As many parents know, children are especially prone to allergies. Sometimes they suffer from acute reactions that will become less severe later in life. Unfortunately, that knowledge doesn't decrease the child's suffering now. In an effort to understand what's causing so much discomfort for their kids, parents are trying to find information on food allergies and learn how they induce their effects.
An allergy occurs because a substance in food fails to break down during the digestive process. When this happens, the substance is called "allergenic." The culprit is most often a protein, but almost any substance in food can cause an allergic reaction in some people. The molecules of the allergenic substance generally have strong bonds that make them difficult to degrade, and some individuals will be able to digest them while others will not.
When complete digestion does not occur, the body's immune system finds the molecules and mistakes them for harmful invaders. To show that they are harmful, the immune system tags them with a chemical called Immunoglobulin E.
This is like setting off an alarm. The body launches a series of reactions in an effort to defend its systems against the invader, but these quickly get out of control and become a threat in them. The immune response can be seen in three areas: the skin, the gastrointestinal tract and the respiratory system.
On the skin's surface, the allergies response causes a rapid form of dermatitis that creates hives, swelling, redness, burning and itching. The swelling often occurs in the face, especially the lips, tongue, throat lining and eyelids. This symptom can be very dangerous, as it can make breathing difficult resulting in wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. In severe cases, breathing impairment can cause fainting or even suffocation.
Breathing difficulties are often accompanied by circulatory impairment as the blood vessels widen and blood pressure drops. This combination of circulatory and respiratory impairment is called anaphylaxis. It happens most often in persons who are allergic to seafood, tree nuts or peanuts. It is very serious and requires immediate medical attention.
Reactions in the gastrointestinal tract sometimes include nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. In acute cases, the lining of the stomach or intestines can be damaged.
Common allergens among children are seafood, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, milk, soy and eggs. Egg allergies occur in about two per cent of kids under five, but often disappear later in life. Some children show strong reactions to synthetic substances such as dyes, preservatives and other additives.
Parents of children with allergy free recipes for kids should be aware of the situation and take steps to prepare for it. In many cases, the risk can be greatly decreased by simply encouraging the child to carry antihistamines in his pocket. If a child shows even a slight allergic reaction, such as a mysterious skin rash, it's best to find out the cause. Happily, many cases that look like allergies reactions turn out to be caused by some temporary irritant that doesn't pose a serious threat.