Food Allergy: Causes and Prevention

Food Allergy: Causes and Prevention

5 to 6% of children suffer from intolerance to a food. Caracolent overhead egg, milk, peanut ... Spectacular in its manifestations, the allergy can disappear spontaneously in a few months. The point with the allergist.

The cutaneous reaction: first sign of a food allergy

  • In general, the reaction occurs within minutes of ingestion of the food. Red patches appear all over the body (hives) and itches the child. Occasionally, swelling of the mouth, difficulty breathing or anaphylactic shock may occur in the most severe cases. This is the "immediate allergic reaction".
  • In children less than 1 year old, a reaction can occur, within 24 or 48 hours, in the form of an important eczema. When the food in question is eaten regularly (milk, egg), the eczema becomes chronic and recurrent. It is a "delayed allergic reaction".

Warning signs

After a meal :

  • edema.
  • digestive disorders, such as nausea, vomiting, colic or abdominal pain.
  • an eruption of pimples.

Guilty allergen must be confirmed by tests

  • If the allergic reaction is immediate, the allergist will perform skin tests, called "prick tests". This consists of placing drops of food extracts - or fresh foods - on the child's skin, then pricking the skin to penetrate the molecules. Where the substance is allergenic, swelling appears quickly. Sometimes these tests are not enough and are supplemented by provocation tests at the hospital. Under supervision, the child receives increasing doses of the suspect food.
  • If the allergic reaction is delayed, the screening will be done by a patch-test. The food is applied to the skin and reading is done 48 to 72 hours later. At present, only the detection patch for cow's milk protein allergy is marketed.

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