adulthood.

Children with suspected food allergy should be examined by a specialist without delay. If food allergy is not treated, it can cause many problems from shortness of breath to nausea, from vomiting to itching on the skin, and in advanced cases it can even lead to life risks.

Food allergies can affect human life starting from infancy, childhood and even in the womb. In order for the findings related to this problem to occur, the patient must be sensitized by exposure to the food that causes allergies several times.

Food Allergies Symptoms


Food allergy can be seen with the consumption of allergic food, as well as as a result of smelling, breathing or touching these foods.

In severe allergic cases, even if the person does not eat the food in question, it can show a serious allergic reaction when it is cooked, eaten, or even when kissed by the person eating that food.

Which Foods Cause Allergies?

Food Allergies in Children


All kinds of foods have the potential to cause allergies. But some cause allergies more often than others. In children, this group consists of milk, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, sesame and kiwi.

Allergic runny nose, migraine, skin flushing, itching and digestive system disorders can be seen due to frequent consumption of chocolate and cocoa. Rarely, honey also causes allergies.

This problem, which can affect many systems, manifests itself with different findings;

Breathing, shortness of breath, or wheezing
difficulty swallowing
Hoarseness or difficulty speaking
swelling of the face, lips, tongue and throat
Cold, clammy, or pale blue skin
paleness, feeling dizzy
Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
Fast and weak heartbeat
Feeling dizzy with a sudden drop in blood pressure
Loss of consciousness

Diagnostic Methods


A full physical examination of the child should be performed by a specialist physician. For the tests to be done after the physical examination, the physician should be informed about the foodstuffs that the child eats and drinks for a week.

Some of the tests for food allergies;

Skin Prick Test


The skin prick test is a test that measures your child’s “IgE” antibodies in response to certain allergens or triggers. Small amounts of solutions containing different allergens are given through a small scratch or injection into your child’s skin surface or under the skin.

If the patient has a reaction to the given solution, this symptom will appear as a small red area. The reaction of the child’s skin to the skin prick test does not always mean that he is allergic to the allergens that cause the reaction.

Blood Tests


Blood tests for allergies measure “IgE” antibodies to specific allergens in the blood. Another commonly used blood test is called the Radioallergosorbent test or RAST. Blood tests can be used in patients who cannot have skin tests.

As with the skin test, a positive blood test does not always mean that your child is not allergic to this allergen. In addition, the ELISA method is also used for these tests.

Food Provocation Tests


This test should be done by an allergist. It is done by giving the child a small amount of potential allergen substances by mouth or inhalation and observing.

Treatment Methods


This ailment is basically treated by removing the allergen from the diet.

In this method, which is called the elimination diet, it is important for the patient to be aware of the necessity of not consuming anything containing this food while removing the allergenic food from the diet:
For example, a child with cow’s milk allergy should not eat any food containing milk and dairy products: It is also important not to consume cheese, yoghurt or foods made from them in addition to milk.

Untreated food allergies can be life-threatening. Deaths due to anaphylaxis are frequently encountered in allergies related to peanuts and tree nuts, which have increased in recent years.

In childhood food allergies, it is also common to eliminate food from the diet, resulting in the development of tolerance to food and the disappearance of food allergies.

For example, cow’s milk allergy, which is common in children, may disappear in adulthood, but in allergies to tree nuts such as peanuts, hazelnuts and walnuts, and to fish and shellfish, the allergy can continue for a lifetime.

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