Table of contents:
- Symptoms of food allergy in baby
- How the diagnosis is made
- Possible causes
- What to do to avoid a food allergy
Food allergies in babies are an overreaction of the immune system against certain proteins in food. However, most food reactions are not allergic, but food intolerance, not related to the immune system, but being a consequence of errors in digestion or food metabolism. This condition is not related to the immune system - it results from errors in digestion or metabolism of food.
Allergies can manifest for the first time at any age, although they are more frequent in babies, even in those who had a food introduction after 6 months. In addition, it is possible that a person who previously tolerated a food may develop an allergy to that same food over time.
It is important that the food responsible for the allergy is identified, so that it is possible to avoid its consumption, giving preference to other foods rich in that nutrient. In addition, in some cases, the child spontaneously becomes tolerant of that food between the ages of 3 and 4 years, so that when they go back to consuming the food that previously caused allergy, there may not be the development of signs or symptoms..
Symptoms of food allergy in baby
Symptoms of food allergy can appear a few minutes to a few hours after contact with the allergenic protein, and signs and symptoms involving the skin, digestive system and, in some cases, the respiratory system may be noticed, the main ones being:
- Red, swollen and scattered spots on the body;
- Generalized itching;
- Vomiting and diarrhea;
- There may be blood or mucus in the stool in some cases;
- Swelling of the tongue, lips and face;
- Cough and wheezing when breathing;
- Difficulty breathing;
- Swollen eyes.
In addition to these symptoms, in more severe cases, loss of consciousness and difficulty breathing may occur, due to swelling of the throat tissues, being important in these cases that the baby is taken to the nearest hospital so that treatment can be started more suitable.
How the diagnosis is made
The diagnosis of food allergy in babies is made by the pediatrician based on the observation of the signs and symptoms presented, because the laboratory tests performed, including those specific for allergy, may not show alterations.
Thus, it is important to observe the baby's eating habits and the development of symptoms after consumption.In the case of babies who have not started food introduction, it is possible that the triggering factor of the allergy is present in the mother's diet and, therefore, it is important that the diet is observed so that it is possible to identify the food responsible for the allergy in the baby.
Food allergy is mainly related to milk protein, being more common in children who have already started food introduction and, therefore, are no longer exclusively breastfed, although allergy to milk protein can also occur of cow in babies who are exclusively breastfed and mothers consume milk protein.
In the case of babies who are exclusively breastfed, allergy symptoms may be related to foods consumed by the mother and whose proteins can be passed through the milk. The main food consumed by the woman and that can be passed in breast milk to the baby and cause the allergy is cow's milk.If it is proven that cow's milk consumed by the woman is responsible for the symptoms of allergy in the baby, it is indicated to replace this food, giving preference to other sources of calcium. Check out a list of foods rich in calcium.
Although an allergic reaction can be triggered by any food, the main foods that most often cause allergies in children are milk proteins, eggs, fish, nuts, soy and wheat.
What to do to avoid a food allergy
The best way to avoid food allergy is by following the pediatrician's guidelines on baby feeding, which should be exclusively breast milk or adequate infant formula up to 6 months, and food introduction can be started from that age.
In addition, it is important that the food responsible for the allergy is identified, so that it is possible to avoid the consumption of this food by both the mother and the baby, if the food has already started, and thus avoid symptoms of allergy.