Food sensitivities and food allergies are two different issues but can both be extremely scary to an individual suffering through the problem or the parent of a child with either. A food allergy and a food sensitivity are often used incorrectly and interchangeably except in hospitals and medical practices. The more dangerous of the two is food allergies with the most common of food allergies being peanuts and shellfish. Other nuts and various foods containing sulfides are also known to cause severe allergic reactions. These types of allergies cause whats known as Anaphylactic shock and can cause death within 30 seconds to a couple minutes of ingesting the offending food.
Food sensitivities will not release the abundance of chemicals and histamines in the body which is the leading cause of Anaphylactic shock. Sensitivities to different foods bring upon delayed reactions which take anywhere from 45 minutes to more than three days. Because the response from the body is suspended, doctors have a challenging time diagnosing sensitivities to foods. Many times food sensitivities go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for years because they can masquerade as so many other illnesses.
Allergies to food can develop at any age but typically begin early in someones life. When a child or infant is diagnosed with food allergies, they generally outgrow their allergies as they become teenagers. However, when an individual acquires an allergy to a food or group of foods as an adult, they are most likely going to have that allergy for the rest of their life.
The five most common food sensitivities for infants include:
When we think of babies, we often think of baby bottles filled with milk. That’s why its hard to imagine infants are often sensitive to milk and other dairy products. The majority of infants become irritable when drinking conventional cows milk. The proteins in bovine dairy is the cause of sensitivity for infants which leaves them with such symptoms as abdominal pain, gas, constipation, diarrhea, green stools, bloody stools, vomiting, large amounts of spit-up, diaper rash, eczema, fussiness, crying and indications of colic.
Soy is another common food sensitivity found in infants. Unfortunately, many baby formulas are created with a soy protein which makes it hard for moms who are not breastfeeding to find soy-free alternatives. But there are a couple brands of baby formula that do not contain this bean. Some of the symptoms of soy sensitivity include fever blisters, asthma, diarrhea, stomach pains, nausea, vomiting, weakness, fever, itching, itching around the mouth, random swelling around the body, trouble breathing, wheezing, acne, eczema or other skin rashes and conjunctivitis (pink eye).
Most people have heard the horror stories involving children and peanuts. Even infants who are near a peanut butter and jelly sandwich have broken out in head-to-toe hives, but these are the severe cases and not as common as you might think. Although there are many infants who have peanut sensitivities. Infants and children under the age of 3 should not be given peanuts or other tree nuts due to the choking hazards they pose as well as the possibility for an allergic reaction. Symptoms of peanut sensitivity begin as small bumps on the skin, hives, abdominal pain, diarrhea and/or vomiting and could progress to swelling of the throat and tongue.
Some parents feed their infants eggs early on because they are soft and fortified with vitamins and minerals, plus eggs are a quick food when baby is crying from hunger. But eggs are another common cause for food sensitivity in infants. Sensitivity to eggs cause skin issues such as eczema, hives, blisters and other types of rashes. Other symptoms of egg sensitivities include vomiting, nausea, and upset stomach. A reaction to eggs can be severe or mild.
Many more individuals of all ages are sensitive to wheat and gluten these days than ever before. The primary reason is the wheat planted and harvested in the fields today has been altered and supercharged to grow bigger than that of wheat from a mere 25-30 years ago. This super-wheat is unhealthy and contributing to the expanding waistline of Americans, starting with infants. Symptoms to look for are bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux almost immediately after being fed, irritability, chronic crying after eating, vomiting and lack of sleep.
When babies are upset, crying and colicky for long periods of time, it’s hard to know the exact causes. Even breastfed babies can be victims of common food sensitivities because what mom eats and drinks, so too does baby. Although parents can be extra cautious, babies could still become irritated by various food sensitivities. Besides possessing the patients of a saint, parents feel there is little they can do for their suffering infant.
A natural alternative to suffering is Tummy Calm Gas Drops. These are an over-the-counter liquid medication that helps to alleviate abdominal pain, gassiness and bloating resulting from trapped gas in the intestines and stomach, a symptom of food sensitivities. A homeopathic formula in liquid, Tummy Calm goes right to work gently removing excess gas without the use of simethicone, a harsh synthetic drug other infant gas drops contain.
What many individuals don’t realize is ones risk of becoming food sensitive or having a food allergy increases the more a particular food is eaten. For example, in the Scandinavia Peninsula, codfish allergies are more prevalent than most other countries simply because this is one of their main foods. In Asian countries, rice sensitivities are higher than the US and many other countries plainly due to the fact that rice is routinely served with more meals.
Anna is a freelance writer and researcher from the Olympia, WA area who loves to obsess about weird topics and then write about them. When she isn't writing, she is outside on her bike and comtemplating her eventual trip to graduate school.