Symptoms

Children, babies and adults – in fact anyone who has on-going symptoms could have food allergy.

What are symptoms?

Symptoms occur when you or your child experiences changes in your body or its functions. This can be indicative of disease or illness, or injury, or food allergy.
A symptom is subjective. It is not usually visible to others including nurses and doctors. It includes such feelings of pain, discomfort, fever, chills, cold, nausea, vomiting, itchy skin … etc.

Symptoms are common

Children and babies frequently have some low-level symptoms going on. These symptoms can be caused by:

  1. Infections (mainly viruses and bacteria)
  2. Physiological processes (such as teething, change of diet, regurgitation and behavior adaptation)
  3. Injury (usually obvious)
  4. Food allergy (from immediate and slow onset reactions)

The symptoms experienced across these above categories can be indistinguishable from one another. Often the symptoms are caused by food allergy, but interpreted as “infection” or a “normal” physiological stage.

More than one in every ten children has a problem with foods. Therefore, common symptoms are frequently caused by a food allergy.

Lots of symptoms

The childhood symptoms that are often caused by food allergy include:

  • Eczema
  • Nappy rash
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Gastric reflux
  • Colic
  • Runny noses
  • Repeated ear problems
  • Tiredness
  • Behaviour disturbance
  • Poor growth.

But, because these symptoms are so common, they tend to get overlooked. Worse, the symptoms often attributed to
virus” infections, or “teething”, or “behavior disturbance”. Whilst a food allergy is often the culprit, which goes unrecognized.

Typical story

I asked Toby’s mother to write it down. She says this:

“Dr Ford, thank you for giving me an opportunity to write my story. As last, Toby (now 14 months old) is well again. I am so relieved.

Toby is my second baby. Everything went so well for the first few weeks. I was a contented mother. He was breastfed and beautiful. But then our troubles began! By four weeks he was starting to whinge and squirm after feeds. I noticed that his skin was getting dry and felt scaly.

I got anxious. Over the next few weeks his rash got worse and worse. His cheeks got red and began to crack and weep. He developed cradle cap. He was being sick after his breast feeds. At times he seemed miserable. My GP had given me a steroid cream to put on – but it didn’t make much difference.

Luckily, one of my friends told me that this might be a food allergy and that I should see Dr Ford. I did! He solved the problem!

After listening to me, he did a series of skin prick tests. They were easy to do. They were done on his back and Toby didn’t even notice. Within five minutes he had two big bumps like sand-fly bites on his back. They were reactions to cow’s milk and to egg. It was amazing! I had an answer!

It was now so easy. All I had to do was to remove all cow’s milk and egg from my diet. I did this. Within three weeks Toby’s skin was almost perfect. It was hard to believe!”

Yes. Eczema is often driven by food allergy.

Lots more questions!

Toby’s mum now had so many questions. She asked me -

  • “What could Toby drink when I wean him off the breast?”
  • “Will he get other allergies?”
  • “Will he grow out of this allergy to cow’s milk? And when?”
  • “How dangerous will his food allergies be?”
  • “What if he has milk or egg by accident?”
  • “How accurate are these food skin tests?”
  • “Is it safe to put steroid creams on a baby’s skin?”
  • “Are probiotics (acidophilus) a good idea?”

Questions answered
All of these questions, and hundreds more, answered on this eClinic website.

Look at the navigation list on the right-hand side to click on the symptoms of interest to you.

Please use the eClinic system to get personalized help.