How do you know if it’s a food allergy? What're the signs and how do you treat them? Identifying the allergen is the first step, and if you or your loved one is craving a particular food constantly, it’s a food allergy.
We all want the food we can’t or shouldn’t have. Like children when it comes to candy, we all naturally crave what we know isn't good for us -- including food allergens. There are symptoms, visibly and emotionally detectable, that signify typical allergy symptoms but that most people aren't aware of.
Some of the most common food allergy symptoms for adults include: hives, eczema, vomiting, itching, diarrhea, lightheadedness, abdominal pain, and in rare cases, difficulty breathing. If you or a loved one experience difficulty breathing, seek medical help right away.
When asked, the majority of doctors can identify the most obvious food allergens -- for instance, peanuts, soy products, milk, eggs, or fish. However, we all can become allergic to our favorite foods just by eating them over and over daily. This is one reason why a rotation of diet is very important. Not only does it give you the nutrients your body needs, it keeps food allergies at bay.
If you detect that you or a loved one has a food allergy, first thing's first, write it down. Start a food diary so you can pinpoint the substance causing the grief. Once discovered, remove it from the diet. Supplementation is also important. Within a week you should see a difference but within a month you’ll see significant changes.
Children are different. They have younger bodies, weaker immune systems and symptoms that can be seen in adults but are most common to children. Some signs that a child may have a food allergy include the following: hyperactivity, behavioral issues, redness under the eyes, a red ring around the anus, a constantly stuffy nose, hives, rashes, red ear lobes, rashes at the corners of the mouth, gassy or abdominal pains and frequently clearing the nose.
I've experienced this firsthand with my daughter. She was very hyperactive, and it seemed as though something was not connecting. Even though she was very smart and sweet, I knew something was wrong. She would yank my arm to get my attention and she became impulsive and easily distracted.
I know what you’re saying, she’s a normal toddler. But I knew something was deficient in my daughter’s body, that it wasn’t her fault she couldn’t control herself. At the time, she was always craving “junk” - the name we've given to candy and other sweet foods like donuts and store-bought cookies. Even though she ate healthy, she still wanted “junk” all of the time. I only allowed her three pieces a day and sometimes she consumed all three pieces in one sitting.
After starting a food diary and writing down when she had reactions, I discovered that my daughter has an allergy to all dairy products. It didn’t matter if I bought organic or not, anything with casein gave her this reaction.
I’ve since removed it from her diet and have her taking high quality supplements everyday. She's doing great. When she talks she’s not jumping from story to story, she's not yanking my arm and she’s calmed down tremendously.
The key nutrients I give my daughter are fish oil, magnesium, calcium and soon will be introducing zinc. Within three days I saw a difference, but by the third week - the changes were significant. Better yet, she still continues to improve. She knows she has a milk allergy and she'll tell anyone who'll listen. She’s always been a great little girl and now the rest of the world can see it too.