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Posted on: November 29, 2016

New parents should be aware that one out of every 13 children has a food allergy. Food allergies run the gamut from a mild reaction to a severe reaction that could be life-threatening. So, how can you tell if your child has a food allergy? Learn about the symptoms, illnesses confused with food allergies and causes below.

What Are the Symptoms of Food Allergies?

The usual symptoms are one or several of the following:
Breathing Issues

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tightness of the throat
  • Wheezing
  • Sneezing

Stomach Issues

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Skin Problems

  • Itchy skin rashes, such as eczema (also called atopic dermatitis)
  • Hives (red spots that look like mosquito bites)
  • Swelling
  • Pale skin

Other Symptoms

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Light-headiness
  • Circulation issues

What Illnesses Are Commonly Confused with Food Allergies?

Drug effects – Certain ingredients, such as caffeine found soda or candy, can make your child shaky or restless

Skin irritations – Often thought to be a sign of a food allergy, but, in most cases, this symptom is caused by acid found in items such as orange juice or tomato.

Food Poisoning – Causes vomiting or diarrhea, however, these symptoms are likely to be caused by bacteria in undercooked food or spoiled food.

Diarrhea – Small children can have diarrhea that is often associated with too much sugar. Orange juice and other fruit drinks are common villains.

What Foods Cause Food Allergies?

Foods of all kinds can trigger an allergic episode in your child. Key suspects include:

  • Nuts from trees (such as walnuts, pistachios, pecans, cashews)
  • Peanuts
  • Eggs
  • Cow’s milk
  • Shellfish and fish (such as tuna, salmon, cod)
  • Wheat
  • Soy

Parents, for most of you there is light at the of the tunnel. Many children outgrow their food allergies by the age of five. Estimates are that 80% to 90% of kids outgrow milk, egg, soy, and wheat allergies. Certain allergies are stubborn and will stay with your child during adulthood. Nut allergies and seafood allergies tend to be more permanent, but one in five kids with a peanut allergy become non-allergic.
Pediatrician Gwenn Schurgin O’Keeffe stated:

“If your baby has frequent stomach problems after eating a particular food (gas, bloating, diarrhea, cramping, or vomiting), he/she may have a food intolerance. All that means is that his digestive system isn’t able to comfortably handle it.”

The Carolina Asthma and Allergy Center began serving the Charlotte area in 1952. Each physician in the practice is a board-certified and committed to educating our patients and their parents to improve the patient’s quality of life while maintaining our high standards of care and expertise. Our physicians specialize in the following areas as well as general and caring routine allergy problems. Our specialties include:

  • Food allergy
  • Asthma
  • Drug allergy
  • Bee and Fire Ant Venom allergy

Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center help patients breathe, live and ultimately thrive by effectively treating allergy and asthma challenges. Our practice has 12 locations for our patient’s convenience. Contact us through our online contact form for an appointment at an office near you.