Food Allergies

What is a food allergy?
A food allergy happens when your child’s body’s immune system sees a certain food as harmful and reacts by causing symptoms. This is an allergic reaction. The most common food allergies in infants and children are eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soy and wheat.

What are the symptoms of a food allergy?
The type and severity of the symptom can vary from one reaction to the next. Symptoms can be immediate or delayed and can include:

  • Rash, itchy or hives
  • Trouble swallowing, swelling of lips, tongue or throat
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting or Diarrhea
  • Irritability and poor feeding

Always be prepared for Anaphylaxis (a serious allergic reaction that needs an emergency care)

What causes a food allergy?
The causes of food allergies are not clearly understood.
A child is more likely to develop food allergies if they have family members who have allergies, asthma, eczema or hay fever

How is a food allergy diagnosed?
Your child’s doctor will diagnose food allergy based on your child’s:

  • Symptoms
  • medical history
  • physical exam
  • test results – selectively used and should be interpreted with caution by the doctor
  • Endoscopy – very rarely used at the discretion of the doctor
  • The doctor may recommend your child see an allergy specialist to further diagnose and treat the allergy

What is the treatment for a food allergy?
The food allergy can be treated by:

  • Elimination diet – foods causing the allergy are not eaten
  • Hypoallergenic infant formula used for infants
  • Most children outgrow food allergies particularly infants with cows milk allergies

GI Kids – Food Allergies
Kids with Food Allergies Organization

REMINDER: This information is intended to provide general information and should not be used to base a diagnosis or treatment. Please consult the doctors about your specific condition and the approach for treatment.