Food allergies and food sensitivities can be confusing to parents, but it’s important to understand the differences between the two. In this article, we’ll explore what food allergies and food sensitivities are, how they differ, and what parents can do to help their children manage their symptoms.
Food Allergies vs. Food Sensitivities
Before we dive into the symptoms of food sensitivities, let’s talk about what they are. A food sensitivity is an adverse reaction to a food that doesn’t involve the immune system. Unlike a food allergy, which can be life-threatening, a food sensitivity is generally less severe but can still cause uncomfortable symptoms. Common food sensitivities include lactose intolerance, gluten sensitivity, and sensitivity to certain food additives like MSG.
Common Symptoms of Food Allergies
Common symptoms of food allergies in children include hives, swelling, itching, difficulty breathing, and anaphylaxis. These symptoms can occur within minutes or hours of eating a triggering food and can be life-threatening in some cases. If you suspect your child has a food allergy, it’s important to talk to their medical doctor right away.
Common Symptoms of Food Sensitivities
Common symptoms of food sensitivities in children include digestive issues, skin issues, respiratory issues, and behavioral issues. Symptoms can vary depending on the individual and the specific food, but some of the most common symptoms include bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, skin rashes, coughing, wheezing, hyperactivity, irritability, difficulty sleeping, and poor concentration. While food sensitivities are generally less severe than food allergies, they can still have a significant impact on a child’s quality of life.
How to Manage Food Allergies and Food Sensitivities
If you suspect that your child has a food sensitivity, there are a few things you can do to help them feel their best:
- Keep a food diary: Keeping track of what your child eats and any symptoms they experience can help you identify potential triggers.
- Read labels: Make sure to read food labels carefully to avoid any potential allergens or irritants.
- Cook at home: Cooking at home can help you control what your child eats and avoid any potential triggers.
Seeking Professional Help
In conclusion, while food allergies and food sensitivities share some similarities in their symptoms, they are two distinct types of adverse reactions to food with different underlying causes. Understanding the difference between the two can help parents better identify and manage their child’s food-related health issues.
If you suspect that your child has a food sensitivity, don’t hesitate to reach out to our office. Our team of healthcare professionals is here to help you and your child identify any potential triggers and develop an individualized plan to help manage their symptoms. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards helping your child feel their best. We look forward to hearing from you!