Food sensitivities are becoming an increasingly common issue among adults and children. Although many people use the term “ food allergies” to describe all food reactions, sensitivities differ from food allergies. Food Allergies are what people traditionally think of when they think of allergies. These are immediate, fast and obvious reactions. They are mediated by the immune system cells immunoglobulin E (IgE) which triggers the release of histamine. Symptoms include hives, wheezing and anaphylactic reactions. Food Sensitivities however are mediated by Immunoglobulins G (IgG) reactions and can result in a variety of symptoms. Food sensitivities also differ in the time they take to present symptoms. Unlike IgE reactions which occur immediately, IgG reactions usually take 2-3 days for the reaction to occur, which can make it tricky to identify cause and effect. How Do You Know?
symptoms can vary from child to child but the most common symptoms include:
- Eczema, Rashes, Allergic Shiners (dark circles under the eyes)
- Constipation, Diarrhea, Colic
- Diaper Rash
- Mucus in the Stool
- Gastric Reflux in Infants
- Congestion, Phlegmy Cough
What Can I Do As A Parent? The first step is to identify the offending foods your child is reacting to. This may be common foods in their diet if they are eating solids. Formulas can also cause issues, or even if your child is exclusively breast fed, your babe can still be reacting to foods in mom’s diet, as IgG antibodies can traverse through the breast milk. The most common sensitivities are diary, gluten, citrus, eggs, soy and corn.
Who Can Help? A Naturopathic Doctor can help parents discover their children’s hidden food sensitivities as well as provide nutritional counseling and supportive therapies aimed at restoring the child’s digestive health.