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Food Allergies: Everything You Need To Know About Food Allergies in Babies

Food allergies are the negative reactions the body has when exposed to certain kinds of food. When babies have food allergies, their immune system react adversely to the food you give them. Consequently, their bodies produce antibodies as they try to fight these foods. Most of the time, you will notice the allergic symptoms babies have to food soon after they eat it. food allergy symptoms in babies could be anywhere from mild to completely severe. That means you need to be careful about how you introduce the foods to them.

How Common Are Allergies In Babies?

Food allergies are quite common in babies and they are more likely to happen if there is a history of that allergy in your family. It could also happen if you have a history of allergic reactions like asthma, hay fever, or eczema. Eczema has the strongest link to food allergies. If your baby suffers from eczema when he is three months or less, then it is likely that he will develop a food allergy. In general, the earlier and the more severe eczema starts, the higher the chances of your baby having a food allergy.

It is very important for you to introduce new foods to your baby gradually. If you do not try one food at a time, you will have a hard time identifying exactly which type of food your baby is allergic to. For instance, imagine if you introduced three types of food at the same time and the baby develops a reaction to one of them. There would be no way of knowing which of the three foods provoked that reaction.

Remember, the type of food you introduce or the order in which you introduce it is not important as long as the food is healthy and well balanced for your baby. You should not eliminate any type of food from the baby’s’ diet when testing for other foods since it is already clear your baby is not allergic to it. Instead, you should avoid adding more than one food to the baby’s diet. Instead, add them one by one.

Foods That Are Likely To Cause Allergies in Babies

It would be wise for you to check for a reaction whenever you introduce a new food you to your baby. There are numerous foods that babies are allergic to with some of them affecting more babies than others do. The following list has the foods that are commonly known to cause allergic reactions up to 90% of the time.

• Milk

• Eggs

• Peanuts

• Tree nuts like walnuts

• Fish

• Soy

• Wheat

• Shellfish

Food Allergy Symptoms in Babies

It is quite easy to tell whether you baby has a food allergy. Some of the symptoms you need to look for include the following.

• Hives

• Flushed skin or rash

• Itching

• Tongue/lip/facial swelling

• Vomiting and diarrhea

• Coughing

• Wheezing

• Shortness of breath

Most allergic reactions tend to happen when a new type of food is introduced. That is why pediatricians’ advice parents to introduce new foods systematically. This way, they will know exactly what kind of food your baby is reacting to.

When to Call For Immediate Help

Your baby’s reaction to certain foods may be severe. He could develop symptoms like wheezing, vomiting, or trouble breathing. You should call for help immediately because this kind of reaction could result in death.

When the Symptoms Are Mild

If your baby develops mild symptoms, you can take them to a pediatrician the following day for further evaluation. The doctor will offer you a plan of action on how to manage the allergy and how you can deal with accidental exposure once you identify what they are allergic to. A mild reaction could become more severe after exposure depending on the symptoms your baby is experiencing.

How Do You Treat Food Allergies In Babies?

The most important thing you should do is to remove the trigger food from the baby’s diet. It is important for you to note that there are children who develop anaphylaxis because of reactions to certain foods. These reactions could lead to shock and even death. The pediatrician might recommend that you carry an EpiPen if your child suffers from such reactions. This is a needle used to deliver an epinephrine injection reversing anaphylaxis.

What You Can Do To Prevent Your Baby from Getting

Food Allergies

There are different theories out there and in the past, doctors have advised parents to wait until the baby is older before they introduce him to commonly known allergic foods. However, this is not a preventative measure because even when they are older, they could still react to such foods. A different research tends to show that preventing such allergic reactions is possible by introducing these foods to babies gradually and in small portions. You should note that current research is unclear on whether breastfeeding your baby up to six months reduces the risk of babies’ developing allergies.

Do Food Allergies Have A Cure?

Babies can overcome allergies, as they grow older. However, doing so depends on what the allergen was. About 90% of children outgrow their allergy to cow’s milk & egg allergies. In contrast, only 10-20 % of babies outgrow their allergy to peanuts. Babies might outgrow their allergies but they might develop atopic or allergy-related conditions like hay fever or asthma. This is called an allergic or atopic march.

Are Food Allergies The Same As Food Intolerance?

Babies could have food intolerance but this is quite different from allergies. Intolerance has nothing to do with the immune system and everything to do with digestion. Some of the reactions babies have to food intolerance are as follows.

• Colic

• Wind

• Tummy ache

• Diarrhea

• Bloating

• Vomiting

Lactose intolerance is the most common form of food intolerance in babies. You should see your GP about it because if you diagnose it you could think it is celiac disease, which is associated with gluten in grains.

How Should You Manage Food Allergies In Babies?

Once the allergy has been diagnosed, trigger foods need to be avoided. However, if the allergy is mild then the baby can still have foods that trigger allergic reactions. Unfortunately, if the allergy is severe, then avoiding the foods that lead to such severe reactions is the best idea.

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