One of the most common health issues children currently face is food allergies. Medical experts estimate approximately six percent of children in the United States currently suffer from some form of food allergy. Since the issue may be confusing for new parents, or even experienced ones, here are some frequently asked questions along with their answers to read before setting up an appointment with a Pediatric Allergy Specialist in Starkville MS.
Q: What is the difference between a food allergy and food intolerance?
A: A food allergy involves the immune system of the child. The immune system will react to specific proteins in the food and come on almost instantly even when only a small amount of food is ingested. Intolerance has no relation to the immune system, so the symptoms are far less severe than with those of an allergy. The main complaint a Pediatric Allergy Specialist in Starkville MS will hear in regards to intolerance is the child experiencing digestive issues.
Q: What are the foods that a parent should be mindful of?
A: By far the most common foods reported to be linked to allergies in children are milk, shellfish, eggs, fish, peanuts, soy, wheat, and tree nuts.
Q: What symptoms are related to food allergies?
A: A child who is experiencing an allergic reaction to food may exhibit symptoms such as diarrhea, abnormal swelling, coughing fits, or hives. In extreme cases, the symptoms may be life-threatening, so that an emergency room visit will be necessary. If the allergy has been previously diagnosed, the parent will know how severe the reaction could be.
Q: How do doctors diagnose these allergies?
A: It will mainly depend on the medical history of the child. They may order a blood test and ;depending on the results of this test, may order a food challenge test. Skin prick tests are also a popular way to diagnose the food allergy, as the food antibodies within the blood of the child will be able to be observed.
Visit Us if there is the concern the child may have an allergy to food or if they have experienced any of the above symptoms. A member of the staff will be more than happy to set up an appointment.