What is a Food Allergy?

A food allergy is an immunological hypersensitivity, which occurs most commonly in response to foodFood-Allergy proteins that are mistaken as harmful: a defense system is created to fight them off. The most common foods which render allergic reactions are: eggs, milk, seafood, shellfish, tree nuts, soy, wheat, and peanuts.

What are some symptoms of a food allergy?

True allergies are associated with a fast-acting immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody response. These allergic reactions have an acute onset (from seconds to one hour) and may include: soft tissue swelling (usually around the eyelids, face, lips, and tongue), severe swelling of the tongue as well as the larynx (voice box), hives, itching, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, nasal congestion, wheezing, shortness of breath, or anaphylactic shock.

How can I help treat my child’s food allergy?

Food allergies are treated by avoidance diets: the allergic person avoids all forms of the food to which they are allergic. For people who are extremely sensitive, this may involve total avoidance of any exposure to the allergen, including touching or inhaling the problematic food or touching any surfaces that may have come into contact with the food.

Our approach to a food allergy at North Shore Pediatric Therapy

Our dietitians work with your healthcare team to identify foods that may be causing problems. We start with a basic diet for your child that includes all food groups, and we teach you how to choose foods that meet your child’s nutritional needs. Food elimination diets are also used to exclude food proteins likely to cause allergic reactions. These elimination diets are not everyday diets but are intended to isolate problem food proteins. Once all food allergies have been identified, our dietitians can prescribe an appropriate diet for the individual to avoid foods with those proteins.   We also provide lists of suitable foods that are available from various restaurants and local grocery stores.  We will ensure adequate nutrition is achieved with safe and healthy foods!

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