What are the symptoms of food allergy in infants ? Is there any sign for food allergy ?
All of the reactions that occur due to the foods we consume are called unwanted food reactions. The vast majority of undesirable reactions occur due to the pharmacological properties of foods, their metabolic or toxic effects. Since their complaints are similar, they can often be confused with each other. However, they differ greatly in terms of their mechanisms and the problems they cause. Therefore, patients with complaints should be evaluated very well in terms of food allergy.
Food allergy is caused by an abnormal response to nutrients by our immune system. Clinically, symptoms can be mild (urticaria, etc.), as well as lead to life-threatening severe reactions (anaphylaxis). Again, depending on the characteristics of the immune response, symptoms can be seen in many organs (skin, digestive system, etc.).
The development of food allergy begins with the fact that our immune system perceives proteins in foods as a threat and produces IgE-type antibodies against them. When sensitive individuals encounter the same nutrients, they bind to previously formed IgE antibodies and cause many substances, mainly histamine, to be released from mast cells. Clinical findings develop depending on the effects of these substances.
In addition, food allergy may develop depending on the mechanisms (cellular immune response) of our immune system other than IgE. It differs in terms of clinical findings. Their diagnostic processes are also different and more difficult.
Food allergies are mostly one of the problems of childhood. In babies who are breastfed, the period after starting supplementary foods may appear as urticaria, rash or eczema on the skin.
Today, food allergies are among the most important causes of anaphylactic reactions. For this reason, it is considered as a public health problem. These patients are constantly at risk as protection measures in food allergies should be done in many ways.
Most food allergies develop against the following foods. However, it should be remembered that allergic reactions can develop against every food consumed.
- Cow milk
- The fish
- Nuts (nuts, walnuts, pistachios, etc.)
Food allergies are more common in children. Allergies to some foods tend to improve over time. Allergies related to nutrients such as cow’s milk and eggs can pass depending on age, peanuts, fish, shellfish and nuts allergies can continue for many years or even for life.
Allergens in the protein structure of foods are similar to other allergens. For example, in patients with allergy to pollen, itching and edema may occur in the mouth and throat with the consumption of some fruits (kiwi, banana, apple, peach, etc.). This clinical picture developed as a result of cross-reaction is defined as oral allergy syndrome.
Symptoms associated with non-IgE mechanisms that play a role in the development of food allergies appear later. For example, babies may develop reactions that may cause vomiting, diarrhea, bloody mucus stool or even dehydration during the transition to supplementary food. The type of allergic proctocolitis, in which the bloody mucus defecation is seen, is characterized by constant vomiting a few hours after food intake, and is called enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES) triggered by food proteins. This is caused by late-type allergic responses given by our body to cow’s milk, soy, eggs, etc.
Food allergies can also affect the esophagus (esophagus) in our digestive system. This table, which is due to the intense accumulation of eosinophils, which have a very important role in allergic reactions, is called eosinophilic esophagitis. Children may experience symptoms of vomiting, difficulty swallowing, and inability to gain weight, similar to reflux symptoms.
Many of these patients develop an allergic reaction to nutrients. There is also a family history of allergy (asthma, allergic rhinitis or eczema).