By Dr. Arif Yunus, Allergy/Immunology,
Food allergies are one of the most common kinds of allergy, usually observed among children. The reason behind this is, children have a weaker immune system and are often susceptible to certain chemicals or ingredients present in a particular food item. Here are 5 most common food allergies that children frequently suffer from-
- Milk and Dairy Products: Most children are allergic to dairy products, especially milk. It is perhaps the most commonly detected allergy since all infants survive on milk. Among many of the ingredients present in milk, the most crucial one which triggers health issues is lactose. Children who are incapable of tolerating lactose may face digestive problems, bloating or bowel issues. However, the situation becomes worse in case of dairy allergy. Your immune system combats the elements present within dairy and lactose, viewing the ingredients as harmful for your body. This situation leads to inflammation and allergic reactions.
- Eggs: Eggs are regarded as an important source of protein, good cholesterol and energy. But studies show that children are often prone to allergic reactions after consuming egg or any food item which contains traces of egg. Egg allergy is a condition which usually occurs when your body reacts or becomes sensitized to the proteins present in egg yolks. When you consume eggs or any food that contains egg, the body perceives the protein as a foreign object and releases chemicals to fight against it. These chemicals lead to allergic reactions in your body. The symptoms and signs of egg allergy range from severe to mild including hives or skin inflammation, skin rashes, nasal congestion or sneezing, digestive problems. In rare occasions, egg allergy can lead to a life-threatening condition known as anaphylaxis.
- Peanuts: Children are prone to peanut allergies as their immune system often mistakenly recognize the proteins in peanuts as foreign particles and trigger allergic reactions. Although named as ‘nuts’, peanuts are actually a type of pea so if your child is allergic to peanuts, it does not necessarily signify that he/she will be allergic to all types of nuts.
- Wheat: Allergic reactions that are triggered from consumption of wheat or products containing traces of wheat, can adversely affect the health of your child. They can develop skin rashes, headache, itching or swelling in the mouth, hives, etc. Wheat allergy can even lead to serious digestive problems if not paid attention to.
Although allergic reactions and its underlying conditions can be treated with anti-allergic medications, overuse of such medications may lead to other health conditions in children. So a safer option would be look out for symptoms and avoid these food items if your child is allergic to the aforementioned food products. Consult a doctor if necessary.