Changing living conditions, environmental pollution and genetic reasons have doubled the incidence of food allergy in children in the last 10 years. So much so that food allergy has become a problem seen in 100 out of every 6 babies. in children younger than 4 years old; Acıbadem Maslak Hospital Pediatric Allergy Specialist Prof. said that complaints such as refusal of food, difficulty in swallowing, crying for no reason, sleep disturbance, abdominal pain, vomiting, decreased appetite and constipation may be symptoms of food allergy. Dr. Gülbin Bingöl said, “Allergy has many different symptoms. Especially since babies and young children cannot voice their complaints, parents need to be careful observers.” said. Allergens exposed during infancy; Stating that factors such as the timing, amount, changes in the microbial environment in the early period and vitamin D deficiency are among the reasons for the increase in allergy, Prof. Dr. Gülbin Bingöl gave detailed information about allergies.
8 most allergenic foods
Explaining that food allergy is the general name of the reactions that occur in the body against the foods taken naturally, Prof. Dr. Gülbin Bingöl emphasizes that food allergy is an increasing health problem. Explaining that this type of allergy has been seen twice in the last 10 years, Prof. Dr. Gülbin Bingöl continues her words as follows:
“The 8 most common food allergies; It is possible to group them as cow's milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, shellfish and fish. These allergens affect 6,5 thousand children in the 0-4 age group, the number of which is 350 million in our country. This type of allergy, which is seen in 6 percent of babies and 4 percent of children, decreases to 2 percent in adolescence and 1 percent in adulthood.
The most common symptom; skin rash
Food allergy often manifests itself with findings in the skin, gastrointestinal and respiratory systems. Stating that symptoms such as itching, redness, urticaria (hives), eczema, swelling on the lips and around the eyes occur in 50-60 percent of babies and children with an allergic body, Prof. Dr. Gülbin Bingöl said, “There are signs such as bloody stools, mucus in the stool, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, colic, constipation and diarrhea in the stomach and intestinal system, which are also seen at the same rate. Respiratory symptoms are less common. In 20-30 percent of the patients, runny nose, itching, sneezing, itching in the throat, coarsening of the voice, difficulty in swallowing, cough, wheezing and shortness of breath are observed. However, beyond all this, in case of anaphylaxis (shock picture), low blood pressure, fainting, palpitations, pallor, headache and confusion are experienced," he says, giving detailed information about the symptoms. prof. Dr. Gülbin Bingöl emphasizes that complaints such as refusal of food, difficulty in swallowing, crying for no reason, sleep disturbance, abdominal pain, vomiting, decreased appetite and constipation should not be overlooked in children younger than 4 years old.
Food allergy needs to be taken seriously as it can cause very important health problems. Stating that with early diagnosis and measures against foods that cause allergies, complaints in the skin, gastrointestinal and respiratory system can be eliminated and this will help improve the quality of life of both the child and his family. Dr. Gülbin Bingöl says, "Shock picture and life-threatening reactions can be prevented in severe food allergies."
Do not be late to apply to the doctor
So, when should parents consult a doctor? Emphasizing the importance of following closely the findings in infants and children, Prof. Dr. Gülbin Bingöl continues:
“If there are the symptoms we have described, that is, blood in the poop, mucous (snotty) poop, vomiting that does not improve, crying and restlessness for an unknown reason, and rash on the skin, a doctor should be consulted. These findings can occur even while breastfeeding. This is because nutritional proteins pass from breast milk to the baby. Those who have such findings, especially those who experience shock, should be under the control of a doctor.”
Decreases with advancing age
It is possible that these problems and food allergies, which affect the quality of life in general, decrease or even disappear with age. Noting that some of the cow's milk, egg, wheat and soy allergies improve in the first year, Prof. Dr. Gülbin Bingöl said, “However, the development of tolerance can continue until puberty. Peanuts and tree nuts are accepted by the body and development is slower. Sometimes the allergy persists. Likewise, allergies to fish and shellfish often persist.”
There is no cure but it can be avoided!
There is no definitive treatment for food allergy. However, noting that some measures to prevent it, the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology prepared a report after various studies, Prof. Dr. Gülbin Bingöl said, “According to the results, formula containing cow's milk should not be given to the baby for the first week. Well-cooked eggs can be given during the transition period to solid food. In addition, peanut allergy can be added to the foods to be given in the transition to nutrition in societies with a high prevalence of peanut allergy.
Take precautions against anaphylactic shock
The basis of the food allergy treatment process is the elimination of the food that causes the allergy from the diet. Noting that if the baby is fed with breast milk, the mother should stay away from those foods, Prof. Dr. Gülbin Bingöl warned, “The treatment of symptoms caused by food allergies, such as eczema, is also important. Again, in patients at risk of shock, adrenaline autoinjectors (adrenaline pens) should be carried. If the child goes to school or nursery, these items should be kept there and the child and teachers should be informed about when they should be used.