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What Parents Ought to Know About Common Food Allergy Research
Research is backing up what parents already know: the need for common food allergy help is on the rise.
At first, caring for a child with common food allergy problems may seem very uncommon. Unlike other parents, you have to start allergy cooking with ease, looking for special nutritional resources and otherwise keep your child healthy and happy.
Thankfully, more information comes out daily to help parents and offer guidance as your child grows up.
As a parent, you will be very surprised to see how easy it can be for common food allergies to impact kids and parents.
The most common food allergy triggers in children are gluten, egg, nut,
wheat, yeast and milk.
|Some recent studies estimate that 60% of the population has some form of food allergy or intolerance. Other studies put that number even higher.
One third of mothers surveyed modify their family's diet to accommodate a
family member with a suspected food allergy.|
|Only about 6% percent of children have a clinically proven, true allergic reaction to foods. According to two Journal of Clinical Immunology articles, milk is the most common food allergy,
effecting 2% to 3% of all children. Remember, a true allergy is one where
the immune system responds to a food within a couple hours after exposure
to an offending food.|
|Food intolerances or sensitivities effect at least 55% of the
population causing a delayed-onset of symptoms.
Food intolerances are generally manifested within the digestive system
but can impact nearly every part of a child's body and even
predict who will have child food allergies but heredity plays a key role
- A child with an
allergy-suffering parent has a 30% to 40% chance of developing one too
- A child with both parents suffering allergies has a 75% chance
of developing one also
- If neither parent has allergies, there is only a 10% to 15%
chance the child will have one
|85% of true childhood allergies, those to milk, soy and eggs in
particular, disappear by the time a child is 3-years-old. Peanut and tree
nut allergies, however, often persist into adulthood.|
|Organizations like ALCAT Worldwide have researched food intolerances and think they can sometimes be alleviated or eliminated.
- Change eating habits by cutting out all
offending foods from the diet for 3-12 months
- Monitor the child's nutritional status to
encourage their digestive system to fully develop or heal.
- Re-introduce foods into the diet with few, if any, side
| It is possible to delay the onset of
common food allergies in infants and prevent them in childhood. Exclusive breastfeeding
for at least six months, with moms avoiding foods containing peanuts
and eggs prevents a child's exposure to the substances before their
immune system is ready.
Another helpful technique is
avoiding the introduction of any the highly allergenic solid foods until the age of two. The
delay allows plenty of time to develop stronger immune and digestive systems.
||The incidence of ear infections can also be decreased by avoiding
highly-allergenic foods, specifically milk. A study published in the
Annals of Allergy found that 78% of childhood ear infections are
associated with food allergies and eliminating milk from the diet
decreases the number of recurring ear infections.|
||Although many food allergies show up after just two exposures to a
particular food, consistent, frequent exposure to the same food increases
a child's odds of developing an allergy to that food as he grows and
That tendency is evident in Scandinavia, where large numbers of
children are allergic to fish, and in Japan where many suffer from rice
Currently there is no cure for true food allergies. A complete avoidance of the offending foods is the most effective way to handle them.
However, as explained above, food intolerances can be successfully managed. But, regardless of a child's response to foods, incorporating healthy, non-allergenic and non-processed foods into her diet will strengthen her immune system and enable a healthy, fully-developed digestive system, which potentially can reduce the severity of her allergies.
Likewise, nutritional consultants like author Phyllis Balch agree that a diet rich with fruits, vegetables and varying grains and proteins is a good hedge against any child developing allergies in the future.
(Return to Kid Nutrition from this Common Food Allergy page)
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